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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The theme of the movie is said twice: "you're never too small to do great deeds." These deeds include being courageous in helping others and using wits instead of force. Characters learn to accept themselves and uncover hidden feelings.
Positive Role Models
Mira is a young girl who likes reading. She regularly risks her safety to help others. She is confident and intelligent but almost falters when she believes that she "always gets in the way." Mira's brother Kevin is brave and clever but doesn't let Mira join in, despite her courage. He leads a group with the motto: "Honesty, valor, and sacrifice." Snerk plans to steal power from his niece, Queen Eiril. He is petty and motivated by jealousy and vengeance. He eventually admits he cares about someone. Mold is a young girl who aspires to be evil. She sides with Snerk and is deceptive and manipulative to other children. Mira and Kevin's parents are going through a rough patch but love each other. A police officer lies about his skills and bravery but hides behind his partner when faced with trouble.
Positive representation in terms of gender roles, with girls as brave and smart as boys. Malfunctioning Christmas lights are marked as being Chinese in origin to make a negative point. It's implied that a wealthy character is to be thought lesser when they're revealed to wear a wig.
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Violence & Scariness
Mild fantasy violence includes pushy knights and characters with magic powers, including fireballs and air blasts. To demonstrate magical armor, a character holds their hand and face over a flame, swapping from eye to eye. A group of kids with bows and arrows seize a young child by trapping them and then putting a bag over their head. Child uses a small guillotine to cut the head off a doll. Knights barge into a house and demand food. A villain grabs a kid and threatens them before they are blasted with magic. A young character is hit against a wall with a gurney.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple share a passionate kiss. An adult magazine with a scantily clad cover model features in one scene.
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Infrequent language includes "poo," "butt," "idiot," "screw up," and "pee."
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Products & Purchases
A family that suffers financial hardship is upset about being "poor" and their wealthy neighbors are depicted in an idealized way.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Valley of Knights (aka The Christmas King: In Full Armor) is a Norwegian festive family adventure (dubbed into English) with moments of fantasy violence. The movie acts as sequel to the 2012 Julekongen TV series, but the series is recapped at the start of the movie so it can be viewed as a standalone. Young siblings Mira (Stella Stenman) and Kevin (Vetle Qvenild Werring) return to the fantasy land of the Valley of Knights and help the teen queen get back her throne from her jealous uncle. Kevin is brave and determined but doesn't want Mira to help. Mira ignores this and regularly saves the day. Mild fantasy violence intertwined with magic, includes fireballs and air blasts that send characters flying. To demonstrate magical armor, a man holds his hand and face over a flame. In another scene, a group of kids with bows and arrows seize a young girl and put a sack over her head. An adult magazine with a scantily clad cover model is briefly seen. Infrequent mild language includes "poo," "butt," and "pee." A family becomes upset about being "poor," while their wealthy neighbors are initially shown to be living a good life. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A fun and often funny kids' adventure, this Norwegian movie strikes the right balance between fantasy adventure, positive messages, and silly bits to lighten the tone. There are jokes in Valley of Knights for both kids and adults, making this a nice family watch. There's even the odd nod to film fans with -- age-appropriate -- references to the likes of The Terminator.
Outside of Norway, Valley of Knights is dubbed into English. Jarringly mismatched voices grate at first but are soon overlooked, thanks in part to the performances of its actors. Bjarte Tjøstheim, who plays the dual role of both Mira and Kevin's father and his own love rival, is particularly good. The fun movie wraps up nicely with a Christmas party in the orange glow of a roaring fire, making it recommended holiday viewing.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.