I remember watching most, if not all, of the Ernest films as a child. It wasn't as much a formative part of my childhood as, say, the Naked Gun trilogy was, but it's not like I'm completely unfamiliar with this franchise. This, to me, reminds me of a low-brow version of the Pink Panther films from the 60s and 70s with Peter Sellers, I don't count Trail of the Pink Panther, released in 82, because Peter Sellers' scenes were comprised of deleted scenes from other films in the franchise. I'm not trying to suggest that Jim Varney and Peter Sellers are even in the same stratosphere as far as comedic performances went, Peter blew Jim out of the water on almost every level, but it's similar in that Jim Varney, essentially, played the same character for decades and nothing, if anything, rarely changed about any of the films. Maybe the locations and some of the story elements, but it all boiled down to Ernest being a child-like fool getting into increasingly absurd hi-jinks. There's a familiarity from one Ernest film to the next, much like in the Pink Panther. The one difference being that, to me, every Pink Panther film I saw was really enjoyable. This movie, eh, didn't really do much for me in terms of performance or comedy. Here's the thing about Jim Varney, when he ventured outside the Ernest character and actually did some more serious stuff, the guy wasn't bad at all. It's not that Ernest himself is a terrible character, there's a certain innocence about him that could've been endearing, but there's parts where the guy is just insufferable. Varney did a decent job at portraying the character, but I wouldn't say that he was the most gifted comedic actor on earth. Yes, he disguised himself as different people, and he did an adequate job as these different characters, but I wouldn't say that he made me laugh. And maybe it's not even his fault, but I'm pretty sure that Varney himself had a lot of input in shaping this character, if not a great percentage of it. So part of it has to be blamed on him, the rest of the story, however, can and probably should be blamed on someone else. The story is every bland and dull Christmas movie you've ever seen, except with the Ernest touch. And Ernest is either a love him or hate him type of character, there's no real in-between. Ernest films have never been known for their technical prowess, so it's even more of a step down from that end. The casting for this isn't particularly inspired. I'm not saying the cast doesn't try hard, but I don't think they do a good job at editing together performances for anyone to stand out. There's also a lot of filler, like everything with the storage agents and the reindeer. It doesn't really serve any real purpose but to pad the running time, which isn't that long to begin with. There's nothing wrong with releasing a movie that's shorter than normal, at least you're keeping the pacing in mind. These segments with the reindeer really just kill the pacing and they're not particularly funny save for maybe one or two chuckles. While this is a harmless movie in and of itself, I can't really imagine that many kids will actually enjoy this. It's weird, this film clearly isn't geared towards an adult audience, but it's not exactly geared towards kids either. It's stuck in limbo, because while it is a harmless family movie, that doesn't necessarily make it a good one either. This is kind of a disaster in a lot of levels. You can't expect high-brow humor with this kind of character, but there's no reason it couldn't have been, at least, a reasonably entertaining film. It fails at getting you in a Christmas-y mood, if that's what you're looking for, and that's really the ultimate sin for one of these types of films. I don't wanna say it fails at everything, but it's a bad film on many levels. Again, I never loved Ernest, even as a kid, but it goes to show you that your memory can play tricks on you. Anyone who may have loved this film in their youth shouldn't come back to it in their adulthood. I think they will be sorely disappointed. Isn't it sad that this is among the 'better' reviewed films in the Ernest franchise. Think about that.