With its simple, straightforward message, “A Fruitcake Christmas” seems to be primarily aimed at kindergartners and preschoolers.  Like many works of art that seek to convert rather than entertain ( especially for this age group), its plot is extremely simplistic and seems to draw from other sources.  Think “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” meets “A Christmas Carol” meets a Billy Graham crusade.

Unfortunately, while the film’s teaching is wholly biblical, its narrative bypasses countless opportunities to enrich and deepen itself – like explaining why the bugs are all hungry, in the midst of such plenty, or why they’re obsessed with fruitcake, of all things.  Another disappointment is the dialogue.  Occasionally, we get a joke (“I’m just an exoskeleton!”) or a creative allusion (“God bless us, one and all!”), but these are disappointingly few and far between.  A bit of history about Hermie and his friends would also have been helpful, as would more characters like Wormie (who continually moans “fruuuuuuit-cake!”) and the bantering roaches.  Thank goodness for these two, by the way, and their authentic Southern accents.  Hallelujah!  Voiced by the stars of the hit radio show, “The Rick & Bubba Show,” they almost steal this show. 

Nevertheless, like the other “Hermie” episodes – and unlike so many other Christmas films – “A Fruitcake Christmas” has a clear, strong Christian message that will connect easily with kids.  With its beautiful, vivid colors and creative animation, it will likely keep them entertained, as well.  Christmas is not about giving or getting presents, kids will learn.  It’s not about the decorations.  Nor is it about friends or food or even family.  It’s about Jesus Christ and his love for us, which is the best gift of all – at any time of the year.