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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This family holiday movie is meant to entertain rather than educate.
Having fun is more important than winning prizes. You can do anything if you believe it can be done, if you believe in yourself, and if you believe in your friends. It's easy to get caught up in holiday frenzy, but a climactic musical number admonishes, "Don't forget about the baby born in the hay."
Positive Role Models
Mr. Peterson is a rule follower at first but learns to lighten up and eventually becomes willing to try even the craziest schemes. Mr. Poppy is a free spirit who never really grew up. His child-like enthusiasm and wonder make learning fun for the kids, and he blindly, crazily keeps going against all odds, sure that everything will work out fine. There are no real villains, but Mr. Peterson's father and brother disapprove of his teaching career choice and are emotionally distant. The brother, Roderick, and another rival choirmaster each play a dirty trick to get the advantage in a contest, which in the end doesn't work, and they see the error of their ways. The children are a group of lovable misfits who bravely overcome obstacles to achieve their goal.
Violence & Scariness
The violence is slapstick and played for laughs. Among the adults, there are some light slaps on the face and a bite on the arm during a struggle, and one hits another in the back with a clipboard. Kids playing with what appear to be lightweight tubes as sticks gang up on and lightly hit an adult, who is playing with them, in pretend swordplay. One sequence has Mr. Peterson and a student in danger of falling from a cliff, which is safely resolved.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adults kiss each other four or five times on the cheeks and lips, platonically and in celebration. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson kiss on the lips once or twice, also in celebration. Elementary school-age children witness childbirth, which isn't shown directly but includes grunting, yelling, and reaction shots.
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Early classroom shenanigans involve abundant use of "poo" (including showing some joke-shop fake poo) and plenty of references to farting, but the potty humor is left behind before long. In the context of changing diapers, "poo-poo" and "wee" are used a couple of times.
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Products & Purchases
Mr. Poppy is fleetingly shown carrying many cases of candy bars, and Peanut M&Ms are clearly visible. Justin Bieber is mentioned several times.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the title "Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger" is a bit deceptive. This standalone sequel to a 2009 U.K. Christmas movie, Nativity!, has very little danger, and none of what's there is in the manger. One sequence shows a teacher and student in danger of falling off a cliff, but it's safely resolved. "Poo" is used quite a few times, and the beginning is loaded with potty humor that quickly gets left behind. The holiday fun and hijinks are punctuated with positive messages about how you can do anything if you believe and about the importance of family and loved ones. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
NATIVITY 2: DANGER IN THE MANGER is a fun, madcap holiday adventure. The strongest appeal is probably to younger kids, who'll easily relate to the excellent cast of elementary school-age misfits, envy their zany teacher Mr. Poppy, and root for them to make their Christmas wishes come true. Belly laughs are in short supply for teens and adults, but Marc Wootton (Mr. Poppy) does an appealing turn channeling School of Rock, and David Tennant adds some charm as the straight man of the duo.
The pacing slows a bit when too much time is spent on the competitors' performances at the big show, but it probably won't bother kids who'll enjoy watching others their own age shine on a national stage. The script, acting, and music all are enjoyable, if not stellar. Although not destined to be a true classic, this fun holiday romp will leave you feeling full of cheer.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.