A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This movie imparts values of the true spirit of Christmas, and encourages a spirit of selfless giving.
Positive Role Models
For the all the creepiness of the situation that brought him there, Riley is a friendly teenager who learns to believe in the Christmas spirit while spreading it to strangers in desperate need of believing in Christmas joy again.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters drink wine at Christmas dinner, but do not act intoxicated.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Christmas Puppy is a 2011 movie that does not have a single puppy in the movie. The only presence of a dog is an aged Maltese with an obnoxious voiceover from time to time. This is because the movie was originally called Christmas Spirit, but was changed, perhaps to take advantage of pet lovers looking for something to watch during the holidays. While the message of selfless giving and charity is a worthwhile value to impart in a movie, there are already so many Christmas movies out there that show this value in action, and do it much better. Also, the way the teen boy Riley helps the family he has never met to believe in the Christmas spirit again is by sneaking in the back of their Malibu mansion and pretending to be a friend of the teenage daughter. This movie is a bizarre mess. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie has a hilariously strange premise, the inevitable result of lazy direction and slipshod writing. For starters, there are no puppies in CHRISTMAS PUPPY; the closest approximation is an elderly Maltese who makes rare appearances, and even then, seldom leaves its cushion, and sometimes narrates the events in an incredibly annoying voiceover. Moving right along, there is something more than a little creepy about a teen boy who basically breaks into a home and earns the trust of a family under criminally false pretenses, and is put up to stealing the father's credit card in order to book a flight for the grandmother living in Michigan.
The actors try to make the best with what little they've been given, and their commitment to the utter ludicrousness of the scenes is borderline heroic, but overall, this movie is a horrible Christmas cocktail of trite, boring, and nonsensical.
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.