DreamWorks Home: For the Holidays
By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sweet, silly holiday special will make young kids giggle.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will love this show's goofy wordplay, where the Boov define carolers as "harmonic hollerers," candy canes as "curly canes," and raincoats as "hazardous weather protection suits." The science of the show is wonky, though, with gravitational anomalies and impossible events like a flood of cocoa that fills up a city and then is easily sucked away.
This holiday special is sillier and more absurd than most, but it focuses on classic holiday emotions: The magic of Christmas doesn't come from presents, or decorations, or yummy treats, it comes from togetherness and traditions that we only experience this time of year.
Positive Role Models
Characters are voiced by a diverse cast, have many different skin tones (including purple and pink!), and young girls and women have strong roles. Tip is particularly confident -- at one point, she tells Oh not to "sad cry"; he asks what other kinds of cries there are. "Battle cry!" she says fiercely. The special also features Jewish characters who sing songs about Hanukkah and talk rapturously about their own holiday traditions. On the other hand, one character, Sharzod, is voiced by a man and is played as a stereotype of a shallow female who has a song with hunky muscle men who shower her with jewelry.
Violence & Scariness
There's some antisocial behavior in this sweet special: Fox and his Boov-Out Boys blow snow in Tip and Oh's faces; Boov misunderstanding the spirit of the holidays throw gifts into a ditch or hit people in the face with them. Oh is also stepped on by a giant robot-like creature (he isn't harmed), and tsunami-like waves of cocoa destroy buildings (though no one is shown getting hurt).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Very mild innuendo in a song where a female alien sings about how much she enjoys the company of hunky men.
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No cursing, but a song involves repeating the word "dang" many times. There are some slightly hurtful things said too, like when Tip tells Oh, "You and the Boovs ruined Christmas."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Home: For the Holidays stars characters from the movie Home and the related TV show Home: Adventures with Tip and Oh. This holiday special is pleasantly absurd and fun, and contains many positive messages and only mild negative ones. The cast of voice actors is diverse, and female characters, including a plucky young girl, have strong roles with agency. There are strong messages of tolerance and acceptance too, with Jewish characters singing and talking happily about Hanukkah traditions, and everyone celebrating happily together. There are a few moments where characters throw things at each other, and a hot cocoa tsunami floods a city (no one is hurt). A cat vomits out a tree-topper star and a Christmas ornament; a song repeats the word "dang" over and over. But by and large, this special is gentle, thoughtful, and kind-hearted, with sweet messages about traditions and togetherness.
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DreamWorks Home: For the Holidays
Based on 5 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
Continuing the Home tradition that began with a book (The True Meaning of Smekday) and then became a 2015 movie (Home) and a TV series (Home: Adventures with Tip and Oh), HOME: FOR THE HOLIDAYS finds Tip (Rachel Crow) excited about spending her first holiday season with her alien friend Oh (Mark Whitten). All the preparations make Oh so overjoyed that he wants to share Christmas with the rest of his people -- and that's when things go haywire. Can Tip and Oh stop the Boov from ruining Christmas, and learn how to bring the heart back into their celebration?
Is It Any Good?
With absurd, kid-pleasing humor, genuinely catchy and fun songs, and appealing and diverse voice talent, this holiday special is a winner. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the Boov's fractured takes on holiday traditions in Home: For the Holidays. In one tune, they sing about the joys of pulling "socks off humans' feet," and filling them "full of Christmas meat," and of Santa letting you sit on his lap and granting you a bushy beard if you're good. Ask kids to point out what the Boov get wrong: They made a snowman out of old tires! They kiss a reindeer! Carols are "harmonic hollering"!
The plot basically revolves around the Boov, Tip, and everyone else learning the true meaning of Christmas, through the device of a holiday special -- featuring Ben Schwartz and Kelly Clarkson! -- that goes cosmically wrong before everyone pulls together to make things right. But it's all an excuse to gently send up holiday icons, and to be very silly, and kids will love it. We wouldn't be surprised if your kids start shouting out "Bells of aggression!" when they hear a holiday charity bell-ringer in front of a store, or if they want to add this show to the traditional holiday special rotation.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Home: For the Holidays' messages about holiday spirit. How does the movie demonstrate that it's important to have a time of the year when people come together for celebration?
If you've read the book this special is based on, how do they compare? Which do you like better, and why?
- In theaters: December 1, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: October 2, 2018
- Cast: Kelly Clarkson, Rachel Crow, Mark Whitten
- Director: Blake Lemons
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studios: Netflix, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Holidays
- Run time: 45 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 27, 2022
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