The Naughty Nine Parent Guide
Despite the made-for-tv production values, this Christmas heist flick delivers a surprisingly good time.
Parent Movie Review
Andy (Winslow Fegley) is a master of mischief. With his best friend Dulce (Camila Rodriguez), they pull off heists, pranks, and other forms of misbehavior, much to their parents and teachers’ frustration. But the thing about being naughty is, Santa has a list for that.
When neither Andy nor Dulce receive gifts from Santa one Christmas, they decide to take matters into their own hands. Pulling together a team of other naughty-listers, the pair plan the ultimate heist: break into Santa’s workshop and steal their presents.
Heist films truly are the gift that keep on giving. My unending love for them lets me assure you that you can find a heist to fit nearly any genre, age range, and rating. You want an R rated sci-fi heist? That exists! You want a G-rated Christmas themed heist for kids? As of today, you can have it! And the best news is, it’s actually pretty good. My main disclaimer is that The Naughty Nine is a Disney Channel Original Movie, so that comes with lowered expectations around production value, budget, and writing. Although I would put this on the slightly higher end of DCOMs in those categories, it is still a made-for-TV movie, so keep that in mind.
Two factors account for the movie’s success: the heist, and the message. The heist is relatively simple, since it’s geared for a child audience, but it’s still entertaining. The team Andy puts together has some fun characters with distinct skills and reasons for being on the naughty list. Personally, I was a big fan of Jon Anthony (Deric McCabe), but I’m sure most children could find at least one of the Nine to relate to, if not find funny.
What I really appreciate about this production, however, is the overall theme. As Santa (Danny Glover) explains near the end, you get to choose what kind of person you want to be every day. Andy and the other kids learn that just because you were a troublemaker before doesn’t mean you have to be forever. You can choose today to make different choices. The writers also touch on the idea that doing bad things might feel good, but that feeling is fleeting; on the other hand, when you do good things you feel good long term. These are great messages for young audiences, and maybe even for adults.
With essentially no negative content of note, The Naughty Nine is sure to be a hit with most families. It’s simple, sweet, and features a festive heist. For a holiday themed flick, there’s not much more one could ask for, regardless of which List they might be on.Directed by Alberto Belli. Starring Winslow Fegley, Camila Rodriguez, Derek Theler. Running time: 83 minutes. Theatrical release November 23, 2023. Updated November 24, 2023
Watch the trailer for The Naughty Nine
The Naughty Nine
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Naughty Nine rated TV-G? The Naughty Nine is rated TV-G by the MPAA
Violence: There are scenes of mild peril.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: Kids use some mild insults like “loser”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated November 24, 2023
The Naughty Nine Parents' Guide
Why does Laurel take the phone from Santa’s workshop? How does it make her feel? How do she and Andy change their minds about their behaviors?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Naughtiness at Christmas? Authors have written a variety of books sure to keep mischievous young readers entertained.
In Naughty Claudine’s Christmas by Patrick Jennings and Suzanne Kaufman,the titular protagonist decides that it’s rude for Santa to just wander into people’s houses. To keep him out, she decides to be so naughty he won’t have any presents for her this year.
For a totally dysfunctional tale, you can try The Naughty List, which follows two kids who try to save Christmas, despite misbehaving elves, clumsy reindeer, and a lazy Saint Nick. The book is written by Michael Fry and Bradley Jackson.
The Grumpus: And His Dastardly Dreadful Christmas Plan by Alex T. Smith gives us a new seasonal anti-hero, with plenty of laughs and lessons about changed attitudes.
Tom Fletcher’s Christmasaurus and the Naughty List isn’t about naughty kids planning a heist, it’s about naughty kids learning the error of their ways.
Related home video titles:
Going after Santa is a unique twist to this Christmas film. Most other seasonal offerings feature kids who are trying to help out Good Saint Nick. If you want more movies about Father Christmas, check out our article, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.