Fred Claus Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Siblings aren’t always easy to live with or up to. But imagine having a real saint for a brother. That’s exactly the problem Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn) has. His little brother Nicholas (Paul Giamatti) is the generous man in red.
Unable to put up with his mother’s (Kathy Bates) constant comparisons to his younger kin, Fred becomes a sour and disgruntled man who isn’t above stealing to come up with some gambling cash. Then one night, the delinquent Claus ends up in the slammer and is forced to turn to Santa for an early Christmas present—-jail bail. Against his wife’s (Miranda Richardson) wishes, Nick agrees to pay the fine if Fred will come to the North Pole and work in the toy factory for the season.
Reluctantly, Fred agrees. Packing his bags, he is chauffeured to the winter workshop in a reindeer-powered sleigh driven by an elf named Willie (John Michael Higgens). Once there, he takes on the tasks of determining the Naughty and Nice lists. But all the Christmas cheer and family togetherness is more than Fred can swallow.
However, he isn’t the only one experiencing a few holiday blues. Santa’s shop is under scrutiny from an efficiency expert that is itching to kibosh the winter celebration. With Clyde (Kevin Spacey) tailing his every move, Nick has big worries about making the midnight delivery deadline. And unfortunately Fred’s antics on the work floor—-hijacking the in-house radio station and instigating a dancing melee on the assembly line—-don’t assuage Santa’s doubts.
Like many Christmas movies over the past few years, this film isn’t necessarily fare for the whole family. For instance, young children who’ve just mailed their wish lists to the North Pole might worry to see Santa being pummeled by his older brother. Moments of rude comedy and some veiled sexual innuendo also make the script less than jolly. Still the movie offers several humorous insights into the difficulty of living in the shadow of a famous sibling. (It’s a quandary shared by others in Fred’s support group whose real-life siblings include celebrated actors and a former U.S. president.)
Luckily, the brothers’ familial bond eventually proves advantageous to both of them. And with a new perspective on things, everyone benefits from this northerly reunion.Starring Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Miranda Richardson, Elizabeth Banks,. Theatrical release November 8, 2007. Updated April 1, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Fred Claus rated PG? Fred Claus is rated PG by the MPAA for mild language and some rude humor.
Hurt by the comparisons to his younger brother, Fred becomes a mean-spirited man who has a difficult time carrying through on his promises. His desire to open a gambling joint leads him to steal money and publicly comes to blows with Santa stand-ins. He also causes chaos in the toy factory, fights with some elves and starts a scrap during a family dinner. Later he and his brother have an all out brawl. Other sibling arguments are also shown. Infrequent profanities, some brief sexual humor and a low-cut dress are included in the film along with brief scenes in a urinal and drunken elves outside a tavern.
Page last updated April 1, 2009
More parents' guide for Fred Claus after the break...
Fred Claus Parents' Guide
What happens when Fred’s mother constantly compares him to his younger brother? What are the dangers of measuring children against one another? How does it affect their family relations?
How does Fred fulfill the promise he makes to his baby sibling?
What makes Santa change his view of the Naughty and Nice list?
The most recent home video release of Fred Claus movie is November 24, 2008. Here are some details…
Release Date: 26 November 2008
Fred Claus comes to town on DVD with a sack full of additional scenes, an audio commentary by director David Dobkin and the movie’s trailer. Presented in widescreen, the disc offers audio tracks in Dolby Surround 5.1 (English, French and Spanish), with subtitles in English, Spanish and French.
Fred Claus also decks the halls on Blu-ray. This format is trimmed with additional scenes, an audio commentary by director David Dobkin, a music video (Ludacrismas) and featurettes (Pause for Claus: Elves Tell All, Meet the Other Claus, Sibling Rivalry and Vince and Paul’s Fireside Chats). As well, there is a bonus disc presenting Fred Claus: Race to Save Christmas. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese), with subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese.
Related home video titles:
When his father takes over for the Jolly Old Elf, a young boy faces the challenge of having Santa for a dad in The Santa Clause. A toy maker that towers above his coworkers discovers he is a human mistakenly brought to the North Pole. Wanting to find his birth family, Elf heads south to search out his parents.