By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Spunky tree's adventures are filled with festive messages.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
Strong messages about self-confidence, accepting who you are, and having big dreams. Albert learns that following his dreams is rewarding but it's even more important to be with the people who care about him. Perseverance pays off for Albert. Friendship is another recurring theme as Maisy proves herself a loyal companion who wants the best for Albert.
Positive Role Models
Albert doesn't let others' negativity influence his positive outlook on life or the goals he sets for himself. He's willing to do anything to make his dreams come true, but it's his willingness to give of himself to others that makes him such a gem. Maisy's loyalty is invaluable to her friend. Cactus Pete holds grudges and is chronically grumpy, but a single act of kindness toward him makes all the difference. Other characters try to rain on Albert's parade by pointing out his flaws (he's too small to be a Christmas tree, for instance), but he holds his head (er, top) high anyway.
Violence & Scariness
Albert and his friends face a few dicey situations, including one brief but scary one in which they come inches from being made into paper pulp at a mill.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A brief suggestive scene shows the plants watching a video of a bee pollinating a flower while slow music plays in the background, to which one plant says, "Not in front of the children."
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Multiple instances of "butt" and "buttload," plus "jerkweed" as an insult.
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Products & Purchases
The show is based on a book of the same name.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Albert is a holiday story based on a book of the same name about a determined young tree that sets out to be named the city's official Christmas tree. His journey takes courage and a strong will, but Albert discovers that it's also great to have friends along who will do anything to help you realize your dreams. There are a few scary moments when the characters' fates hang in the balance (one in particular involves a paper-processing mill and the plants' near-demise), plus an edgy encounter with a cactus who holds a grudge against Christmas (and thus a wannabe Christmas tree) and attempts to sabotage Albert and his friends. Also expect some marginal language such as "butt" and "buttload" and name-calling such as "jerkweed." On the other hand, the story is rich in messages about following your dreams, believing in your potential, and sharing joy with others.
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Based on 5 parent reviews
Scary scenes and not much pay off at the end
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What's the Story?
ALBERT is the story of a small Douglas fir with big dreams of being a glorious Christmas tree. To that end, he sets out on an eventful journey from the nursery where he lives to Empire City in the hopes of being made the town's most celebrated holiday decoration. Joined by his palm tree friend Maisie (voiced by Sasheer Zamata) and a snarky weed named Gene (Judah Friedlander), Albert (Bobby Moynihan) refuses to let anything -- not even a Scrooge named Cactus Pete (Rob Riggle) -- keep him from realizing his dream.
Is It Any Good?
This sweet, funny tale is brimming with Christmas spirit and kid-friendly themes about following your dreams and persevering through challenges. Albert is everyone's favorite kind of hero; he's realistically imperfect, happily optimistic, and totally OK with who he is, even when others try to make him feel badly about himself. That, plus the loyalty of his best friend, sees him through the roadblocks that threaten his reaching his goal.
Albert's animation blends CGI and stop-motion into a production that's a treat to watch, bringing to vibrant life all sorts of plants and assigning them hilarious personalities. Besides plucky Albert, viewers will especially love the sardonic tagalong Gene and his underground community of weed friends who band together to help the travelers in a pinch. As for Christmas sentiments, it's hard to beat Albert's final gesture of kindness and the message it sends about family, friends, and sharing joy to receive it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what accounts for Albert's strong self-esteem. Does what others think of him and his dreams have a negative effect on him? Kids: Is this realistic in your experience? Why do others' opinions matter to us so much?
What dangers does Albert face on his journey to the big city? What rules does your family have that help keep you safe?
What holiday traditions are favorites for your family? To what degree do they involve sharing joy with others? How does making other people happy influence your own joy?
Families can talk about Albert's perseverance. Why do you think this is an important character strength?
- In theaters: December 9, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: November 14, 2017
- Cast: Bobby Moynihan, Sasheer Zamata, Judah Friedlander
- Director: Max Lang
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Nickelodeon
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Great Boy Role Models, Holidays
- Character Strengths: Perseverance
- Run time: 43 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: March 21, 2023
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