The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas Movie Poster Image
Quaint '70s Christmas short a tad un-PC.
  • NR
  • 1973
  • 30 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas exposes viewers to information about hibernation and the rituals of the Christmas holiday.

Positive Messages

The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas offers positive messages about facing your fear of the unknown and carrying on with a goal or dream even if friends and loved ones don't support you. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are very simplistic but largely positive, well-meaning, and kind.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Since the short is told from the perspective of bears in the pre-politically correct 1970s, they refer several times to Santa Claus as "the fat human in a red suit." Parents monitoring exposure to inappropriate language and especially taunts may be wary of this usage. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas is an animated short from the pre-politically correct 1970s with one potential language usage issue -- the frequent description of Santa as "fat." Some parents may find this usage objectionable. It's otherwise a quaint tale of looking for the Christmas spirit that is suitable for nearly all ages.

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What's the story?

Theodore Edward Bear (voiced by Tom Smothers) decides to stay awake this Christmas instead of hibernating to find out what the Christmas holiday is all about. With the help of friend Patti Bear (voiced by Barbara Feldon) and Santa himself (voiced by Bob Holt), he'll learn exactly what he's been missing -- if he can just stay awake. Narrated by Casey Kasem.

Is it any good?

This early '70s cartoon short is a funny blast from the past with its jokes-a-plenty from the era ranging from horoscope signs to trippy vibes. And its message is simple: Christmas is state of mind.

To kids who like bears and Christmas, it's an entertaining, visually rich, quaint short, and parents of a certain age will likely find an enjoyable nostalgia rush from the simplicity, familiar voice actors, and tone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about holiday rituals. What rituals do you participate in around the holidays? Which ones are your favorites and why?

  • Have you ever tried to stay up late to catch a full moon or to see holiday fireworks? Did you pull it off? What was it like?

  • In the film, some of the bear's friends aren't very supportive of his plan to stay up late to find Christmas. Have you ever gone against your usual traditions to try something new? What was it? How did it go?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the holidays

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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