A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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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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?
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