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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Charlie Brown Christmas is a heartwarming classic that 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. Several uses of the words "stupid" and "blockhead," primarily by Lucy.
What's the story?
In A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, Charlie Brown is depressed by the Christmas season because it's so commercial, but 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?
As Charlie Brown discovers the true meaning of Christmas when he buys a forlorn little tree, this classic communicates a timeless message brimming with holiday spirit. The first of Charles Schultz's television specials based on his long-running comic strip, A Charlie Brown Christmas 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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about A Charlie Brown Christmas' 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?
- In theaters: December 9, 1965
- On DVD or streaming: September 12, 2000
- Cast: Bill Melendez, Peter Robbins, Sally Dryer
- Director: Bill Melendez
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Holidays
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Gratitude, Integrity
- Run time: 30 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.