Parents' Guide to

How Murray Saved Christmas

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Slightly edgy Christmas special makes Santa a grump.

Movie NR 2014 42 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 12+

Dr. Seuss rip off

Dr. Seuss rip off That’s all I can see when I’m watching this and they even make a reference to that when they’re loading the sleigh near the beginning and they really make Santa look bad in this with the elves which is horrible it is kind of funny though but so horrible all right in the world
age 11+

A Very Strange Christmas Special.

It started slow but hit it's stride when Murray shares his past. Little kids may not get the humor.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (4):

You'd think that with a hilarious writer adapting his own material, this holiday special would become a classic -- but sadly, no. Murray comes with a pedigree: It's written and executive-produced by Mike Reiss (The Simpsons), who also wrote the best-selling children's book of the same name. But the charm of Reiss' book is lost in its translation to the screen, with characters who come off as sour and unfunny rather than odd but lovable. Perhaps the problem is that the special opted for a more mainstream animation style that doesn't look like the eccentric, stylish drawings of David Catrow, Murray-the-book's illustrator. And the plot is a mash-up of Christmas tropes you'll recognize from other, better holiday movies: The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Elf.

But, although these holiday movies and specials found fresh things to say about the season and its celebrations, Murray doesn't. Some of the jokes are cringe-worthy: Murray sings he's "gay gay gay" but "not that way," and Santa's elves complain that they're serving in a sweatshop without life insurance but are still cheaper than Chinese manufacturers. Other gags, such as a Christmas-themed Google-send-up search engine called "Bingle" that features the visage of Bing Crosby, are sharper yet destined to date quickly. A 9-year-old or a younger child will probably laugh at jokes about "tushies" and getting "sleigh-sick"; adults will wait impatiently for the special to be over.

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