A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the premise of MAGIC GIFT OF THE SNOWMAN is that a young girl is extremely ill (with an unspecified illness) and may die if she doesn't get better in the next few days before Christmas. However, that set-up only takes a few moments of the film, and the remainder involves her brother's attempts to cheer her up and help her get well. Some parents may take issue with the notion of a film that instills the belief that thinking positively can magically correct illness, but the overarching messages are positive. There also are a few scary monsters that show up for battle in the magic kingdom, including one destroyed by fire, but it's brief and no actual injury is shown.
What's the story?
Emery Elizabeth (Chera Bailey) is a very sick kid, and her brother Landon is determined to give her a reason to fight her illness -- and to cheer her up. He invents the story of a cool snowman named Snowden who comes to life and takes the two on an adventure to the magical kingdom of Princess Electra, where children play all day long and no grown-ups are allowed, and, with each installment of the story, he helps his sister eat better and get rest.
Is it any good?
MAGIC GIFT OF THE SNOWMAN has a pretty intense premise: A young boy's sister is dying of an unspecified illness. But the film isn't fixated there and, instead, spends its time showing her brother's valiant efforts to care for her, get her to rest, and cheer her up.
For kids who enjoy snowmen and Christmas cheer, it's an entertaining-enough short film. For parents who are comfortable with the premise of illness and the promise of positive thinking trumping disease, it offers some sweet lessons about sibling love, caring, and the importance of attitude.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about illness. Have you ever been sick? What made you feel better? What sorts of things can we do to help others feel better when they're sick?
The snowman teaches Landon and Emery how important attitude is in determining how we feel. Can you think of a time when having a good attitude made you feel better about something you didn't want to do or something that hurt?
Have you ever been too scared to try something new? What was it? What happened?
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