In Search of Santa Movie Poster Image

In Search of Santa



Christmas adventure has some harsh, mean-spirited moments.
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 80 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

In Search of Santa teaches about different arctic animals, orienting direction by compass, and legal proceedings.

Positive messages

The film promotes the importance of curiosity, knowledge, honesty, loyalty, and facing one's fears.

Positive role models

Characters are very simplistic, and largely nice or mean. Some adult characters are kind and present; others are unreliable and mean-spirited.

Violence & scariness

There is some emotional and physical peril as the sisters face some mean adults and dodge seals, polar bears, sword-wielding pirates, and skeptical penguins, all while navigating the open sea on their journey. 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

There's no profanity, but some characters insult or taunt other characters in demeaning ways, telling them they are ugly, stupid, liars, greedy, or not good enough. A character tells her sister she hates her. An adult tells a child she is an insufferable brat.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that part of the plot of In Search of Santa involves a central debate over whether or not Santa Claus is real. Additionally, there are some mean-spirited adult characters who are a bit more emotionally caustic than may be appropriate for younger kids, as well as some sustained emotional and physical peril throughout the film. Some characters insult or taunt other characters in demeaning ways, telling them they are ugly, stupid, liars, greedy, or not good enough. A character tells her sister she hates her. An adult tells a child she is an insufferable brat.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Princess penguin sisters Crystal (voiced by Hilary Duff) and Lucinda (voiced by older sister Haylie Duff) hit the ice to prove Santa is real, dodging wild animals, pirates, and the open sea on the road. Along the way, they will discover just what it means to truly believe.

Is it any good?


With 2004-era CGI that looks like a cheap video game, this penguin-populated Santa tale looks dated and drags a bit. With its handful of characters who are a bit too mean-spirited and sisters who remain rivals for the better part of the film, it may be a bit harsh for younger kids.

That said, kids may enjoy the pure spectacle of the tale: animated penguins, ice adventures, and the anticipation of Santa. But parents will want to monitor reactions to those harsh insults, and otherwise may need a bit of patience to sit through this poor-quality, convoluted story that mish-mashes pirates, penguins, and Santa in one sloppy mess.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about beliefs. Do you celebrate Christmas or believe in Santa? What rituals and beliefs are part of your family?

  • Have you ever had someone not believe you? What did it feel like? Were you able to convince them you were telling the truth?

  • Do you have siblings? Do you ever not get along? How do you fix things and make them better?

Movie details

DVD/Streaming release date:November 23, 2004
Cast:Haylie Duff, Hilary Duff, Kathleen Barr
Director:William R. Kowalchuk Jr.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Holidays
Run time:80 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of In Search of Santa was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?