Ernest Saves Christmas

1988 PG 1h 31m DVD

Ernest Saves Christmas

1988 PG 1h 31m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
When Santa Claus decides to retire and pass on his magic bag of Christmas surprises to a new St. Nick, A perky teen runaway and hapless taxi driver Ernest P. Worrell must convince a skeptical kids-show host to take over the post of Father Christmas.
Jim Varney, Douglas Seale, Oliver Clark, Gailard Sartain, Bill Byrge, Noelle Parker, Billie Bird, Robert Lesser
John R. Cherry III
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 8+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 8+
age 8+

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.

Sexual Content

Not applicable.


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.

Social Behavior

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 / Alcohol

No use of the products, but the Bud Light name is visible on a billboard.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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