Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?! (2 stars)

Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?!

Suitably silly but gratingly repetitive third instalment of the Nativity series

Though the title (a play of course on Dude, Where’s My Car?) may suggest the darker theme of drug-taking amongst tiny tykes over the difficult Christmas period, it is in fact – somewhat thankfully – the name of a terrible song which features in the film, that's sure to stick in your head like a treacly sponge pudding sticks to a spoon.

Mr Poppy (Marc Wootton) and his donkey Archie return for the third film in the Nativity series. This time, the Christmas story is crossed with the formulaic dance movie, as the kids enter a flash mob competition so they can win a trip to New York to perform on top of the Empire State Building and grant a young girl her Christmas wish of getting a new mum.

When teacher Mr Shepherd (Martin Clunes) is hit in the head by a donkey he forgets everything about his life, even his daughter and his fiancé Sophie (Catherine Tate), who he is set to marry on Christmas Eve in New York. Mr Poppy and the kids from St Bernadette’s help him along his way, by taking him back through his childhood memories in a bid to remind him of what's important in life.

Celia Imrie pops up as a clueless headmistress and she is, as ever, fantastic. Jason Watkins reappears as the evil Gordon Shakespeare who, along with his dance troupe, performs a modified version of Psy's 'Gangnam Style' and who provides rivalry for Mr Poppy and co, alongside mass havoc.

Written and directed once again by Debbie Isitt, Nativity 3 is plenty silly enough for the young audience it's aimed at, given that it's chock-full of bright colours, bad dance moves, fart jokes and slapstick. However it may prove testing to short attention spans and coerced adults as it clocks in at an unnecessarily long 109 minutes, and that's mainly due to an annoyingly repetitive nature.

General release from Fri 14 Nov.


Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?!

  • 2 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 1h 49min
  • U
  • Directed by: Debbie Isitt
  • Written by: Debbie Isitt
  • Cast: Martin Clunes, Marc Wootton, Catherine Tate, Celia Imrie, Jason Watkins, Susie Blake, Lyla Peters
  • UK release: 14 November 2014

The third film in the series sees the kids from St Bernardette's helping teacher Mr Shepherd (Clunes) recover from a donkey-inflicted bout of amnesia. The Christmas story is crossed with the formulaic dance movie, with results that may prove testing to short attention spans. Unnecessarily long and annoyingly repetitive.