A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Fairly Odd Christmas is a live-action/CG movie inspired by a popular Nickelodeon cartoon and a previous TV movie. The story has some worthwhile messages about taking responsibility for your actions and cleaning up your own messes. Expect some mild peril amid the action and a touch of potty humor (a man's bad breath is shown in green clouds, and there's talk of poop), but also all-around happy outcomes, including one for two groups who talk out their feelings to end their bickering.
What's the story?
A FAIRLY ODD CHRISTMAS opens with Timmy Turner (Drake Bell) circling the globe in his flying van, granting kids' wishes with the help of his fairy godparents and his best friend, Tootie (Daniella Monet). But with the Christmas countdown on, Timmy's actions unwittingly cast doubt on kids' faith in Santa, sending the holiday preparations at the North Pole into chaos and putting Timmy's name on Santa's naughty list. The group travels north to try to smooth things over with the man in red, but Cosmo (voiced by Daran Norris) and Wanda's (Susanne Blakeslee) magic misfires and puts Santa out of commission, further threatening the holiday. Timmy, Tootie, and the fairies set off on a mission to save Christmas before it's too late, trailed by Mr. Crocker (David Lewis), who's looking to clear his name from the naughty list, too.
Is it any good?
A Fairly Odd Christmas is a palatable holiday story that plays well to its greatest strengths -- talented lead actors and a seamless blending of live-action and CGI. It's amazing how natural the fairies' presence feels among the rest of the cast, and this aspect of the movie will appeal to kids' vivid imagination. Bell and Monet are the story's shining stars, followed closely by Lewis, who so masters the ludicrous villain's character that he accounts for a lot of the laughs. The story itself is neither noteworthy nor unique, but the cast's talents and the characters' wacky predicaments are enough to carry kids' attention to the end.
Part of Timmy's appeal has always been his mishap-prone attempts at growing up, which are often complicated by his zany fairy godparents and the ill effects of the wishes they grant. While he's markedly more mature in this movie than he has been in the past, he's still learning what it takes to be a grown-up, and he gets a big lesson in the consequences of his actions when they threaten the success of Christmas itself. The story might not relate directly to kids' experiences, but the movie's theme is one that has potential applications to their lives.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Timmy's intentions. Why did he want to grant kids their wishes? Was it his fault that this led kids to stop believing in Santa? Was his trip to the North Pole just to get his name off the naughty list, or did he feel responsible for the threat to Christmas for other people?
Kids: What did Timmy learn about being a grown-up? What responsibilities do grown-ups have that kids don’t? What are your responsibilities in your family?
Were you familiar with these characters before you saw this movie? Are you compelled to watch the TV show or the previous movie now that you've watched this one?
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