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A Country Christmas (2013)

PG | | Family | 27 October 2013 (USA)
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When Santa Claus loses his magical powers and becomes stranded in their barn, two children from a small farming community help him save Christmas before it's too late.

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When Santa Claus loses his magical powers and becomes stranded in their barn, two children from a small farming community help him save Christmas before it's too late.

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It Will Take a Village to Save This Christmas

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Family

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Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »
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27 October 2013 (USA)  »

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Saving Santa  »

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User Reviews

Mostly pleasant family movie
23 December 2015 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

When the movie begins, fifth-grader Zach sees Santa Claus deliver his presents on the night before Christmas.

Outside of Hope, Arizona, Zach and his sister Miley live at their parents' Logan Lazy L Ranch.

Everyone is looking forward to Christmas, but there is a grinch. Senator Max Schmucker thinks it is ridiculous to believe in Santa Claus and he has gone so far as to outlaw belief in this symbol of Christmas. At the kids' school, no one is allowed to mention Santa, and a Santa poster is removed from the wall. Miley brings it home.

One day the kids see a suspicious light in the barn, and it turns out to be Santa Claus and his nasty elf Elliot. Santa doesn't know how he ended up in the barn. He and Elliot were doing their rounds to find out who was naughty and who was nice, but something went wrong with the portal that transports them from place to place. Furthermore, he can't seem to return and his magic powers are starting to disappear. He figures out that it must be because people have stopped believing in him. And there are rules: he can't just appear to people. Santa accidentally let himself be revealed to the Logan kids but this can't happen with everyone.

Santa and Elliot can turn invisible, at least as long as their powers work. Or they can hide. The kids have to work hard to make sure no one finds out their secret. This is made quite challenging when some of the animals get into the reindeer feed, which leads to some entertaining visual effects.

Meanwhile, the kids' mother Renae has a doctor's appointment. this is almost never good.

The kids scheme to persuade the senator to debate whether Santa Claus exists. Miley makes a video challenging the senator to debate her, and the kids play hooky from school and sneak it into the local TV station. All of a sudden they are celebrities. Now, will the senator accept the challenge? Will any of this do any good? Will the kids be able to stop Santa Claus from disappearing completely?

This is a mostly pleasant movie, funny and appropriate for kids with the usual challenges that they must overcome. But it does get really serious at times.

The young actors do a great job, for this type of movie. Abraham Benrubi really stands out with his booming voice, sort of Donald Sutherland trying to be Darth Vader. And Mikey Post offers a contrast with his sour attitude.

The edgy "Dr. Quinn" bartender becomes a kind and loving father, and Joey Lauren Adams is so sweet as usual. But there are some difficult scenes, because Renae has to explain her situation to the kids, and the kids have to cope with the problem.

Trace Adkins has a cameo as an intimidating cop. He's pretty much what you'd expect.

I didn't see how this ended so I can't evaluate how everything turned out. I was recording two movies at once and they both got cut off about 30 minutes early, including commercials.In both cases, a magical fantasy figure who entertains children was in danger of going away, and a child held the key to making things better.

But you have to believe everything turned out all right. This was rated TV-G when I saw it, so surely some miracle occurred before the end.

From what I saw, this was a nice Christmas movie to entertain the entire family.


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