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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Briefly introduces icebergs, some unfamiliar critters (puffins, narwhals). Generally intended to entertain, not educate.
Strongly promotes finding your own specialness and being yourself. Santa's wisdom: "Today's failure is the first step toward tomorrow's triumph" and "Sometimes thinking and being different is its own kind of magic ... your magic." Shows that "[n]ice elves have friends who help out."
Positive Role Models
Several less-than-confident characters find their strengths and react positively: An elf works wonders without magic; a scared bear finds his courage; a cat learns to accept and appreciate her exceptional tail. Heroes bravely help each other despite risks to themselves.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon action and mild jeopardy: falls (including plummets), chases, bonks on the head, vehicles crashing, cracking ice beneath feet, trees falling, creatures being captured and briefly caged, narrow escapes, climactic action finding heroes in air battle with flock of bad-guy birds.
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Job of hero described as "reindeer droppings specialist" or "poopervisor."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bob's Broken Sleigh is an animated tale about an elf without magic who has much to discover about himself. Just before Christmas, Bob takes an unexpected journey, meets some unexpected new friends, and has to use all the resources at hand to save Christmas Eve from a naughty bird with evil on its mind. Cartoon action and jeopardy in the snow-filled North Pole includes: spills, tumbles, chases, collisions, and some close calls, with an iceberg and with a small army of battling puffins. Bob's job at the film's opening is "reindeer-droppings specialist" or "poopervisor." The movie is filled with very direct messages about self-confidence, risk-taking, valuing individual specialness, and problem-solving. Streaming at 46 minutes, it aired originally as a holiday special on the Disney Channel. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Some cute, wacky characters keep an otherwise conventional "saving Christmas" story lively. The movie has lots of kid-friendly messages about finding your own specialness and the value of perseverance. At only 46 minutes in length, it's OK for young kids but only those who are comfortable with cartoon action and jeopardy and who won't confuse it with real danger.
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.