A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate.
What it means to be part of a warm, loving family, and to respect your parents and elders. The importance of understanding when you must take responsibility and the dangers of being impulsive. The value of kindness, generosity, and selflessness -- and the negative impact of greed and entitlement. Adults and kids work together as a team, collaborating, and showing loyalty.
Positive Role Models
Though undeniably privileged, Richie is generally well-mannered and respectful, loving toward his parents and appreciative of everything he has. In contrast, Reggie is obnoxious, devious, and entitled -- which highlights how pleasant Richie is. Butler-cum-friend Cadbury is loyal, supportive, and caring. Richie's friend Gloria is confident and capable.
Almost no diversity in a story about rich White folk -- the vast proportion of whom are male. Female characters are largely limited to moms or other maternal figures, with two supporting characters portrayed as likable but objectified "bimbos." Stereotypes include flirty female backing singers, a "madcap" scientist, and Brits with exaggerated accents taking high tea.
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Violence & Scariness
Several scenes involve slapstick fights and chases including an out-of-control sleigh crashing down a street, narrowly missing lots of people -- it then flies off a cliff and the passengers are forced to leap to safety. Mild peril when Richie is sucked into a wishing machine. A sinister robot shoots fire from its mouth and later pursues the kids.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adult twins -- wearing tight mini dresses and lots of make-up -- flirt with 12-year-old Richie. Later the camera pans up from their feet, showing their bare legs.
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"Party pooper," "idiot," "numbskull," "butt," and "stupid."
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Products & Purchases
Unlike in the original Richie Rich movie this sequel features no product placement. But the trappings of wealth are integral to the story.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One scene in which characters drink champagne.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Richie Rich's Christmas Wish is a gentle if somewhat bland family comedy that manages to avoid glamorizing wealth despite being all about the richest boy in the world. A sequel to the Macaulay Culkin movie Richie Rich, this version has a whole new cast and less persuasive storyline. But the humor is comparably silly, the messages are largely positive, and there's not the bombardment of product placements that there were in the first movie. Themes include the value of family and friendship, what it means to be respectful and generous, and the negative impact of greed and selfishness. No iffy language -- "idiot," and "numbskull" are as bad as it get -- and just a few mildly scary moments that are more exciting than perilous make this very family friendly. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If you're in the market for a second-rate combination of Back to the Future and It's a Wonderful Life with some slapstick action thrown in, then you're in luck. Richie Rich's Christmas Wish is a farcical adventure with parallel universe morality messages and distinctly made-for-TV production values. But that's not to say it's completely devoid of the entertainment factor.
Richie himself is actually quite a pleasant kid. Notwithstanding a smidgen of self pity and unavoidable privilege, he has good intentions and learns some valuable lessons. The plotline is frequently implausible but is delivered with enthusiasm and tongue-in-cheek humor, and though kids will find the special effects hilarious (for the wrong reasons) the overall takeaway is just about jolly and festive enough to warrant a holiday viewing.
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.