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Parents' Guide to

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

By Colette DeDonato, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Heartwarming for all ages, some old-school content.

Movie NR 1964 53 minutes
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 40 parent reviews

age 8+

Negative/harmful messages and scary for our 5 year old

Yes, we watched this when we were kids and turned out fine. But, the movie is full of bad messages for kids - things like “they had to get the women inside” and “that’s mans work.” The message of being proud of who you are even if it means being different is lost in the storyline of “misfit toys” and the abominable snow monster (who completely frightened our son so bad we had to stop the movie three times). It comes off more as signaling that you will be sad and have a hard time in life if you stay true to yourself rather than a celebration of diversity and being your unique self...which is what we were expecting. This movie is difficult to explain, hard to pull positive messages out of, and scary for little ones.
age 6+

I’m 14 not an adult just so you know

Great movie! I have great childhood memories of watching this. Yes, some parts are a bit sexist but not so much so that you should refrain from watching this. I watched it at 6 and was fine. Some characters are mean to Rudolph but it is still a great holiday classic. Just explain to your kids if they are really young at some parts about how some things aren’t right. An excellent movie and a true classics. No movies are perfect, and a movie would be boring without any conflict. The abominable snowman is scary for young kids, so they should probably watch with an adult or older sibling. Not for 4 and under, but a holiday classic that everyone should watch.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (40 ):
Kids say (34 ):

This beloved holiday TV special seems almost inextricable from the idea of Christmas in the United States. Many parents will have memories of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which first aired in 1964, from their own childhoods. And you can't watch it without appreciating the simplicity of a pre-computer-animation world. Just hearing Ives' voice and songs can transport you back to a time when Christmas didn't have as many viewing options or commercial tie-ins. That said, prejudices of this era appear as well: Casual sexism and stereotypical Indigenous characters can also transport a viewer, but without the rosy glow that comes with nostalgia.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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