Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this 1988 movie starring actor Jim Varney's oddball alter ego is short on both strong content and Christmas cheer, but his trademark slapstick humor will keep a range of ages entertained nonetheless. Young kids may be confused by the storyline, which centers on an aging Santa (who's not dressed in the traditional red, so as to blend in) seeking out his replacement for the job, so it likely will raise more questions about the St. Nick legend than it's worth. Older kids and tweens will have more patience for Ernest's particular brand of comedy, and they'll be able to recognize the heartening story surrounding a runaway's journey back home. This movie is a fun blast from the past for parents for whom Ernest is a recognizable face from their formative years, and they'll probably spot the blatant product placement (Coca-Cola, Nissan, Bic) more easily than will their kids because of their familiarity with the ads of the time.
There's nothing violent to the content, but there are some near-misses between cars on the freeway and peril as Ernest loses control of Santa's sleigh. In one scene, a man is crushed by a large crate and remains stuck to it when it's raised. A man wields a prop gun in a movie scene, and Ernest suffers some snake bites in another.
In one instance, a man cries "Son of a . . . " but doesn't finish the phrase.
There's an underlying theme of redemption and forgiveness surrounding a teen's coming to terms with her family troubles, but the movie aims more to entertain audiences than to evoke any hearty messages.
Strategically placed brand names grace billboards, car tops, and items the characters hold and include Coca-Cola, Nissan, Bud Light, Bic pens, and FTD.
Drugs / Tobacco /
No use of the products, but the Bud Light name is visible on a billboard.