Parents' Guide to

Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Lots of plot packed into tale of faith and holiday miracles.

Movie G 2016 85 minutes
Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 8+

Good Message

We all know Dolly has a colorful exterior and genuine heart. This story was a great portrayal of real people and events. This is a good family movie that we enjoy watching over and over again. There is a touch of small town bullying in the style of Mrs. Olson from Little House. This is a great story worth sharing.
age 9+

Sugary sweet movie and I can't resist the young Dolly Parton and her family

This is a good time to watch a movie like this not only is little Dolly a good example of a sweet yet stubborn little girl but the whole thing is a message from the Lord about being better to give than to receive the whole Parton family practice selflessness in almost every way though Dolly herself is a charming little girl indeed and a good role model for girls to see how to behave and a good example for boys as for what qualities to look for in a girl when they get older but it is a perfect fit for Christmas and should be watched by everyone

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This inspirational blending of two stories from Parton's childhood is just the thing to get you in the holiday spirit, but the life-and-death realities deserve consideration for sensitive viewers. There's no glossing over the fact that if not for a small change in fortune (or faith, as Dolly's family believed), that Christmas might have had a devastating outcome, and there are moments that are difficult to watch even anticipating a happy ending. Even so, this shouldn't preclude families watching together. In fact the opposite is true, as you can use this remarkable story as a teachable moment and a means to remind kids of the importance of gratitude. Just know you may need to reassure youngsters or explain the realities of survival in a place and time that will seem foreign to many.

For all its heartwarming messages about family and Christianity-derived themes, though, Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love is a jumble of simultaneous storylines that sometimes get in the way of each other. There's Dolly's quest to be the star of the Christmas pageant, her rift with her best friend, a slowly evolving backstory for the schoolmarm, and the somewhat odd-fitting appearances of an inspirational figure named the Painted Lady (played by Parton), who shows up to inspire young Dolly to not give up on her dreams. The end result is less refined than it could be, but even this can't upend this family movie's truly wonderful themes about family and faith.

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