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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Characters sacrifice their own needs for those of others, suffering steep consequences in the process. A married couple repeatedly talks about how much they love each other and their children, a mantra that comes in handy when they're threatened.
Violence & Scariness
No direct violence, but a suprising amount of threatening imagery for a holiday special, from evil King Winterbolt to his malevolent Genie of the Ice Scepter to "rein-snakes" that menace Rudolph.
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Products & Purchases
There's lots of Frosty and Rudolph tie-in merchandise out there -- but most of it is tied to higher-profile specials.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a surprisingly dark tale, considering that it's part of the Rudolph and Frosty pantheon. Though it features beloved holiday characters, the complex plot and the villain's evil machinations -- which, while not overtly violent, put Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa in peril -- may make this iffy for the youngest kids. That said, the cheery Christmas carols interspersed throughout the story act as a welcome contrast to the sinister plot, and the characters learn lessons in the end. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For the most part, this '70s special is a better fit for a Halloween scare than Christmas comfort. Bringing all of the best-loved characters from Rankin and Bass's beloved holiday specials is a creative idea, but a complicated plot and scary imagery make this animated tale an iffy choice for the young audience at which it was presumably aimed. Cheerful Christmas songs -- punched up by secular hits like "Don't Let the Parade Pass You By" -- save it from being a total washout, but few kids will want to see Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph threatened with bodily harm over and over again.
The stop-motion animation and recognizable voice cast make the movie's style familiar, and the addition of Merman belting out tunes only improves it. The alternate world of Winterbolt's holiday, where the sleigh is pulled by hissing, slithering rein-snakes and the reindeer looks like he came off Skid Row, gets points for creativity.
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Our Editors Recommend
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.See how we rate