Little Brother, Big Trouble: A Christmas Adventure Movie Poster Image

Little Brother, Big Trouble: A Christmas Adventure

Cute holiday film; some scares, suspense, and family issues.
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 77 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Promotes honesty, responsibility, and loyalty. Encourages and shows how healthy relationships can be created in a newly formed family (stepparents, siblings, etc.), even though change is sometimes difficult. Basic premise is that everyone should have a "happy heart."

Positive role models

Parents are caring, responsible, and loving throughout. Though initially suspicious and jealous, Niko learns to be a good big brother. The savage villain is a wolf, reinforcing a fairy tale stereotype.

Violence & scariness

Lots of cartoon jeopardy, action, and suspense. Birds of prey carry off innocent animals in multiple scenes. A vicious, sharp-toothed wolf is bent on revenge; she threatens, chases, and tries to kill the film's heroes. There are lengthy chases, falls, spooky hiding places, traps, and scary moments of heroes in captivity. Ultimately, there are no serious injuries or deaths; the villain's comeuppance is comic. 

Sexy stuff

Romance blooms between reindeer. Niko's mom surprises the young reindeer with a baby sister fathered by Lenny, her new love.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated Finnish film (re-voiced for English-speaking audiences) is a sequel to 2008's The Flight Before Christmas and includes a very scary wolf, small creatures in jeopardy, lots of spooky/suspenseful scenes, and frequent cartoon action (falls, captures, threats). It's best suited for kids who are clear about the differences between real and pretend violence. The film includes important messages about telling the truth, taking responsibility for one's actions, and the value of community. Central to the story is a family of reindeer who must resolve the hurts and stresses of parents who live apart and then begin to integrate new members into their family unit.

What's the story?

Niko, an intrepid young reindeer, has great fun on a pre-Christmas visit with his dad, who just happens to be Prancer, one of Santa's exciting and famous "Flying Forces." Returning home to his mom's, however, brings big news and BIG changes. Niko's mom has found a new partner and along with him, Johnny, a new little brother. Happily, Oona tells her son, they're all going to be a family. But Niko isn't at all happy. In fact, his anger and irresponsible behavior results in little Johnny's being carried off in the talons of an eagle. The little reindeer is in great danger. Niko, ashamed and frightened, sets out with some furry friends to find Johnny. Their quest sends them into the lair of an evil wolf, desperate to avenge her brother's death at the hands of Niko (in an earlier movie adventure). When Santa's Flying Forces get involved and are captured, Niko finds that it's up to him to rescue everyone, redeem his bad behavior, and save the day.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Charming heroes, funny sidekicks, and a loving family navigating difficult transitions are all part of this warmhearted story for kids who can distinguishing cartoon violence from real jeopardy. Divorce, remarriage, and blending new families move the story forward; these concepts are presented in a simple, clear-eyed manner, with empathy for all involved. Still, the scary wolf, the often funny but dangerous army of eagles, and the heroes' numerous near-disastrous adventures may be frightening to younger kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss Little Brother, Big Trouble as a sequel -- the continuation of an earlier film's story. Would it have helped you to know who Black Wolf was and why his sister hated Niko? Why is it important for the sequel's filmmaker to tell us about what has happened before?

  • Belonging is very important in this movie. Besides Niko's family, what are the different communities in this story? What did Niko learn about belonging? What did Tobias discover?

  • Niko has to accept his parents' separation and his mom's remarriage; it affects everyone in the family. Name some other events that might impact a family (i.e., new baby, new job, moving). How have you and your family dealt with a major change?

Movie details

DVD/Streaming release date:October 12, 2012
Cast:Darragh Kelly, Matthew Boyle, Ned Dennehy
Directors:Jorgen Lerdam, Kari Juusonen
Studio:A. Film
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Holidays
Run time:77 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Little Brother, Big Trouble: A Christmas Adventure was written by

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySATURNaTDAwN September 25, 2015

Wonderful Christmas movie

This was a wonderfully animated Christmas movie and one of the best Christmas movies out there
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byREVIEWGUY101 September 9, 2016

Beautifully animated better than Disney

This was a good movie the animation was on par with even that of Disney has like able characters from the squirrel to the main villain little brother big trouble is a holiday classic you don't want to miss
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byBlueRIVER September 24, 2015

That is what I call a Christmas movie

This was a cool Christmas movie God characters and awesome villains and heros
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models