Bob the Builder: Bob's White Christmas

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Bob the Builder: Bob's White Christmas Movie Poster Image
Gentle characters build and cooperate in holiday tale.
  • NR
  • 2002
  • 45 minutes

Parents say

Not yet rated

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Introduces construction vehicles, simple building principles -- ways in which things are constructed and/or repaired. Some words and concepts defined ("Inuit," "igloo," "hibernation").

Positive messages

Promotes helping others, cooperation, friendship, and being willing to try something new. A few specific messages, such as "Never go out on a frozen pond; it may not hold your weight."

Positive role models & representations

Bob the Builder; his partner, Wendy; and all the human characters are good-natured, helpful, and responsible. They're excellent problem solvers and not afraid to ask for help when they need it. Each of the anthropomorphic construction vehicles has its own special talent and happily cooperates.

Violence & scariness

An occasional pratfall: fall on ice, snowball fight, stuck in snow. No suspense or injuries.

Sexy stuff

Part of the Bob the Builder franchise, which includes books, games, toys, and TV programs.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bob the Builder: Bob's White Christmas is a compilation of five previously aired TV episodes, each about 10 minutes in length. Three have a winter or holiday theme; the other two are complimentary. Bob and Wendy, two human characters, are wonderfully compatible with a host of construction vehicles with human characteristics (anthropomorphic). Together, they go about the business of helping other members of the small community with building and repair tasks. Simple to understand, emphasizing harmony and respect for others, the franchise is intended for very young viewers and has a strong educational component. A very successful brand, Bob the Builder sells books, games, toys, a TV series, and other related merchandise.

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What's the story?

BOB THE BUILDER: BOB'S WHITE CHRISTMAS is made up of five television episodes: "Bob's White Christmas" finds Bob dressing as Santa for a local school and helping his friends deal with some very welcome snow; Spud, who lives with Farmer Pickles, gets in trouble when the frozen pond he's playing on starts to crack in "Bob and the Big City Freeze," and the gang has to help out some local birds and ducks who aren't used to the winter storm; in "Bob of the North," lots of people in the village need help when a heavy snowfall causes problems, and everyone has to come up with clever ways to fix things; Spud tries to help out but in his special way messes up the mail delivery in "Special Delivery Spud"; and "Bob's Bugle" teaches Bob an important lesson about how real music sounds when he makes a trumpet out of pipes from a heating system. 

Is it any good?

Kids appreciate the simplicity of Bob, Wendy, and the world around them. All these stories are easy to follow, illustrate some elementary building fundamentals, and differentiate between various intriguing construction vehicles and tools (created with human qualities which make them "friends" and an integral part of Bob's team). There's little conflict in the episodes; the mild suspense comes from mistakes or overconfidence rather than purposeful mischief. Characters solve problems, help their friends, and are optimistic and successful in their endeavors. Each tale is approximately 10 minutes long, keeping them short enough for even the very young to manage.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to "cooperate." How do the characters in this movie share tasks and show respect for one another?

  • Find out more about Inuits, an indigenous people. Where do they live? Which languages do they speak?

  • Draw a picture of your favorite construction vehicle in this series (Scoop, Muck, Lofty, Dizzy, Roley, or Travis). What are the special tasks this vehicle can accomplish?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love the holidays

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