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Fred Claus

Released

Latest Home Video

Nov 24, 2008

MPAA Rating:

PG


Cast

Vince Vaughn

Paul Giamatti

Miranda Richardson

Elizabeth Banks

Studio

2008 Warner Brothers Pictures

Still shot from the movie: Fred Claus.

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Reviewed by

Overall B-
ViolenceB
SexB+
LanguageB+
Drugs/AlcoholB
Run Time

Making the Grades

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.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Fred Claus.

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?

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
G Violence.
AB PG
MB PG Language May Offend. Violence.
ON PG Language May Offend.
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
G

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Fred Claus...

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.

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