A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Paints a simple picture of life in Ireland, 1914: sense of community, struggles of the country's poor families, religious devotion.
Strongly promotes family: bond between parent and child, bonds between siblings. Values stressed: generosity, courage, standing up for what's right, forgiveness, community. A very poor family finds joy in the spirit of Christmas and their love for one another.
Positive Role Models
Though very young heroine makes a mistake, it's based on her sense of empathy, duty, resolve. She's resourceful, forgiving, brave, generous. Adults (including a police officer) are compassionate, responsible, wise. Set in Ireland, 1914; no ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
In a mildly spooky sequence, child thinks she may be in danger, sees threat in shadow of trees, someone "following" her. Men in bar laugh at her. Brother and sister scuffle, hit, tease.
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Boy and little sister tease, name-call ("maggot").
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A short scene takes place in a bar where men are drinking alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Angela's Christmas is a short (30-minute) animated movie based on Angela and the Baby Jesus, the only children's book written by Angela's Ashes author Frank McCourt. The film is set in Limerick, Ireland, in 1914 and recounts an event in the life of McCourt's mother just before her sixth birthday. It tells a sweet, poignant, and ultimately heartwarming tale about family, community, and a little girl's empathy and resourcefulness. There are a few mildly tense moments as Angela hides from congregants in her church, then feels unsettled by shadows in a dark alley. Later she's chased by a policeman and momentarily scared of being sent to jail. Angela and her brother call each other names ("maggot") and scuffle; a few hits and kicks are landed, but the sequence ends in play. A short scene takes place in a bar, where men are drinking. Inspiring and funny, with gentle but important messages, the movie is highly recommended for all but the youngest or most sensitive kids, who might find even the mild suspense unsettling. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With its uplifting concept, inventive story, lovely animation, performances, and music, this is a movie destined for repeat viewing by families who enjoy sharing holiday classics. Angela's Christmas packs a lot into 30 minutes of storytelling. Without any of the material trappings of the Christmas season, and with none of the modern conveniences and distractions, Angela's story is simple, heartfelt, funny, and well-told, a reminder of what holiday spirit and giving are all about.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.