Interview: Jet Jurgensmeyer of “A Belle for Christmas”

Posted on November 4, 2014 at 7:00 am

Copyright Anchor Bay Entertainment 2014
Copyright Anchor Bay Entertainment 2014

A Belle for Christmas, available today on DVD, is a cute holiday story of a dog named Belle who comes to live with kids named Elliot and Phoebe and their widowed father (Dean Cain).  Kristy Swenson plays Dani, the crafty baker trying to win the father’s heart so she can quit her job, send his children away to school, and enjoy being supported.  But she is allergic to Belle.  If she is going to move into the house, she has to find a way to get rid of the dog.  I had a chance to talk to Jet Jurgensmeyer, the charming young actor who plays Elliot.  He might just be the politest actor I’ve ever interviewed.

I asked him to describe Elliot as if if was a friend.   “He loves his grandma, he loves hanging with his friend Malcolm, he has a crush on a girl on the other street and he is very outgoing and he loves his dad, you can kind of tell that. And if he needs to he can come with some kind of plans and pranks and stuff.”  He said the adults were as good as the children at remembering their lines.  “You know we had some fumbles in our lines ever so often. Everybody does but I don’t know I think a little bit of both. Maybe kids are better because they have got that fresh mind.”  He loved the two dogs that played Belle.  “She was the sweetest thing in the world, she was so cute and fluffy. Two dogs actually. I used both of them. I don’t think I’d ever seen a cream colored shepherd. And when I first saw both of them, I was like ‘Oh my gosh!’ They were like the snow, they were so cute and I guess from the first time when all the kids and the grownups met the dogs it was like, ‘Oh yes this is going to be awesome.'”

The dogs’ trainer helped make sure that Belle performed on cue.  “The part in the movie in the beginning where the dog comes out of the lady’s arms and comes over towards me and I pick her up — they actually put some dog treats, I can’t remember if it was on my boots or right next to my boot. So the dog would come over and start nibbling on that and I would pick her up.  She actually really did what she was told to do.”

In the film, Elliot and Phoebe can tell right away that Dani is not to be trusted.  I asked Jet how they figured it out.  “Kids can kind of like see that from like a mile away.  We could tell she didn’t care about us – she just cares about our dad. So basically when that happens they are just like…’Okay, this is war.'”

He enjoyed hanging out with the other kids in the cast between film set-ups.  “We hang, we tell jokes.  In the trailer all the kids had we had bunk   beds. Four kids so four bunk beds. So me and my friend Connor we got the top bunks then the girls were on the bottom ones but we every so often, we’d go on everybody else bed. Ee just laughed and had fun. Everybody on the set knew right away ‘This set is going to be really fun. That’s what this is.'”

When he’s not working or in school, Jet likes movies about basketball and soccer.  He enjoys the baseball classic “The Sandlot,” too. He likes books about sports as well, and recently read a book about Satchel Paige.  He really enjoys acting, but his favorite thing about making a movie is asking questions about pretty much everything.  “Why are you putting this right here?”  “What’s this lens going to do?”  He also enjoyed “hanging with Dean and Kristy” and being reunited with Connor Berry and Avary J. Anderson, who play his friends in the film, and have appeared with him before.  “Every time I would see Dean he would always do this trick. It’s that trick which where he is like ‘Oh is that something on your shirt?’ and then he would bang you on the nose and even till this day he will do it to me like three times when I see him. Every single time I will fall for it. I need to have a buzzer that says, ‘Don’t do it!’ but every time I’m like ‘urrrh!’  He’s hilarious.”

And Jet says the best advice he ever got about acting is “just don’t worry about it if you make mistakes.  Just have fun with it and go with the flow and if you feel something, go with it and do it.”


Related Tags:


Actors Comedy Family Issues Holidays Kids Stories About Kids

Contest: Scholastic’s Halloween DVD

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 8:00 am

Copyright Scholastic 2012
Copyright Scholastic 2012

Get ready for Halloween with Scholastic’s “Day of the Dead” DVD, featuring four spooky (but not too scary) tales. In the title story, by Bob Barner and narrated by Rita Moreno, two children celebrate their ancestors on this Latin American holiday. A kitten has a wild adventure in “Kitten’s First Moon,” by Kevin Henkes. “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves,” by Tiphanie Beeke, celebrates autumn. And in “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything,” by Linda Williams, some creepy noises give the title character the first scare of her life.

I have one copy to give away! Send me an email at with Halloween in the subject line and tell me your favorite thing about this time of year. Don’t forget your address! (US addresses only.) I’ll pick a winner at random on October 21, 2014. Good luck!

Related Tags:


Contests and Giveaways Early Readers Elementary School Holidays Kids

Cute Clip from “The Naughty List”

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I’m delighted to present a clip from the cute new holiday film, The Naughty List. Two young elves, Winter and Snowflake, have a hard time following the rules and are prone to sneaking off for some good elf playtime. But after wrecking the North Pole’s official Christmas tree, the two elf brothers along with a rebellious reindeer named Sparkle find themselves on the dreaded Naughty List.  They are forced to do mundane horrible tasks like washing windows, cleaning bathrooms and more but seem to always make a bigger mess than they had to begin with. After the group is regulated to kitchen duty, they somehow manage to give the whole North Pole food poisoning including Santa!  Now with only hours to go before Christmas, they are the only ones left to help save Christmas.

Related Tags:


Animation Holidays Kids Shorts Trailers, Previews, and Clips

Down Syndrome Model Audition in DC March 15

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 8:00 am

Fashion savvy models with Down syndrome are auditioning on March 15 to star in the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s (GDSF) May 8th Be Beautiful Be Yourself Gala, a high-style fashion show and fundraiser taking place at the Ritz Carlton in D.C. with celebrities, a well-known musical act, and members of Congress. The gala is designed to raise awareness about the chromosomal disorder affecting one in 691 babies and will honor Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Rep. Chris Van Hollen for their support of those with disabilities.

The auditions are taking place Friday, March 15, 2013, 6:00-8:30pm at George Washington University’s Marvin Center.  It is great to see opportunities for a wider variety of models to remind us how much beauty is around us.


Related Tags:


Disabilities and Different Abilities Kids

Keeping Children Safe Online: Club Penguin

Posted on August 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

We warn our children not to talk to strangers, but how do we protect them when there are online resources set up specifically for them to make new friends?  Forbes has a thoughtful piece about Club Penguin, a social networking site for school-age children.

Successful sites like Club Penguin have made child safety a primary goal, and by most accounts, parents are comfortable letting their little Penguins roam about the Town. Penguins can “chat” with other penguins in two ways: by selecting pre-written phrases, especially useful for the spelling-challenged age group, or by upgrading to “Standard Safe Chat” which enables users to create their own messages but filters them to block inappropriate language or personal information.

Resources like the Family Online Safety Institute and Common Sense Media help families talk about rules to keep kids safe online.  Just like you talk to kids about rules for crossing the street and making sure they are neither a bully or bullied, it is essential that families discuss the difference between online and real friends and the importance of keeping private information private.

Related Tags:


Internet, Gaming, Podcasts, and Apps Kids Parenting
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2023, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik