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Parents' Guide to

Ernest Saves Christmas

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Goofy holiday movie is OK fun for families, knowwhatImean?

Movie PG 2002 91 minutes
Ernest Saves Christmas Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 2+

Classic Ernest

There is nothing to dislike. This is classic Ernest. He's a bumbling idiot who saves the day once again. I recommend this to everyone to enjoy as soon as Thanksgiving Dinner is over.

This title has:

Great messages
age 12+

Love Ernest movies, but it “questions” Santa too many times.

As much as Ernest movies are classics in my view, I wish Common Sense Media would have a separate column for Christmas movies and how often Santa’s existence and those who believe in him are questioned. To all parents reading this, this topic comes up at least 5 times throughout the movie. You may want to hold off a few years before reliving your own childhood Ernest memories.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (3 ):

There's no sex, violence, or language to speak of, which makes Ernest Saves Christmas a fairly safe, if not exactly heartwarming, option for families. Varney's simple-minded alter ego was a mainstay during the '80s and '90s, when Ernest entertained his fans in numerous movies, commercials, and a short-lived TV show. Your kids probably won't know who he is, but they might recognize his voice from the first two Toy Story movies, for which he provided the voice of Slinky Dog. Whether you love or hate his slapstick-style humor, rubbery facial expressions, and litany of misinterpreted quotes ("What we have here is a failure to accumulate"), it's impossible not to be struck by what's obviously lacking in this holiday comedy: iffy content.

What will stand out most to parents is the movie's unabashed brand placement that gives air time to deep-pocketed players like Coca-Cola (whose products Varney/Ernest promoted throughout his career), Nissan, Bic, and, briefly, Bud Light. It's not frequent enough to be distasteful, but there's no denying the movie's motivation in including them in such an unavoidable way.

Movie Details

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