Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh

 
(i)

 

Stepbrothers' hijinks are jolly -- just not very realistic.
  • Review Date: December 5, 2008
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The teens have no adult supervision and are left to fend for themselves as they're hauled off to jail, stand trial, and get harassed by a vindictive parole officer. Well-intentioned Josh is often the brunt of jokes for his level-headedness and sense of responsibility, and he often winds up the scapegoat for Drake's misguided plans. The guys suffer little consequence for irresponsible (and unrealistic) behavior like not wearing seatbelts, driving erratically, and giving a chimpanzee as a gift.

Violence

Drake and Josh often slap each other around during their typical sibling arguments, but it's all in good humor and never leads to injury. Other painful content is exaggerated for humor as well, including a fall from a building, a handful of head traumas, and a boy's victimization by a violent monkey, who scratches, hits, and urinates on him.

Sex

Ladies' man Drake exchanges passionate kisses with two different girls and in one scene is chased through a shopping mall by another would-be romantic interest. At one point the teens are roughed up by a group of thugs who steal their clothes, forcing them to walk home nude (though nothing's shown below the chest).

Language

Megan often calls her brothers "boobs" when they make her angry.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some young viewers who watch this made-for-TV holiday movie starring the cast of Nickelodeon's hit series Drake & Josh may need a reality check afterward. Older tweens will understand the fantasy nature of what they see, but littler kids may need a few reminders about responsible teen
behavior. As in the sitcom, responsible Josh repeatedly falls victim to his impulsive stepbrother's antics, and while the situations are always spun for laughs, this time Josh lands in federal prison -- and both teens wind up in court. Felonies aside, even some of the guys' everyday actions are pretty iffy, including driving erratically, not wearing seatbelts, and lying to make their sister help them evade a parole officer. Predictably, none of this behavior results in any relatable, lasting consequences. But at least there's no swearing, drinking, or sex (other than a couple of kisses), either!

What's the story?

With their parents away on a tropical vacation, stepbrothers Drake Parker (Drake Bell) and Josh Nichols (Josh Peck) are left to fend for themselves for the holidays. Ever the traditionalist, Josh's plans include baking cookies and singing carols, but a mishap at Drake's rooftop holiday party lands him in the slammer instead. When Drake is caught trying to break Josh out, both teens face hard time, but the judge (Henry Winkler) suspends their sentence pending their promise to fulfill a young girl's (Bailee Madison) holiday wish for her foster family. With a vindictive parole officer on their tail, the guys are hard-pressed to spread holiday joy, but with a little help from crafty sister Megan (Miranda Cosgrove), Josh's wacky co-worker Crazy Steve (Jerry Trainor), and a big-hearted ex-con named Bludge (Kimbo Slice), the brothers might uncover the true Christmas spirit after all.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Bell and Peck won over young fans with their comic portrayal of mismatched stepbrothers during Drake & Josh's four-year run, earning the show two Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite TV Show. MERRY CHRISTMAS, DRAKE & JOSH will surely please the duo's established tween fans by reuniting the entire original cast and not missing a beat with the characters' trademark tomfoolery. Add to that some holiday fun, the spirit of giving, and a couple of toe-tapping tunes from charming guitarist Drake, and it's sure to appeal to the tween crowd.

That said, despite the fact that Drake and Josh are now seasoned teens (apparently old enough to be trusted at home alone, anyway), they indulge in a fair bit of iffy behavior in the name of comedy, including driving erratically, not wearing seatbelts, evading a law officer, and breaking into a federal prison. In the real world, most of the brothers' actions would result in far more serious consequences than they suffer in sanitized TV land. Older tweens can probably put the exaggerated content (and, at times, acting) into context, but if they're not already fans, they may be turned off by the corny plot and overacting. If your kids do end up watching, it's worth having a talk afterward about responsible behavior and real-life repercussions.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media portrays teens. Do you think this movie gives an accurate impression of teen life? Why or why not? How are Drake and Josh's circumstances different from yours? How are they the same? Do you think the media tends to stereotype teen roles? What other shows do you watch with teen characters? How do their actions compare to Drake and Josh's? Do you find any to be more believable than others? Which ones?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 5, 2008
DVD release date:December 19, 2008
Cast:Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Miranda Cosgrove
Director:Michael Grossman
Studio:Nickelodeon
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Book characters, Holidays
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh 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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Educator and Parent Written bychristian-witness June 28, 2012
 

very good

no swearing, drinking, or sex (other than a couple of kisses) Older tweens will understand the fantasy nature of what they see, but littler kids may need a few reminders about responsible teen behavior. As in the sitcom, responsible Josh repeatedly falls victim to his impulsive stepbrother's antics, and while the situations are always spun for laughs, this time Josh lands in federal prison -- and both teens wind up in court. Felonies aside, even some of the guys' everyday actions are pretty iffy, including driving erratically, not wearing seatbelts, and lying to make their sister help them evade a parole officer. Predictably, none of this behavior results in any relatable, lasting consequences.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old March 27, 2012
 

Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh is a good and bad movie

this movie is fine for kids 9 and up because the part were the go to jail is disturbing and some action is in there and has dating but this movie is good
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 11 years old January 30, 2012
 

Reccomended

I love the show and love the movie and think it is really good. I do understand some complaints, but otherwise......
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex

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