The holiday season is here and there is one movie you won’t want to miss: How Murray Saved Christmas. NBC announced they will air the half-hour musical special on Nov. 25, 2016, at 8:30 ET/7:30 CT. Emmy winner and The Simpsons and The Critic writer Mike Reiss wrote How Murray Saved Christmas as a children’s book in 2004. It has since been turned into a heartwarming and entertaining Christmas movie starring Jerry Stiller, Sean Hayes, Jason Alexander, Dennis Haysbert, John Ratzenberger, and Kevin Michael Richardson. You may listen to a reading of the book in the video above. Watch the official movie trailers in the video player below.
The book, as well as the movie, How Murray Saved Christmas, have become part of the holiday tradition in many households. Humorous and funny, the plot plays upon a modern-day Scrooge theme. The story takes place in a town called Stinky Cigars. The town drives unsuspecting visitors and tourists away but the purpose for the odorous name is to cover-up the fact that famous holiday characters reside there. Stinky Cigars is home to Cupid, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the famous Irish leprechaun, and more. Murray Weiner, who is the story’s main character, owns the town diner and is a grumpy sort of miserable person. Things change when Murray needs to take on Santa Claus’ activities and does an amazing job. Murray is voiced by Jerry Stiller from the King of Queens. Sean Hayes from Will and Grace and Sean Saves the World is the voice of Edison Elf. How Murray Saved Christmas is a musical. The Oscar-nominated composer Walter Murphy composed the score.
How Murray Saved Christmas has a current IMDB rating of 6.3 stars and was released on Dec. 5, 2014 on NBC as a television special and has been nominated for several awards. How Murray Saved Christmas was nominated for several awards. The movie won the award for Best Animated Film Feature in the 2015 International Film Awards Berlin. It was nominated for both an Annie Award and a Primetime Emmy. You may read user reviews by those who watched the film at IMDB. The majority of the reviews are favorable and many agree that How Murray Saved Christmas is, at times, politically incorrect, is geared towards adults, and provides great entertainment for grown-ups who might be getting bogged down with the holiday season and activities.
As many adults and fans of The Simpsons find How Murray Saved Christmas a hilarious comedy, the folks at Common Senes Media find some things about the movie troubling for young children. Common Sense Media gave How Murray Saved Christmas a 2.3 rating and suggested the movie is for children ages 8 and over. The following is a synopsis provided by Common Sense Media.
“Parents need to know that this animated Christmas special is fairly mild but does include some off-color jokes and depicts Santa as a sweatshop owner who calls kids ‘brats.’ Humor gets slightly edgy when it targets mental illness, trading affection for material goods, and ‘being gay’ but ‘not that way.’ Expect a few bits of nudity or sexualized content including a parade that shows a woman in a bikini on a float, a high-kicking women with bare legs, and, briefly, Santa’s bare behind.”
Common Sense Media recommended several other Christmas movies that are better suited towards younger children including the upcoming NBC special How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Other Christmas movies recommended by Common Sense Media include Elf and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.
What do you think? Have you seen How Murray Saved Christmas or have you read the book? Do you watch the movie with your children or do you think it is appropriate for older children, teens, and adults? What’s your favorite holiday movie to watch with the family?
[Featured Image by NBCUniversal (used with permission]