Pete the Cat: A Very Groovy Christmas

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Pete the Cat: A Very Groovy Christmas TV Poster Image
Heartwarming holiday story emphasizes gifts of the heart.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Strong messages about kindness and generosity as they relate to the season. The true gifts are in sharing time with others, not in receiving presents.

Positive Messages

Kids see Pete and his friends discover that the best gifts of the holiday season aren't those that we receive but those we give to others in our time, our love, our friendship, and our willingness to lend a helping hand. Simple joys like singing carols and celebrating together mean more than physical gifts we exchange. Most of the characters experience a change of heart in this way, but Grumpy Toad's evolution is the most evident. A mysterious newcomer uses music and a kind spirit to help his new friends discover the true gift of Christmas.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Pete is a cat of few words but much action, as he's usually the first to roll up his sleeves and pitch in when someone needs help. As the kids set off to search for the Christmas Cat, they get sidetracked by their friends' and families' needs, but their generosity in helping changes the way they think about the holiday and its gifts.

 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This holiday special relates to the Pete the Cat TV series and the books on which it is based.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pete the Cat: A Very Groovy Christmas is a delightful holiday story with standout themes about selflessness, charity, and generosity that are just right for the holiday season. It's a twist on the story of Santa Claus, telling of the Christmas Cat who comes to give gifts and spread joy. Pete and his friends learn by experience that intangible gifts like sharing time with family, helping others, and celebrating community are better than any present that can be wrapped. Grumpy Toad begins the story fixated on what gifts he will get, but, by the end, even he finds happiness in more meaningful joys. This special offers great music that appeals to different ages and is performed by the likes of Jason Mraz and Elvis Costello, among the rest of the talented voice cast.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMeganb37 December 6, 2018

Great show with an unfortunate addition

We love the Pete the cat show (2&4 year olds), so were happy to try the Christmas episode. But had to turn it off halfway through as one of the characte... Continue reading
Parent Written byDawn4444 December 7, 2018

My boys 5 & 7 liked it

Pete the cat series is a favorite in our house. They enjoyed this holiday special

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

PETE THE CAT: A VERY GROOVY CHRISTMAS opens with Pete (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) and his friends performing the story of the legendary Christmas Cat who comes during the season to spread joy and distribute gifts. Inspired by the tale, they set out to find him, using clues from the song to tempt him with his favorite treat (orange and pickle pudding!) and anticipate where he will show up as the holiday draws near. Instead they meet a somewhat mysterious new friend named Leon (Jason Mraz) and find friends and family who need their help preparing for the community's holiday celebration.

Is it any good?

This holiday special is groovy indeed, both in its heartwarming story and in the uniquely appealing music -- and musicians -- the whole family can enjoy. The cast list reads like a Grammy lineup with Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, and Elvis Costello among the impressive selection of voice artists. A Very Groovy Christmas is an obvious twist on the Santa Claus legend (tailored to the animal characters, of course) that emphasizes the feel-good emotions of kindness, generosity, and selflessness without any religious overtones.

Pete is a somewhat atypical focal point in a kids' show because of his tendency toward silence most of the time, but it's a trait that works well with this story's themes. As Grumpy Toad (Atticus Shaffer) especially prattles on about finding the Christmas Cat and getting some "super special gifts" from him, Pete quietly sets a different example of charity and giving as he jumps right in and helps out where he can without any thought to what it might do for him. In the end they all learn a valuable lesson about the true gifts of the holiday, but it's Pete who leads by doing rather than by saying.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the Christmas season means to them. What traditions are important in your family this time of year? How do they reflect your family's cultural or religious heritage? What are your favorite intangible gifts of the season? How do you and your family help spread joy to others at Christmas?

  • What stories are particularly meaningful to you this time of year? How does the Christmas Cat legend compare to the story of Santa Claus? What are some of your favorite TV specials or movies to watch at Christmas? How do traditions like these make you feel during the holiday season?

  • Which character(s) in Pete the Cat: A Very Groovy Christmas stand out in this story for their kindness and compassion? Does it matter that Grumpy Toad is somewhat hesitant to forgo his own needs to help others, or is the mere act of charity what really counts? What have you learned about happiness by sharing it with other people?

TV details

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love holiday specials

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate