12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue

  • Review Date: October 9, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Cute dogs can't save muddled sequel with constant peril.
  • Review Date: October 9, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Adversity can be overcome by hard work and cooperation. Telling the truth after behaving badly helps us gain forgiveness from others and from ourselves. The movie attempts to show that dancing is not "sissy stuff."

Positive role models

Emma is a courageous, loyal, honest, hard-working teen who is unafraid to face even the most perilous of situations. A doctor and a bank officer who initially turn a blind eye to an evil scheme, learn the error of their ways. Very little ethnic diversity.

Violence & scariness

A teen driver is in a severe auto accident, trapped under the car as a fire starts; he is seriously injured (broken back, paralysis). Villainous men are menacing in numerous scenes: they wield hypodermic needles, set fire to a barn with animals inside, mistreat animals, hold dogs captive, verbally threaten people, and perpetuate an unfounded rabies scare.

Sexy stuff

A couple of romantic teen kisses. Cheerleaders use mildly sexy dance moves to distract a basketball team.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that 12 Dogs of Christmas: The Great Puppy Rescue is a sequel to the 2005 Depression-era family film 12 Dogs of Christmas. This time, however, the teens and dogs are subject to constant danger. Early scenes show a frightening car accident in which a main teen character is nearly killed and becomes paralyzed; an arch villain and his scary conspirator threaten the dogs' lives with fire, hypodermic needles, captivity, and neglect. An on-again, off-again teen romance includes a few kisses.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

12 DOGS OF CHRISTMAS: THE GREAT PUPPY RESCUE picks up six years after 11-year old Emma saved the day in the original film. Now a teen, Emma (a feisty Danielle Chuchran) returns to Doverville for the funeral of Cathy Stevens, her beloved surrogate mom. After an accident paralyzes Cathy's son, Emma learns that the Stevens farm for orphan dogs, which she helped to establish, is in grave danger. The mustache-twirling "richest-man-in-town" (a badly miscast Sean Patrick Flanery) wants the land for a dog-racing track, and he's willing to do anything to get it. The farm's mortgage hasn't been paid either! Summoning her old friends, Emma decides to stay in Doverville and (once again) put on a show to raise money and save the farm. But the obstacles and story-lines multiply... Emma encounters a deceitful doctor, an evil animal control officer, a rabies threat, a cowardly bank officer, a would-be clairvoyant, "Bing Crosby," AND an irresistible teen basketball player who may or may not be in league with the villain. Everybody's counting on Emma, but can she deliver miracles again?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Too many story elements, characters, and threats combine to keep everything underdeveloped, hurried and slapdash, and, in many instances, entirely unresolved. In addition, amateurish and/or miscast actors in some of the roles and the filmmakers' decision to make a sequel with the very same structure as the first movie (kids coming together to put on a show and save the adorable dogs from evil-doers) contribute to the overall inadequacy of the project.

The film is earnest and tries hard to be heart-warming, but it's done in by not having the most elementary of "must-haves" -- an intelligent script, accessible plotting, and an original idea.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the right choice for Michael -- should he go to veterinary school or stay home to take care of the orphan dogs? Why? How might his accident influence his decision?

  • Why are movies with animals so popular? What makes a good animal movie?

  • Discuss the many threats to the orphan dogs in this movie. What were the filmmakers trying to accomplish by placing them in jeopardy so often? Were they successful in building suspense, or did it become confusing?

Movie details

DVD release date:January 9, 2012
Cast:Danielle Chuchran, James Gaisford, Skylar Holman
Director:Kieth Merrill
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Holidays
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild thematic elements including an accident

This review of 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 November 29, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

12 dogs of Christmas great puppy rescue

Families can talk about the right choice for Michael -- should he go to veterinary school or stay home to take care of the orphan dogs? Why? How might his accident influence his decision? Why are movies with animals so popular? What makes a good animal movie? Discuss the many threats to the orphan dogs in this movie. What were the filmmakers trying to accomplish by placing them in jeopardy so often? Were they successful in building suspense, or did it become confusing?
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide