Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Despite poverty the residents of January Junction find joy in creative ways during the Christmas holiday. Heroism, bravery, and sacrifice are all on display.
Violence & Scariness
Scenes of comic peril mild enough for even young viewers.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Story has a romantic bent, but a knight kissing a fair maiden's hand is as demonstrative as it gets.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this isn't a Christmas tale per se, but a winter story that revolves around unrequited love and heroic acts, with a dollop of Russian peasant repression for good measure. Mild battle scenes occur, but their stop-action animation style prevent them from being too scary. An explanation of what a Russian Cossack is may be helpful to younger children in understanding the villain. Workers in Father Time's realm are called "gypsies." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Overall, the movie is a bit convoluted, and there are so many secondary characters introduced and never seen again that it's hard to keep track. Though the animation is as good as one expects from a Rankin/Bass production, the songs that accompany the action aren't particularly memorable. The movie ends on a poignant note, and some viewers may wonder if Elisa has made the right choice.
The movie may seem like a Christmas story, but it actually opens with an extended riff about Groundhog Day and a bargain that Jack Frost has made to extend winter for as long as possible. Christmas plays only a small role in the movie so families looking for alternatives to Christmas movies could incorporate this into their viewing. However, in the 2008 edition there is an easy-to-follow special feature on making holiday gifts.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate