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What to watch with your kids: ‘Spirited’ and more

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The Dickens musical has comedic chemistry, swearing, slapstick.

“Spirited” is a creative musical comedy based on the classic Christmas story “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. This take on the redemption story runs the script on Marley & Co. to see through the story from the perspective of the ghosts. While most of the humor is aimed at adults, many kids like stars Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell, and there’s a memorable subplot about a 12-year-old and the dangers of social media abuse. Other themes are teamwork and perseverance. Expect a few eerie moments with the ghosts, but given that it’s all presented in the context of their appearance being an elaborate production, fears are quickly subdued. There’s also plenty of slapstick humor, a bit of innuendo, and a wide assortment of foul language and inventive insults, including “s—“, “diddling”, “d–king”, “dingus” and “prick” — a 19th century humiliation even gets its own hilarious song and dance number. A negatively portrayed character is referred to as a drunkard and is seen holding a glass that suggests alcohol is in it. A romantic subplot involves kissing and flirting and features actors in their 50s, automatically making them non-traditional love interests. (127 minutes)

In theaters; also available on Apple TV Plus.

A Christmas Story Christmas (PG)

Sequel to vacation favorite has language, injuries, drinking.

“A Christmas Story Christmas”. a sequel to the beloved 1983 film and features many of the same characters and actors (including star Peter Billingsley). It contains many positive messages about family and friendship, as well as many scenes with adults drinking, children clamoring for toys for Christmas, and both children and adults bullying each other. Characters fall down and have sledding accidents, including falling from heights, crashing head-on into cars and lampposts, breaking limbs, and being taken to hospital with injuries. People mourn the loss of loved ones. A boy looks in an underwear catalog and a child gets to help behind a bar. Language includes “hell”, “damn”, “a–“, “dumba–“, “son of a b—-“, “suckers”, etc. (98 minutes)

Mickey: The Story of a Mouse (TV-G)

Insightful documentary about the history of an iconic cartoon character.

“Mickey: The Story of a Mouse” is a revealing documentary about the making and trading of the iconic cartoon character. References and images include bombing, bullying, death, guns, war and smoking. There is a mention of the word ‘helluva’. One of the film’s important messages is how one person’s hopes and dreams can positively impact others. Themes are also perseverance, communication and teamwork. (89 minutes)

Available on DisneyPlus.

Child faces danger, parental loss in imaginative adventure.

“Slumberland” is an action-packed adventure film where characters, including a child named Nemo (Marlow Barkley), are in grave danger. Nemo’s life and the lives of others are often at stake, and her father dies in an early scene. People fall down, get pushed out of windows, crash into cars and planes, get hit by a freeze beam and trapped, drown in the ocean or get close to it, and are chased by nightmarish shadowy creatures. And Nemo isn’t the only character who experiences grief and feels like she wants to disappear and let life pass her by. Characters show courage and resilience and make sacrifices for each other. The film’s story and characters are loosely based on Winsor McCay’s “Little Nemo in Slumberland” comic strip from the early 20th century. Language includes “damn”, “hell”, “heck”, “ass”, and mild insults. Jason Momoa, Kyle Chandler and Chris O’Dowd co-star. (117 minutes)

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. Go to common sense.org for age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, and books.

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