The 12 Dogs of Christmas

2005 G 1h 47m DVD

The 12 Dogs of Christmas

2005 G 1h 47m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In this heartwarming holiday tale set during the Great Depression, irrepressible 12-year-old Emma sets out to treat her down-and-out community to an inspiring Christmas pageant starring some spirited canines.
John Billingsley, Bonita Friedericy, Adam Hicks, Jim Jackman, Eric Lutes, Richard Riehle, Mindy Sterling, Susan Wood, Travis Flory, Alisha Mullally, Jordan-Claire Green
Kieth Merrill
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
G - All ages admitted. Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.
age 6+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 6+
age 6+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this wholesome Christmas movie set during the Great Depression is fine for the entire family, although a couple of brief scenes may temporarily disturb the youngest viewers. The young protagonist is sent away to live with distant relatives, and later she witnesses an underground dogfight -- it's not graphic (the violence is suggested, not shown), but it may nonetheless upset some kids. A child cries, wondering whether his dog has been killed in an emotional confrontation. Christmas is portrayed as a season of generosity.

Sexual Content

A male teacher flirts with a single mom; by the end of the film, they hug and share a kiss.


A couple of scenes may upset younger kids. A dog fighting scene implies violence, even though audiences don't see the dogs mauling each other. There's also some chasing, pushing, and shoving (especially when the dog catcher is involved), and in one scene, the girl protagonist kicks a man in the shin.


A few taunts and mild insults like "good for nothing," "girls are worthless," "you're a liar," and "I hate dogs!"

Social Behavior

Emma's journey to save the dogs teaches kids about honesty, teamwork, and perseverance. She doesn't always tell the truth because she's ashamed, but children will realize that although she made some mistakes, she's able to rise to the occasion when it matters. There are also strong messages about rescuing animals.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

A man at the dog fight is shown drinking from a jug; to an adult, it would seem like he's drinking liquor.

  • 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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