Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star

 
Sweet sequel's friendly messages outshine product tie-ins.
  • Review Date: November 23, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 30 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

The story intends to entertain rather than to educate, but there are positive messages about being a good friend and appreciating the relationships in our lives.

Positive messages

Kids see Sofia learn to embrace change with the help of new friends and a loving family. The story celebrates the bonds that unite people and their four-legged friends as well. A boy teases Sofia for being different, but when she extends an olive branch to him, he changes his tone.

Positive role models

Sofia's parents encourage her to express her feelings and give sound advice when she's feeling down. Andrew models positive traits like compassion and empathy. A multicultural cast of characters includes a Latino family.

Violence & scariness

There are a few scary moments when Andrew and Sofia wander lost in a snowstorm and can't find their way home, but it all turns out OK.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The special is inspired by Jingle, a Hallmark character brought to life in a previous animated story, book, and interactive stuffed toy. The story also includes a version of "Jingle Bells" sung by Keith Urban.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star is a sequel to Hallmark's Jingle All the Way and stars the same adorable puppy whose face graces greeting cards, books, and a heavily marketed interactive plush replica in Hallmark stores. The story introduces new characters who are equally darling and, in the case of Bell, she is accompanied by her own line of Hallmark merchandise. Kids will see couple of instances of bullying when a classmate laughs at Sofia because her hobbies aren't common in Pineville, but Sofia's kindness eventually melts his iciness toward her, and some tense moments when the kids are lost in a snowstorm have a similar happy outcome. Ultimately, though, it's the story's presentation of friends and family as the holiday's best gifts that will make the biggest impression on viewers young and old.

Kids say

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What's the story?

In JINGLE AND BELL'S CHRISTMAS STAR, happy husky pup Jingle (voiced by Thomas Stroppel) and his best friend, Andrew (Ryan Bley), make new friends when Sofia (Ami Shalabh) and her pup, Bell (Julie Reiter), move in next door. Sofia's not excited about the move that took her away from her friends and sunny Palm City just in time for a snowy Christmas in Pineville, but Andrew goes out of his way to make her feel welcome in her new home, and together the two learn about the true spirit of the holiday.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star follows Hallmark Channel's well-received holiday special, Jingle All the Way, with similar animation and an equally heartwarming story that will delight fans. Andrew is a model of friendship, compassion, and thoughtfulness, and his efforts are rewarded in Sofia's eventual adjustment to her new surroundings. Even better, the fact that the story coincides with the holiday season is a great reminder to cherish the relationships with family and friends that make this time of year so special.

Jingle -- and now Bell -- are heavily marketed images in Hallmark retailers, so if your kids do fall in love with these darling huskies, they might find a similar draw to the toys and books that bear their images. Product placement aside, though, this is a sweet tale of friendship and love that celebrates the most basic Christmas joy -- spending time with those you love.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their holiday traditions. With whom do you spend Christmas? What makes this time of year so special for your family? How do your traditions reflect your family's faith, values, and heritage?

  • Kids: Why does Sofia have a difficult time adjusting to her new town? How does she feel when she first moves there? How does Andrew help make her happy?

  • Have you seen Jingle and Bell toys or books in stores? Does seeing the characters in this story make you like them more? Who are your favorite TV or movie characters? Do you have any products with their faces on them?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 23, 2012
Cast:Ami Shalabh, Ryan Bley, Thomas Stroppel
Director:Chel White
Studio:Hallmark Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters, Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Holidays
Run time:30 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byViannaR January 25, 2015
age 3+
 

Utter sweetness

The Hallmark Channel gets it right for littles! We are so starved for wholesomeness. I so hope they make more of these films and more like them. The hand-made quality and the details are lovely and heartwarming--think Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer style stop-motion animation, but more refined and updated. My five-stars is not a rating in the sense that it's a masterpiece, but in the sense that it provides perfectly appropriate entertainment for the preschool to six crowd, and peace of mind for the parents who won't regret allowing these images and storyline to enter into their children's minds and imaginations. That, and it's very well-done technically and artistically. Beautiful :-)
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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