Parents guide

The Baltimore Sun

Fred Claus

Rating: -- PG

What it's about: -- Santa's bitter, resentful older brother goes home for the holidays to help out at the North Pole, and work through some personal issues.

The Kid Attractor Factor: -- A fanciful version of the North Pole, slapstick and a PG-rated Vince Vaughn.

Good lessons/bad lessons: -- Holding a sibling responsible for being "mom's favorite" isn't really fair. Violence: Snowball fighting.

Language: -- Astonishingly clean.

Sex: -- Suggestions of co-habitation.

Drugs: -- Not even eggnog.

Parents' advisory: -- A family-friendly, funny, big-budget, over-the-top Christmas comedy.

Christmas in Wonderland

Rating: -- PG

What it's about: -- Kids stumble across counterfeit cash and proceed to blow it in the largest mall in North America.

The Kid Attractor Factor: -- Kids shopping, fending off crooks, believing in Santa.

Good lessons/bad lessons: -- Christmas is all about shopping sprees, Santa's "just some drunk they hired from the unemployment office," many others.

Violence: -- Pratfalls involving fish and Chris Kattan.

Language: -- Characters refer to being in h-e-double-hockey-sticks, but maybe that was the actors improvising.

Sex: -- A hormonal teen ogles other hormonal teens in bikinis. Suggestions of Patrick Swayze cross-dressing. Again.

Drugs: -- Liquor jokes, beer is consumed, Santa hits a bar.

Parents' advisory: -- Plenty of mildly unsettling bad messages fill this empty-headed holiday farce.

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