Beethoven's Christmas Adventure

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Beethoven's Christmas Adventure Movie Poster Image
Holiday canine hijinks, plus a few serious scenes.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, however, there are some references to the plight of stray animals along with relevant information about the ASPCA.

Positive Messages

This movie attempts to include positive messages about what's really important in life, generally, and at Christmas time specifically. A mother learns that time at work needs to be balanced with time at home; an elf realizes that being different can be "pretty cool"; a young boy comes to understand that even if you've been hurt in the past, it's still important to love again, and that the best gifts are often not from a store, but involve healing and love. Finally, the plight of homeless animals is shown and support for the ASPCA is recommended throughout the film and in a public service message that starts the DVD.

Positive Role Models & Representations

For the most part, kids and adults behave in responsible ways. Those that don't, particularly the elf from the North Pole, learn valuable lessons about or pay a price for their conduct. Both the heroic mom in the story and the local police officers are slow to listen to and believe the kids, but they eventually come around. The elf who propels the action complains about "being different," but it's about his job and not because he is African American, a fact that is never made an overt part of the story.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of cartoon action: pratfalls, chases, objects falling on people, sliding on ice, a runaway sleigh, a loose dog causing havoc in a marketplace. Two farcical villains steal an important object, threaten and capture one of the heroes. They are depicted as greedy, selfish, and, above all, bumbling. A small model of a parade float catches fire, but is put out efficiently by a boy using a fire extinguisher. Though there are lots of crashes, falls, and bumps, no one is ever hurt or in real danger.

Sexy Stuff

Some insults and rude language: "idiot," "dumb," "get your nose out of your butt," "creeps." An extended dog farting sequence.


Branded toys, toys, toys throughout, with lots of scenes played in a toy store. Some featured are: Red Rover Game, Mind-Flex, Barbie, UNO, Stunt 'N Dunk, Kerplunk, Perplexus, Hot Wheels, Daredevil Stunt Set.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Christmas entry in the popular Beethoven franchise is loaded with farcical comic action (falls, crashes, bumps, a runaway sleigh, lots of chases, and captures involving both dogs and humans). No one is hurt and everyone pops right up from what is usually snow-covered ground. Name brand toys line the shelves in an oft-visited toy store and are featured in numerous scenes. There's some rude language ("idiot," "dumb elf," "get your nose out of your butt") and one lengthy dog farting scene. The over-the-top, silly but not very scary villains will stop at nothing to exploit the Christmas season and separate customers from their cash. The movie includes some serious issues as well: the boy at the center of the story is dealing with the recent death of his father, as well as his mother's adjustment to that death; and the elf who flees from the North Pole is dejected because he feels "different" from the other elves. Both have to come to terms with the events in their lives.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJahil November 17, 2018

Dogs, death and there is no Santa

The movie is fine but some of the themes come out of no where. Early in the movie the ever-present “there is no Santa Claus” narrative smack younger kids in the... Continue reading
Parent of a 3 and 5-year-old Written bySnout's Honour December 22, 2018

Crude, boring, cheesy.

Lots of crude language, including people calling each other morons and idiots. Some “Santa is not real” themes at the beginning. If female representation is imp... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old December 28, 2015

The Most Shrektacular Movie I've seen in some Time

This movie had a few moments which could've been deemed offensive to people of specific races or sexual orientations, and when the dogs farted on the floor... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byearth smash studios December 6, 2016

EB REVIEWS: Beetoven's Christmas Adventure

Beethoven's Christmas Adventure is an insult; it's an insult to its audience, it's an insult that people spent time and money on this, and it... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's three days before Christmas. Henry (Kyle Massey), the elf assigned to the stable at the North Pole, has hurt feelings. He wants to be a toy-making elf like the rest of his friends. When he angrily rides off with the sleigh and Santa's magic toy bag, he crash lands in small town in Minnesota and he's in deep trouble. Two greedy toy store owners get their hands on the magic bag, and Henry realizes he's put the entire holiday in danger. No bag, no sleigh -- no Christmas! Lucky for the elf and kids everywhere, Henry meets Mason (Munro Chambers), a boy who needs to learn a lesson about dogs, and Beethoven, the lovable pet who's there to teach him. It takes a village and lots of comic action, but the three heroes save the day and learn some important lessons, too.

Is it any good?

BEETHOVEN'S CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE is bright, colorful, with a simply told story, engaging animal heroes, very silly comic villains, and plenty of slapstick action. For the first time, Beethoven talks (in the voice of Tom Arnold). And, just past the onslaught of branded toys and games, the film has a heart.

It takes a look at the healing nature of humans bonding with pets, and the value of adopting homeless animals, specifically from the ASPCA. It’s not a classic, but most kids (and even some grownups) will laugh a bit and enjoy the happy endings.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about film's message that the best gifts don't always come from a bag. What was Mason's best Christmas gift? Can you think of some gifts you could give or have received that don't come from a bag or a store? How does this message go along with all the branded toys featured in the movie? Do you think the movie is trying to sell these toys?

  • What is the movie's message about pets?

  • There's a lot of make-believe or cartoon mischief and destruction in this movie. What are some of the ways you can tell that it's make-believe and not real? What might really happen if someone fell out of a tree?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love holiday fare

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate