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White Christmas Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Musical-comedy classic reprises Irving Berlin hit.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that one musical number rhapsodizes nostalgically about minstrel shows. But viewers don't see any blackface makeup or overt racist images; it's just verbal gags, and kids who don't know the history won't realize the degrading black stereotypes that gave rise to the patter.

  • Families can talk about the way the story plays off the WWII generation's strong military ties and stalwart respect for battlefield buddies and commanders, even in civilian life. It's a legacy that's perhaps a little too rosily painted here, but it still reflects the mindset of an America of yesteryear, where almost the entire country joined together in the war effort.
  • Later commentators would say the same syndrome of unquestioning loyaltyand faith in the commander-in-chief got the United States intoquestionable wars in Vietnam and elsewhere. Do you agree?
  • Families canalso talk about what makes this a classic. Is it just Bing Crosby and acatchy holiday tune, or is there more to it?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: There's a strong sense of the WWII generation's military loyalty and respect.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: The two song-and-dance heroes (one usually dragged reluctantly along bythe other) selflessly help two ladies in trouble and invest theirfortune in helping out their old wartime commander, who has fallen onhard times

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: A very brief depiction of WWII bombardment.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Somewhere there's a college campus where a wild revisionist could read a homosexual subtext into the showbiz heroes' longtime "bachelor" status (and dressing in drag for one musical number). But in the real world, nothing to worry about.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: None, unless you count a certain Irving Berlin recording.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Recreational drinking in a nightclub.