Elmo's Christmas Countdown



Star-studded holiday fun for the whole family.
  • Review Date: December 20, 2007
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 60 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn lessons about working together, but it's more about entertainment than education.

Positive messages

Promotes teamwork and a positive attitude.

Positive role models

Elmo and his friends are positive and helpful, offering good role models to kids.

Violence & scariness

A couple of character collisions that don't result in injury (SuperGrover crash lands into Stiller the Elf, for example).

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that young Sesame Street fans will no doubt love this holiday special's story and age-appropriate pacing, while parents will appreciate the collective talent of the musical guests. Though there are few overt learning opportunities here, it's a worry-free way to enjoy some family-friendly holiday TV time with your kids.

What's the story?

In ELMO'S CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN, the loss of a traditional magical object could spell disaster for the upcoming holiday, so it's up to Elmo and his friends to recover the pieces and save Christmas for everyone. The trouble starts when the 10 numbered boxes that make up Stiller the Elf's (voiced by Ben Stiller) tree-shaped Christmas Counter-Downer -- which ticks off time before the holiday arrives -- are scattered, and he all but gives up hope of the holiday coming at all. But for Elmo (Kevin Clash), nothing is impossible. With the help of his fairy-in-training sidekick Abby Cadabby (Leslie Carrara), Elmo sets out to recover the boxes and reassemble the Counter-Downer so Christmas can come on schedule.

Is it any good?


While there's little outright educational quality to Elmo's Christmas Countdown, it's still a great choice to cuddle up in front of with your kids over the holidays. With fun original songs and memorable new spins on classic holiday tunes, it's sure to put kids in the Christmas spirit. And for grown-ups, cameos from personalities like newsman Charles Gibson and Sopranos stars Steve Schirippa and Tony Sirico -- who participate in a chuckle-worthy live-action scene starring roomies Ernie and Bert -- make it more fun than the average preschool DVD. Plus, special guests like Jennifer Hudson, Sheryl Crow, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, and Jamie Foxx stop by to help out with the festivities.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the holidays and the spirit of giving. Which characters help Stiller and Elmo recover the lost boxes? Did they ask for anything in return? Why not? Why does it make them feel so good to help out?

  • Kids: How do you help your friends and family? Do people make more of an effort to help others during the holidays? Why?

  • How does it feel to give someone a gift? How else can you show someone that you care?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 23, 2007
DVD release date:October 14, 2008
Cast:Ben Stiller, Kevin Clash, Leslie Carrara
Director:Gary Halvorson
Studio:Genius Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:60 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Elmo's Christmas Countdown was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old April 23, 2011

Love it!!!

Most educational show I have ever seen! I watch it every December when it is time to get ready for Christmas.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byLowe's man November 17, 2013

fun for all

I will admit to only having seen this special when it first aired on PBS in December 2007, and to only having seen it once, so my memory of this special may be fuzzy. Having said that, I'll tell you what little I remember. It's about teamowrk, cooperation and working together toward a goal. Moreover, the songs are uplifting. In true SESAME STREET style, this special is fun for kids, while adults will appreciate the plot as well and will also revel in the nostalgia.
Parent of a 2 year old Written byjuliet7 November 24, 2009
What other families should know
Educational value


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