Video Article

Parents' Guide

''Richie Rich,'' ''Rugrats,'' and more are video options this holiday season

Ebenezer WHAT IT'S ABOUT Christmas hits the Wild West, only to be shot down by the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Jack Palance). WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT? No, this silly twist on ''A Christmas Carol'' is strictly ho-humbug. MPAA RATING Unrated SEX/NUDITY None, although Scrooge does have dinner in a house of ill repute. DRUGS/ALCOHOL Scrooge often enjoys a drink. VIOLENCE/SCARINESS Scrooge and a fellow gambler (Rick Schroder) brawl; the death of Tiny Tim; Scrooge fatally shoots a man in a showdown. OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES Three WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT Scrooge finally learns 'tis better to give than to receive. WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD Scrooge's credo: ''Be selfish, be greedy, trust no one.'' APPROPRIATE AGES 8 and up

Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night WHAT IT'S ABOUT Two musical mice put fame and fortune on hold to help Christina, a young orphan kidnapped by jewel thieves. WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT? Probably not. The scattershot story and uninspired animation won't hold most kids' attention. MPAA RATING G SEX/NUDITY None DRUGS/ALCOHOL None VIOLENCE/SCARINESS Christina is kidnapped and tied up. OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES None WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT Chauncey persuades the more ambitious Buster not to be a rat and to focus on someone else's needs. WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD The old-fashioned orphan-in-jeopardy plot reinforces a victimizing stereotype. APPROPRIATE AGES 4 and up

An All Dogs Christmas Carol WHAT IT'S ABOUT TV's Charlie, Itchy & Co. reenact a Dickensian holiday story about a pack of evil dogs who try to put an end to Christmas. WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT? Yes, fans of the series will give this canine yuletide tale paws up. MPAA RATING G SEX/NUDITY None DRUGS/ALCOHOL Dogs make a toast. VIOLENCE/SCARINESS A big bully dog hypnotizes everyone and steals money meant for a sick pup's operation; a bad pooch plots to ruin Christmas. OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES None WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT You can teach an old dog new tricks. WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD The bad dog's negligent owners could use some obedience training themselves. APPROPRIATE AGES 5 and up

A Rugrats Chanukah WHAT IT'S ABOUT The bumbling babies learn about the Festival of Lights. WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT? Do rugrats love Rugrats? MPAA RATING Unrated SEX/NUDITY None DRUGS/ALCOHOL None VIOLENCE/SCARINESS None OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES None WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT It's an easy way to teach kids the story of Chanukah. WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD Though applauded by many Jews, Rugrats has offended some with characters who speak in thick Yiddish accents or have long noses. APPROPRIATE AGES 4 and up

Richie Rich'$ Christmas Wish WHAT IT'S ABOUT The boy who has everything (David Gallagher) wishes he'd never been born in this It's a Wonderful Life for tots. WILL KIDS WANT TO WATCH IT? Yes, this video may make their own holiday wish list. MPAA RATING G SEX/NUDITY None DRUGS/ALCOHOL Rock stars enjoy champagne. VIOLENCE/SCARINESS Home Alone-type slapstick OBJECTIONABLE WORDS/PHRASES None WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT Richie and his family believe in sharing their wealth. WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD Richie steals and drives a police car. APPROPRIATE AGES 6 and up

Originally posted Nov 20, 1998 Published in issue #459 Nov 20, 1998 Order article reprints
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