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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Don't give up. Even when you lose a loved one, know that that person will stay with you in your heart and memory. "Getting what you want doesn't make you happy if you don't have what you need."
Positive Role Models
Elves are plucky and determined to save Christmas for a town whose wishes were lost. They use ingenuity to get wishes out of unsuspecting humans.
Violence & Scariness
Two young kids lost their dad years before to cancer, and they and their mom are still sad.
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Products & Purchases
Although the movie tries to sell the idea that getting toys at Christmas isn't as important as enjoying and appreciating a loving family, the elves spend most of the movie making lists of stuff to deliver to people for Christmas.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 48 Christmas Wishes starts out as a light tale for young kids about careless elves misplacing a town's Christmas wishes. But the ending goes dark and teary when two kids face the deep sorrow brought on by the death six years earlier of their wonderful father. The tone of the film shifts so dramatically that parents should be prepared to console sensitive kids who may feel blindsided by the dramatic and out-of-the-blue shift in tone. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Those looking for a sweet, traditional Christmas tale should look elsewhere. 48 Christmas Wishes seems at odds with itself as it attempts to promote the usual ideas that the spirit of Christmas should be valued over a desire for material gifts and that the season should be a magical time for people to love each other. At the same time, the hapless elves who lose the town's wishes fear that Christmas will be "ruined" unless they redraw the lost list and deliver all those material gifts. As for the title, surely a bustling town, like the one depicted in the movie, has more than 48 residents. Do the elves not care about the town's other hundreds, or even thousands, of residents? More quibbling: Kids don't usually go to school on Christmas Eve.
Parents should be aware that the movie goes from bland comedy to manipulative melodrama at the end, in scenes that refer directly to the death of a beloved parent and how a family is struggling to cope with the loss. Sensitive kids should be prepared for poignant sadness and discussions about losing loved ones.
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.