Gotta Catch Santa Claus Movie Poster Image

Gotta Catch Santa Claus

(i)

 

Upbeat holiday package without much in the box.
  • Review Date: October 12, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 66 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A mix of messages. The primary one is that science isn't always right and magic has an important place in childhood. Also, bullies are sometimes just people with problems -- in this case, the ice monster felt neglected by Santa and lashed out at him. But less positive are the confusing messages about junk food (Santa eats tons of donuts and hides his indulgences from his wife), women (Mrs. Claus is skinny, busty, and wears skin-tight clothes while cavorting provocatively), and friendship (Trevor locks his friend in a shed when she tries to get in his way).

Positive role models

Trevor is determined to prove his point. But he lies, mildly, to his parents in the process without repercussion. Santa shows generosity even to his enemies. The twin friends are nerdy stereotypes, but adorable, and their smarts are played up rather than made fun of.

Violence & scariness

The main villain is an ice monster with a menacing appearance. He shoots snow out of his hands, roars angrily, and threatens Santa and kids. But he doesn't hurt anyone, or destroy much, and in the end he turns out to be a sweet guy.

Sexy stuff

Very mild flirting between tween boy and girl. She kisses him on the cheek in the end. Parents snuggle.

Language

A few insults directed mostly at bad guys, like "ugly" and "pathetic."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this CGI-animated movie ponders the existence of Santa Claus. The bad guys are an ice monster and his three evil snowmen sidekicks, and these characters, while silly and relatively harmless, threaten Santa Claus and make a lot of noise in the process. The youngest viewers might get upset by this. Also, the main characters -- a tween boy and girl -- have a mildly romantic relationship that results in a kiss on the cheek.

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What's the story?

When Trevor (voiced by Cory Doran) finds out that his friend Veronica (Lisa Lennox) doesn't believe in Santa Claus, he sets out to prove his existence. With the help of his two nerdy friends, he hatches a plan to swipe Santa out of the sky using a laser beam. At the same time, an ice monster named LeFreeze and his evil snowmen are trying to stop Santa from spreading his holiday cheer. After Trevor and his friends are successful, they and Santa briefly battle LeFreeze until they find out the reason why LeFreeze is so bitter in the first place. Once that's settled, everyone is happy again and Christmas proceeds as planned.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

While the movie does have some unique elements, including an emphasis on science and several funny musical numbers, the overall tale is sort of blah. Never does Santa or Christmas actually seem threatened, and while the characters are pleasant and somewhat unconventional, they don't evolve in any remarkable way over the course of the story. The movie certainly has a lot of energy though, and this will be enough to keep most kids engaged.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about science versus magic. What are some things that you believe in even though you can't prove their existence? Is science ever wrong? When can science be really useful, and when is it not?

  • Talk about myths. What are some myths or legends in our culture? Are there any legends in your family or school? What is the value of myth in our world?

  • Talk about junk food. Santa eats a lot of donuts in this movie, and he struggles with physical activity sometimes. What is the movie saying about eating donuts and other junk food? Why does Mrs. Claus not want Santa to eat so many donuts? Why is Santa still eating donuts even though his wife and friends don't want him to?

Movie details

DVD release date:October 13, 2009
Cast:Cory Doran, Lisa Lennox, William Shatner
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:66 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Gotta Catch Santa Claus was written by

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