A Very Barry Christmas



Offbeat Santa mix-up has goofy humor, lots of teamwork.
  • Review Date: October 3, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 45 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn how Santa prepares for a Christmas Eve run.

Positive messages

Positive things can happen in a crisis, whether it's unlikely friendship, last-minute miracles, or unexpected resilience.

Positive role models

Characters are simple but positive and friendly.

Violence & scariness

Some very minor peril -- a truck hangs precariously over a cliff -- and some gags and pratfalls, but all very cartoonish and injury-free.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Very Barry Christmas is an offbeat Christmas switcheroo set in the Australian outback that finds Santa trading places with some guy named Barry. It's a silly take on the behind-the-scenes effort required to pull off Christmas, with some good lessons about teamwork, problem solving, and sticking up for friends. There's some very minor peril -- a truck hangs precariously over a cliff -- and some gags and pratfalls, but it's all very cartoonish and injury-free.

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What's the story?

Santa's on his way to deliver toys to all the boys and girls when a mishap sends him soaring out of his sled and a guy named Barry soaring up into the sky. Luckily, Barry looks just like St. Nick, and he agrees, with Mrs. Claus's help, to make sure Christmas still goes off without a hitch. But, along the way, there are loads of hitches and some surprises about just how much you can accomplish when everyone pitches in (plus a little help from Christmas magic).

Is it any good?


A VERY BARRY CHRISTMAS is a fun, cheerful holiday flick that makes the most of its set-up, a kind of trading-places adventure for Santa and an Australian do-gooder. There are funny sequences with drill tests for Santa that show just how much would go into such an ambitious annual gift drop.

Kids will enjoy the talking crocodile and kangaroo, the fun Claymation, the accents, and the mayhem, and parents will find a gag or two in the Australian humor amusing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what to do when plans go wrong. Have you ever had plans fall apart and had to change everything? How did you feel? What did you do to fix it?

  • When Santa is mistaken for Barry, no one believes him even when he tries to tell them the truth. Have you ever tried to tell someone the truth and had them not believe you? How did it feel? Were you able to set the story straight?

  • Have you ever experienced a little Christmas magic? What happened?

Movie details

DVD release date:December 25, 2008
Cast:Colin Mochrie, Jacqueline Pillon
Director:Andrew Horne
Studio:Cuppa Coffee Studios
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Holidays
Run time:45 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of A Very Barry Christmas was written by

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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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