'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Simple animated tale about believing in Santa.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this holiday movie features a skeptic who doubts that Santa is real, and lumps him into a category with leprechauns and fairies. Songs about faith, miracles, and "the maker" give this an overtly Christian tone. An African-American family is repeatedly depicted, a rarity in holiday movies of this era.
Fun for the whole family!
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What's the Story?
Using Clement Moore's beloved poem as a jumping-off point, 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS provides an imaginative take on what may have been happening in the days before the children were nestled in bed with sugarplum dreams. The answer? A human family and their mouse friends are scrambling to win Santa's favor back, after one of them writes a letter to the paper skeptical of the existence of the jolly old elf.
Is It Any Good?
This film tackles the notion of believing in Santa head-on, and may be a little risky for kids who are struggling with that notion. On the other hand, the message that we are responsible for helping to make our dreams come true is very positive and may provide the perfect context for having that discussion. Father Mouse (voiced by George Gobel) is wonderfully understanding and forgiving of his son's doubts.
Cheerful songs keep the action moving, and the animation will be familiar to fans of Rankin/Bass' Frosty the Snowman. And the dramatic reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas that caps the action will be seen in a new light, now that the viewer knows the back story.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Albert's actions and what he has to do to rectify his mistakes. Have you ever made a mistake that caused hurt to others, and what did you do to make up for it? What does it mean when the families sing "Even a miracle needs a plan?"
- In theaters: January 1, 1974
- On DVD or streaming: November 1, 2007
- Cast: George Gobel, Joel Grey, Tammy Grimes
- Directors: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Holidays
- Run time: 24 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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