A Charlie Brown Christmas

 
The Peanuts gang in a classic Christmas special.
  • Review Date: October 7, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 30 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The true meaning of Christmas is more than commercialism. Sweet and warmhearted.

Positive role models

Charlie Brown and gang learn important lessons about the true meaning of Christmas. Some of the kids are cutting to Charlie Brown, but they all rally around him in the end.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

"Stupid," "blockhead."

Consumerism

One of the themes is that the commercial/material spin on Christmas is unfortunate.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this heartwarming classic focuses on the religious aspect of Christmas. At the story's climax, Linus quotes one of the nativity stories from the New Testament and the Peanuts characters join in singing religious carols.

What's the story?

Depressed by the Christmas season because it's so commercial, Charlie Brown cheers up when Lucy asks him to direct the holiday pageant. But the bossy Lucy doesn't allow him to do much directing and sends Charlie off to buy an aluminum Christmas tree. Instead, he's drawn to a sad little fir tree, which everyone mocks. Linus makes a speech about the true meaning of Christmas; moved by his words, the Peanuts gang then transforms the little tree by adding beautiful decorations, and Charlie Brown finally celebrates a merry Christmas.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Charlie Brown discovers the true meaning of Christmas when he buys a forlorn little tree. A CHARLIE BORWN CHRISTMAS communicates a timeless message brimming with holiday spirit. The first of Charles Schultz's television specials based on his long-running comic strip, this episode set the standard for those that followed. Simple drawings, a gently meandering story, Schultz's beloved characters, and Vince Guaraldi's lively musical score combine to make this something the entire family will want to watch every year.

The image of the pathetic but endearing Christmas tree, unable to support even one decoration, cleverly parallels the Charlie Brown character. That sad fir springing to life at the end, as Charlie's melancholy dissipates, resonates with young and old alike. Filled with humor, A Charlie Brown Christmas, is a wonderful antidote to the holiday blues.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's message. Does the true meaning of Christmas get lost in materialism?

  • Can you think of real world examples of how that is true?

  • How could you work against that -- either in your family or in society?

Movie details

DVD release date:September 12, 2000
Cast:Bill Melendez, Peter Robbins, Sally Dryer
Director:Bill Melendez
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Holidays
Run time:30 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of A Charlie Brown Christmas was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

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

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 3 year old Written bypbandnv December 17, 2009
age 3+
 

Lucy can be a little scary for some kids...

I love this movie, but the other reviewers are correct in pointing out the over-use of the word "stupid" by Lucy on many occasions. We have taught our daughter that some words can be hurtful toward others; "stupid" being one of them... she refuses to watch this unless we promise to fast-forward through these parts. Otherwise -- it's a masterpiece.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Adult Written byjillianlovescats March 8, 2010
age 9+
 

A Charlie Brown Christmas Rocks!!!!!

I will always loves this movie/dvd!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byJamie and James March 15, 2010
age 5+
 

Perfecto, classic!

This is exactly what my family needed-all the great morals in Christmas. I love it because it's funny and heartwarming. My notes-we watch it every Christmas-it's a classic in our house! It sends great messages to kids! Plus, at Christmastime, they'll gladly sit down and watch it-unlike other movies, you know how kids are-mostly because of Snoopy-Charlie Brown's dog!
What other families should know
Great messages

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