A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas! is a round-the-world holiday special that teaches kids about different animals the characters meet along the way. Kids will enjoy the Cat's comical antics (and the mishaps that tend to follow) as well as the story's ties to holiday traditions like Santa and his reindeer. Parents will like that the characters' interactions are marked by kindness, politeness, and attention to the needs of others. There are a couple of touchy moments when the Cat's vehicle breaks down and tumbles from the sky, but only the littlest kids might worry over these.
What's the story?
It's Christmas Eve, and all of the Cat in the Hat's (voiced by Martin Short) party guests are heading home to celebrate the holiday with their families. A young reindeer named Ralph (Annick Obonsawin) is especially excited to get home to Snowland to spend his first Christmas with his parents, but a mishap sends him off course at the last minute. Nick (Jacob Ewaniuk), Sally (Alexa Torrington), and Cat embark on a journey to reunite Ralph with his parents, but when the Thingamajigger springs mechanical leaks, they'll need the help of some far-flung animal friends to get there and back in time for the holiday.
Is it any good?
Everyone's favorite rhyming feline celebrates the Christmas spirit in in this fun-filled animated movie. Flanked by Thing 1 and Thing 2 and advised by the talking Fish (all voiced by Rob Tinkler), Cat, Sally, and Nick take a roundabout path to Ralph's hometown, and they meet some interesting characters who teach them about their special qualities along the way. From Christmas Island red crabs on a journey of their own to African elephants guided by a super sense of smell, each new friend does his or her part to get Ralph and the kids back to their families for the holiday.
Mischief, mishaps, and an accident-prone Thingamajigger ensure there's never a dull moment during the course of this kid-pleasing story inspired by the series The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, and the fact that it makes subtle use of the characters' positive traits means there's a lot to like about its entertainment value and its lasting impact on your kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how animals adapt to their surroundings. What do Nick and Sally learn about the animals they meet on their trip? What are some traits specific to other species that help them stay warm, catch prey, and avoid predators?
Kids: Why is it important to help others? When have you been in a situation that needed someone else's help? How do the characters' new friends help get them back on their way to Ralph's home?
Why do you think the Cat in the Hat is such a popular character? Which other book characters have made the jump to TV or movies? Do you have any favorites among them?
- On DVD or streaming: October 30, 2012
- Cast: Alexa Torrington, Annick Obonsawin, Jacob Ewaniuk, Martin Short
- Director: Tony Collingwood
- Studio: NCircle Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Run time: 60 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love holidays
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
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.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch