A Princess for Christmas

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
A Princess for Christmas Movie Poster Image
Family-friendly fairy-tale romance is lighthearted fun.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not inform.

Positive Messages

Stresses the importance of family, forgiveness, and love. Reminds us that it's important not to give up on people. Fox hunting is characterized as inhumane.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character, a surrogate mother to her niece and nephew, is a reliable, understanding, loving person who continues to evolve as a new parent. Some caricatures of a snobby, wealthy, titled aristocracy. Mostly set in a small country in Europe, where there is no ethnic diversity.

Violence & Scariness

A few slapstick falls. A young teen boy gets a black eye after a brief street scuffle.

Sexy Stuff

Two fairy-tale kisses.


LG appliances, Car magazine, "Die Yuppie Scum" and Swashbuckler Hockey T-shirts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man sips from a glass of brandy in one scene.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Princess for Christmas is an old-fashioned fairy tale set in modern times. Originally made for television, the story is focused on two children who have lost both parents and now live with their warm-hearted, eager-to-help young aunt. The children's grief (mild and very natural) plays in several scenes and is dealt with in a compassionate and life-affirming manner. A few comic falls and one street skirmish between two tween boys provide the only action. The innocent fairy-tale romance between a prince and a struggling American antiques seller results in some tender kisses.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byPontiac1983 November 27, 2018

Family amazing!

A kids dream in a palace with royalty and formality. Along with children’s humor. Plus, not to mention a classic James Bond as the grouchy king. A perfect tale!...
Adult Written bySusangaj August 12, 2018

Charming Prince

Lovely little fairy tale -like Christmas story, complete with requisite ogre and an evil witch or two, as well as a very handsome Prince. It’s pretty sappy fr... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bymcashd55 October 21, 2016

Katie McGrath IS Awesome!

Love the movie simply because Katie McGrath is in it. She gives this hallmark movie some decency. Usually, I can't barely get through a hallmark movie but... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a freezing Buffalo, N.Y., Jules Daly (Katie McGrath) is struggling to be a good "mom" to her orphaned niece and nephew. But in A PRINCESS FOR CHRISTMAS, it seems everything is stacked against her. She's lost her job; her nanny has quit; the kids are missing their parents terribly; and Christmas is coming. The family is stunned when the children's estranged grandfather invites them all to his home in "Castlebury" for a European holiday. Reluctant at first, Jules accepts the invitation, hoping to help the children through their first Christmas without their parents. They arrive in Castlebury to find that Grandpa Edward (Roger Moore) is a very rich but grouchy duke who lives in a magnificent castle with a huge staff of servants. In traditional fairy-tale form, Jules, Maddie, and Milo encounter a locked room, a dashing prince-in-waiting, and a grandfather who desperately wants his family back. Only a misunderstanding threatens a storybook ending, but the magic of a ball, a gown, and a dance ultimately make dreams come true.

Is it any good?

Families will enjoy this sweet, wholesome holiday film -- a modern fairy tale with a "cool" teen boy included specifically to appeal to young male viewers. All the traditional elements are working here, from the curmudgeonly elder statesman to the inevitably snobbish, self-centered rival for the prince's affections. Though predictability and some amateurish performances mar the story and production, overall the movie is lighthearted, likable, and beautiful to look at.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss the new and unusual family that's created in this movie. Who became part of this large, extended family, and why? (Note: Don't forget the castle staff.)

  • This story can be described as a fish-out-of-water tale in which a character(s) lands in a setting or time very different from the one he or she is familiar with. Why do you think tales like this are so appealing? Think of some other movies that you like with a similar theme.

  • Do fairy tales ever inspire you to imagine that you are a storybook prince or princess? Write a short piece describing a fairy tale character you might like to be.

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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