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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mule-Tide Christmas, also known as In the Land of Magic, is a holiday-themed flick about saving Christmas. Although this seasonal flick is fairly clean, it does have some mild name-calling, a little rude humor, and some mild violence (hitting and shoving) that may be concerning to some parents. There's also a somewhat creepy goblin character and one scene of peril that may be too scary for sensitive young viewers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Andy, who's training to be Santa's helper, is left alone to clean Santa's workshop. Sick of cleaning, Andy goes against Santa's direct orders and lets out the Imp of Mischief, who has been locked up by Santa. Instead of helping Andy as promised, the Imp escapes into the village to cause trouble. As the town starts setting up for the Christmas season, tensions begin to run high as everything starts to go wrong. Christmas lights go missing, doughnuts are poisoned, and someone glues the priest to his seat. Are the villagers out to get each other, or is it really the Imp at work? With the mayor threatening to cancel Christmas, Andy, with help from Santa and his trusty mule Napo, must try to capture the Imp and save the holiday.
Is it any good?
The title of this awkward flick is doubly misleading. First, the mule, who is billed as being the main character, is a small, annoying side character who doesn't really add much to the plot. And second, despite the inclusion of Santa Claus and the references to decorating for Christmas, there's a decided lack of Christmas cheer in the film. The existence of Santa and the holiday season feel like they were tacked on to add interest, but they feel almost like an afterthought. Altogether, there's something odd and clunky about the film, which drags and feels a bit dreary. The emphasis is mostly on people being mad at each other, which gets old pretty fast.
If you're looking for a fun, seasonal flick, this is one you can safely skip.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the misunderstandings in the film. Why do you think the characters jumped to conclusions and assumed their neighbors were being unkind?
Do you think this is an enjoyable holiday movie? What elements do you think are necessary for a successful holiday film?
What's your favorite holiday movie? Why is it your favorite?
For kids who love the holidays
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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.