All I Want for Christmas Is You

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
All I Want for Christmas Is You Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Merry, mischievous holiday tale is fun for families.
  • G
  • 2017
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 3 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

No one has to be perfect; we must just do our best. Values promoted: family as a supportive entity, empathy, and responsibility.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Little Mariah is spirited, persistent, responsible, and compassionate, a good big sister, and able to adapt to new situations. She respects and loves her family members and always tries to do the right thing. Parental figures are responsible, loving, and wise even though they're mildly flawed and quirky. Ethnic diversity.

Violence & Scariness

Some pratfalls and tumbles.

Sexy Stuff

Based on Mariah Carey's popular song and 2015 children's book of the same title. Several of Carey's holiday songs are integrated into the story, as well.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All I Want for Christmas Is You is an animated movie based on Mariah Carey's same-named popular song and 2015 children's book. Carey narrates as a grown-up Mariah "recalling" a childhood story in which her younger self first learned about the joys and misadventures of owning a dog. Sparkling depictions of an extended family, including distinctive grandparents and younger siblings, as well as a pesky dog's antics (including bouts of vomiting and pooping) provide both laughs and moments of tenderness. Several of Carey's holiday songs are integrated into the story, too. Expect a few pratfalls -- tumbles in the snow and on a skating pond, characters upended by the naughty dog -- but nothing scary. The movie also has something to say about expectations, responsibilities, and the notion of perfection. It's safe and fun for all ages.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6 and 14-year-old Written byKris R. November 25, 2017

Cute, but shallow and superficial lead character

I cannot understand the high ratings for this movie. "Mariah" is a shallow, vain control freak who ditches her friends to hang out with the popular gi... Continue reading
Adult Written bymeydiana.rizki February 8, 2021

Beautiful family film!

Très mignon j'ai beaucoup aimé ! Beau graphisme également et très jolie histoire à regarder au moment de Noël est bien sûr un plus ;)
Written byAnonymous November 27, 2020

An unintentional family tradition: one we aren't happy about

we are obliged to watch this every year. It so painful. We are not being forced, but it is cold hard tradition. There are criminal acts in this movie, where the... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byChristianSoldier April 22, 2020

Too much overlooked... but a nice movie nonetheless

I really liked this movie, but people seem to overlook the fact that Mariah's dad was tricking her about Jack (the puppy she's holding on the movie co... Continue reading

What's the story?

Little Mariah (wonderfully voiced by Breanna Yde) has the same wish every year in ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU: a puppy. But her dad is allergic and her mom's a clean freak, so it never happens. Not until Mariah's grandma steps in, encourages Mariah to keep trying, and takes her to see Princess, the "perfect" puppy at a store. Mariah is obsessed with the little dog -- planning, preparing, and Hoping (with a capital "H"). So, when Mariah's dad brings home a trial dog (said to be the pet of an uncle going on vacation) and tells Mariah that if she proves that she can take full responsibility for this "temporary" dog, she'll get Princess for Christmas, the little girl is ecstatic. Of course, she can do it! That is, until she sees what chaos "Jack" brings with him. Oh, he's cute and smart, but what a trickster, what a naughty boy he is! He has an iffy stomach and an ability to make a mess of just about everything, Frustrated, horrified, and even humiliated by the little dog's antics, Mariah is overwhelmed. Does she have what it takes to be a responsible pet owner?

Is it any good?

A very likable little heroine, a trouble-making dog, and an ethnically diverse, extended family of unique, engaging characters keep the giggles coming and warm the heart by the story's end. The creative team brings Mariah Carey's book to life with style and spirit. All of the performances, including the kids', are excellent. Carey's songs and narration are well-integrated into the upbeat tale. A subplot featuring Grandpa Bill's (Henry Winkler) competition with a neighbor over Christmas decorations that light up the neighborhood is fun as well. What's more, Little Mariah learns something as she struggles to master the art of responsible pet care. All I Want for Christmas Is You is a sweet addition to holiday movies for young families.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about making books into movies. Have you read All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey? If you have, did the movie bring the book to life for you? If you haven't read it, did watching this movie motivate you to read the book? Where would you go to find it? Does your family use your local library to find books you want to read and/or to find new books that look good to you? 

  • What did Little Mariah mean when she said, "I didn't have to be perfect and the dog didn't have to be perfect." How is being perfect different from doing the best you can do?

  • What inspired Mariah to change her mind about Princess near the end of All I Want for Christmas Is You? Was it just because of the little boy's disappointment, or were other things on the little girl's mind?

  • How does All I Want for Christmas Is You promote compassion and empathy? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the holidays

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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