Parents' Guide to

Santa's Apprentice

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Fresh take on familiar holiday themes; some bullying.

Movie G 2010 80 minutes
Santa's Apprentice Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

Emotional themes, terrible plot

Looking for an upbeat Christmas movie or Santa story? Don’t look here. The movie starts with lots of talk about orphaned children, who appear very sad, and a particularly nasty bully. The bully calls the children “babies” for believing in Santa and says your parents bring the gifts. This was in the first 5 minutes. Why did I keep watching? I kept thinking surely it will get better and Santa will teach the bully how to be kind and there will be plenty of holiday cheer. No! One kids parents can’t afford their house, more bullying from the bully, and Santa getting very angry and losing control of his emotions. Literally the last 5 minutes are cheerful. Terrible.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Sometimes the movie seems like it tries to tackle too much with the limited space and time allotted. But on the whole Santa's Apprentice does have a lot to offer, especially for families looking for new twists on familiar Christmas themes.

It may be difficult at times to get over the fact that all the kids in an orphanage in Sydney, Australia, have American accents. Overall, though, this is a thoughtful and creative take on the familiar Christmas themes of Santa, toy-making in the North Pole, and the Christmas spirit of giving. There are moments of silliness, but there are also more serious messages, such as when Santa, instead of giving a bully his "just desserts," employs empathy to explain to the boy why he lashes out at everyone around him. This feature also attempts to show the challenges of adoption when a child is adopted from the orphanage and his new family faces economic hardship.

Movie Details

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