Parents' Guide to

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday

By Teresa Talerico, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Charming, turn-of-the-century American Girl tale.

Movie NR 2006 86 minutes
Samantha: An American Girl Holiday Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 3+

Ageless, Timeless & Classic

Loved this as a family movie so much I think we’ll make a tradition! It’s real life but not depressing, has comical relief and story speaks hope. Samatha is a great example of how to face hardship, be a true friend and help others. The ending is perfect!
age 8+

Seven year old very disturbed at the glimpse of factory life.

Writing review for my seven year old daughter: There is a scene where a boy gets hurt in the factory, and there was a little bit of blood. My daughter must be very sensitive because she ran into the other room crying because she was so sad that the boy got hurt. Not mentioned in any of the reviews. I think she was more surprised than anything, it was unexpected. Even the next day she's cross about having watched the movie- but more about the thought of kids having to work in factories and getting hurt. Very difficult to explain child labor to her, she's too young and barely understands what work is in the first place. I think she's too young to handle the realities of the suffering of the less fortunate. I think seven is too young for this movie. She has a lifetime ahead of her to shoulder the burdens of the evils of the world, I don't want to pop her bubble any more.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (15 ):

SAMANTHA: AN AMERICAN GIRL HOLIDAY beautifully brings to life both New York in the year 1904 and one of the dolls from the American Girl collection. Originally airing on TV, this story is a poignant portrait of a girl trying to make a difference. The obvious class difference between Samantha and her neighbors is handled skillfully in this movie, and Samantha understands how she can make a positive difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Indeed, the movie portrays Samantha as a role model for young girls. However, she is also a believable character who sometimes uses poor judgment, as when she convinces Nellie to sneak out for a turn-of-the-century sleepover in the boathouse, or when she nobly tries to rescue the three sisters from a grim orphanage.

The film also provides an interesting history lesson about this era by incorporating elements such as the opening of New York City's subway system and even the advent of bathroom showers. The movie has a strong social conscience, as well, evident in how Cornelia is portrayed as a suffragette working for a woman's right to vote, or how a sweatshop is depicted as a harsh environment that abuses the child-laborers it employs. Samantha becomes a "crusader" in her own right, organizing a coat drive for orphans and speaking out about the negative aspects of industrialization in a climactic speech contest.

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