A Miser Brothers' Christmas

 
A+ animation will suck kids into so-so story.
  • Review Date: December 8, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 45 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While some characters do bad things, they're punished accordingly. There are also several positive role models -- including a female elf who's a mechanical whiz. The overall message is that putting aside your differences to work together is better than fighting and that selfishness never pays.

Violence & scariness

Characters throw fire balls and lightning bolts at each other in some scenes, but no one is seriously hurt. A few characters are also a little scary looking, and there's some minor pushing and squabbling among siblings who don't get along. Another character tries to cause Santa bodily harm by sabotaging his sleigh.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Some mild name-calling, like "blizzard brain," "hothead," and "inferno face."

Consumerism

The story takes place at Christmastime, and Santa's workshop is in full swing making toys. But kids won't see any brand names -- or expensive gadgets -- among all the packages.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though this colorful holiday special is suitable for kids of all ages, some very young viewers may find the main characters a little scary. There are also extended scenes of cartoon violence in which characters throw fire balls and lightning bolts at each other and call each other names. The good news is that everyone is reprimanded in the end for their bad behavior, and no one is seriously injured. In the end, the message is that it's better to work together than fight.

What's the story?

With Christmas fast approaching, Santa (voiced by Mickey Rooney) and his elves are working overtime to prepare for the big day. But the spirit of the season hasn't helped the warring Miser brothers -- hot-headed Heat Miser (George S. Irving) and cold-hearted Snow Miser (Juan Chioran) -- get along any better. Things only get worse when the Miser brothers' megalomaniacal sibling, the North Wind, sets his sights on bringing down Santa so that he can take over the job and get all the glory. Now that Santa's out of commission, can the Miser brothers set aside their differences and save Christmas?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although it was inspired by the 1974 Rankin-Bass holiday special The Year Without Santa Claus, A MISER BROTHERS' CHRISTMAS is unlikely to become a Christmas classic that stands the test of time. The award-winning animation is stellar, to be sure. But the story loses major points for a convoluted plot involving Mother Nature, a failed assassination attempt, and mostly lackluster characters who fail to capture our hearts. The North Wind -- a devilish blend of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and Stephen Colbert -- is a notable exception. Without him, A Miser Brothers' Christmas would be utterly skippable.

The odd thing is that, even though they're central to the plot, the Miser brothers and their petty rivalry get pretty old, pretty fast. (And if kids haven't seen The Year Without Santa Claus, they probably won't even know who the Miser brothers are, making them even less likely to care about what happens to them.) When it comes to holiday programming, A Miser Brothers' Christmas will do in a pinch. But it doesn't measure up to the classic Christmas fare it pays homage to.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the repercussions of sibling rivalry and how fighting can cause problems for everyone -- not just the brothers or sisters involved in the dispute. Kids: Have you ever fought with someone close to you over something you just couldn't agree on? Why? Did you end up saying or doing things that you wish you hadn't? Were you able to come to an agreement in the end? Parents who've seen the classic holiday special upon which this story is based (The Year Without a Santa Claus) can also share their memories of the story and its characters.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 9, 2008
DVD release date:October 6, 2009
Cast:George S. Irving, Juan Chioran, Mickey Rooney
Director:Dave Barton Thomas
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:45 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of A Miser Brothers' Christmas was written by

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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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Adult Written byLowe's man December 19, 2014
age 5+
 

Not terrific, but better than you say it is.

Pardon me if I don't remember the plot perfectly, but let me say what I remember. The fighting between the Miser Brothers is nothing more than normal sibling rivalry. And they all work things out in the end. What's more, kids who think that Christmas is white (or should be white) everywhere will learn that nothing can be further from the truth. The only thing that I'd change is that the North Wind's evil deeds should've been "exposed".
Teen, 13 years old Written byNintendo_DSiXL November 26, 2009
age 3+
 
Love this Holiday movie, One of the best!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written byErik13 November 19, 2009
age 4+
 

Two brothers figure it out

While there is some relatively tense moments between the brothers they end up working things out.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages

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