A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Teaches viewers about being environmentally friendly by conserving power, using solar energy, avoiding light pollution, and getting out to enjoy nature in a responsible way.
"What could be more Christmas-y than giving to others?" The special warns viewers against wanting "more, more, more" and encourages them to think about the environmental consequences of their actions, even at Christmas time.
Positive Role Models
Nature Cat and his friends always focus on being environmentally responsible. Granny Bunny is organizing a crochet-a-thon to make dolls for animals recovering in the hospital. A younger version of Nature Cat is happy without presents and impressed by a very simply decorated tree in the woods. He also makes a list of all the things he and his friends can explore in nature for Christmas. The Scratchit family doesn't have much but are very grateful for what they do have.
Violence & Scariness
The Ghost of Christmas Future is a little scary when he first shows up as a black hooded figure. Nature Cat starts to panic and cry when he finds out he lost all of his friends because of his greedy ways.
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Products & Purchases
Nature Cat spends more than half of the episode thinking Christmas is all about getting presents. He says that if you want to have the most Christmas spirit, you have to make everything bigger and shinier but does eventually see the error in his ways.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Nature Cat: A Nature Carol is a Christmas special in which Nature Cat learns that Christmas is about more than presents. The special also teaches about being environmentally friendly by conserving power, using solar energy, avoiding light and noise pollution, and getting out to enjoy nature in a responsible way.
Is It Any Good?
Filled with wit and dry humor along with some ridiculously catchy songs, this is a rendition of Dickens' A Christmas Carol that actually manages to stand out from the crowd. Nature Cat: A Nature Carol has a cast of all the usual suspects, including Tiny Tim and an adorable Scratchit family of mice plus three Christmas ghosts bumbling their way through their respective roles (kids will laugh every time one of them gets cut off just before giving Nature Cat the answer to all his problems). The message of focusing on giving instead of receiving is nicely delivered in a way that's silly instead of preachy. Where this special really goes above and beyond, though, is with its theme of environmental conservationism. Not only does Nature Cat learn to think of others, he also learns to think about the natural world surrounding him and the animals that call it home.
Viewers familiar with Nature Cat already know that what initially seems like a frenetic show that may be too much for some kids soon reveals itself to have a refreshingly wholesome message plus lots of opportunities to learn through humor. But don't get the wrong idea, this is a show adults will enjoy too. A whole host of SNL alumnus lead their voices to the series (including Kate McKinnon, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, and Chris Parnell) and the jokes are every bit as quick and wry as you would expect from a cast of that caliber. It's truly a special the whole family will enjoy -- just be prepared for some tough questions from the kids about the carbon footprint of your holiday decor once it's over.
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.