Explore Disney Fun

What's Hot

Disney Family Deals

Movie Review:
A Christmas Story

  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Running Time: 94 minutes
  • Recommended for ages 10+

Quick Take: Double-dog dare you to only watch it once.

A Christmas Story

The beauty of A Christmas Story is that while it takes us to back to another time (the 1940s), it is so grounded in a kid's world that we still connect with Ralphie and his family. Ralphie's world is a very different place from ours. Kids ride around without seatbelts (never mind carseats), Dad swears in the front of the kids, moms yell and occasionally whack their kids, and moms always wear skirts and stockings, even out in the snow. There are laugh-out-loud moments of Mom stuffing Ralphie's little brother into his snowsuit (no lightweight down back then!) and trying to get him to eat. And then there is the arrival of Dad's "major award" lamp in the shape of a woman's leg, complete with a fishnet stocking and a fringed shade.

As different as this world is, the joys, hopes, and sharp disappointments that Ralphie deals with are universal. With his oversize glasses and his single wish for that air rifle, Ralphie is Everykid, wanting something so badly and doing everything he can to get it. Then, as now, bullies are still bullies, with Scut Farcus terrorizing Ralphie and his friends. Teachers still have a drawerful of confiscated toys, and there is still a load of trouble if a kid breaks his glasses or says a bad word.

Kids Will Like:
Ralphie overcomes all to get what he wants, fulfilling every child's dream that s/he'll find that one special present under tree. Ralphie also beats the bully Scut Farcus, literally and figuratively.

Parents Will Like:
Life in the "good old days" was far from perfect, but it's fun to watch Ralphie's wacky household operate without a thought of who might be scarred by Dad's swearing, Mom's yelling, or the invasion of the Bumpus dogs from next door. Life on Cleveland Street is never sugarcoated, but there is a genuine sense that everyone loves one another and is doing their part to make this slightly oddball family work.

Plus, there's a guilty pleasure, too, in watching someone else struggle with tangled Christmas lights, blown fuses, flat tires, and a failing furnace.

Heads Up:
There is some swearing in the film by both adults and kids. It's kept in a realistic context, and while you wouldn't want your kids repeating it, it's not excessive. Also, when Ralphie says the big word ("Fudge" in the film), he is made to sit with a bar of soap in his mouth.

Ralphie beats Scut Farcus until his nose is bloody and stops only when his mother pulls him away. Again, it's not behavior you want to encourage, but kids (and secretly their parents) will still cheer as Ralphie finally ends Scut's bullying.

The scene with the department store Santa is enough to keep any child from getting in line. Crabby elves drag kids up to him, and Santa shoves Ralphie down the exit slide with one of his shiny black boots.

Own It?
Absolutely, for a classic you'll watch every Christmas.

More Info on A Christmas Story

The Story:
Ralphie wants just one thing for Christmas -- the "holy grail of Christmas gifts," a Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle -- but the entire adult world is against him. "You'll shoot your eye out," says his mother, his teacher, and even a department-store Santa Claus. Ralphie doesn't give up, trying ploy after ploy, but meeting with disappointment after disappointment. In the end, with some unexpected help from "the old man," Ralphie's Christmas wish comes true.

DVD Special Features:
The 20th Anniversary (2003) release is a 2-disc Special Edition. Extras include The Triple Dog Dare trivia quiz, a visit to the Red Ryder factory, a Decoder game that lets you match scenes to quotes, commentary by cast members and the director, and readings by Jean Shepherd, who wrote In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, the novel that's the basis for the movie.

Trivia & Fun:
Author Jean Shepherd provides the narrator's voice of Ralphie as an adult.

"Leg lamps" just like the old man's major award are still sold.

empty star empty star empty star empty star empty star Rate This Article
Print
null data...
promoObjectId (null)
promoObject.title ()
promoObject.contentType ()
promoWidth ()
promoHeight ()
promoContainerId (editorialPromo1)
promoCSS (on_travelTips_aggregate)
this displays when the floating stack report is on

Disney Fun: Playtime, Parties, & More

null data...
promoObjectId (null)
promoObject.title ()
promoObject.contentType ()
promoWidth ()
promoHeight ()
promoContainerId (editorialPromo3)
promoCSS (on_travelTips_aggregate)
this displays when the floating stack report is on
null data...
promoObjectId (null)
promoObject.title ()
promoObject.contentType ()
promoWidth ()
promoHeight ()
promoContainerId (editorialPromo4)
promoCSS (on_travelTips_aggregate)
this displays when the floating stack report is on
Please log in ...
Close
You must be logged in to use this feature.

Thank You!

Thank you for helping us maintain a friendly, high quality community at Family.com. This comment will be reviewed by a community moderator.

Flag as Not Acceptable?

We review flagged content and enforce our Terms of Use, in which content must never be:

See full Terms of Use.