This is a post I wrote for my now defunct blog back in December 2010. It was just something I slapped together, not thinking too much about it. Apparently it struck a nerve with a lot of people and every December I’m asked for my opinion on one Christmas movie or another. I couldn’t let this gem sit in external hard drive wasteland though so I’m bringing it back with a few new additions. Merry Christmas!
The Worst Christmas Movies Ever
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
God, where do I even begin with this is? This is such a terrible move and is the complete opposite of the Christmas spirit and lessons we should be teaching our children. First, Rudolph is born with an obvious birth defect and instead of being a concerned parent, his dad’s only contribution (besides his sperm) is to try and name his son “Fireball”. This candidate for “Father of the Year” will only accept his son if he wears a prosthetic cover for his nose. Tell me that’s not fucked up.
The tragedy doesn’t end there though. Rudolph gets bullied the entire time he’s at “take-off” school and finally runs away to the Island of Misfit Toys along with some random elf named Hermey. We soon learn that Hermey isn’t accepted by his peers either because he strives to be a dentist instead of a blue collar worker making toys. Classist much there elves? While on the island they meet up with all the other misfit toys, a strange loner named Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snowman who’s actually grumpy because he’s suffering from severe dental issues and probably lacks the communication skills of the more evolved characters in the story.
But we’re in luck because this is the opportunity Hermey has been waiting for! He’s going to prove himself so he pulls the Snowman’s tooth with a pair of rusty pliers he somehow rustles up; essentially practicing dentistry without a license.
Empowered by Hermey’s strength to prove himself despite the naysayers, Rudolph and the gang decide to head back to the North Pole and confront their opposition. Santa, being the opportunistic bastard that he is, realizes he needs a headlight for his sleigh after checking the weather for that night. A light bulb goes off inside of him (where his soul should be) and sweet talks Rudolph into being the live headlight. And Rudolph just goes along with it without ever discussing compensation or even demanding an apology. All the other reindeer, including his dad, “love” Rudolph and “accept” him. No one ever apologizes to Rudolph and Rudolph just takes it, either because he’s the bigger reindeer or because he’s a twit.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
So you have this trippy town called Whoville and this thing called the Grinch who hates the Whos in Whoville for no other reason than he can (or so the movie would have you believe. I’m sure there’s a real reason.). He schemes for twenty minutes of the movie of how best to ruin the Whos Christmas. He settles on dressing himself up as a very non-convincing Santa and his sickly dog as a reindeer.
The Grinch is almost completely successful in stealing Christmas and abusing his reindeer dog in the process until some little Who named Cindy Lou guilts the Grinch into giving back all the Christmas related items and actually join in the festivities. Say what? Where is the Whoville P.D.? Where are her parents? If someone broke into my house on any day they would not be welcome at my dinner table. This bastard just committed grand theft larceny and breaking & entering. He should be sitting in a 6 x 6 cell chewing on some crap dinner instead of carving up the Christmas roast. This coddling of criminals is part of the downfall of society.
And the reasons for his immediate change? Something about his heart growing three times larger than it was. You know what that sounds like to me? Heart disease or an aortic rupture. Maybe he doesn’t change his ways…maybe he head a heart attack during his crime spree, died, and he’s wishing he could have done things differently. #foodforthought
Frosty the Snowman
This movie has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. It just happens to take place during Christmas time and the creators threw in a cameo by Santa for ratings and relevancy.
I’m all for encouraging children to use their imaginations to have fun but when that message gets mixed into running away from the law with a stranger via freight train, we may want to rethink things.
A Christmas Story
I will admit TBS’s twenty-four hour marathon of this has probably ruined this movie for me but I will say that it was skating on thin ice even before then. My main complaint about this movie isn’t that Ralphie wants a BB gun for Christmas (I’m all for responsible gun ownership), we’ve all had that one gift it’s more the other crap that somehow was tossed into the plot for filler. The mom is an enabler letting Randy, the little brother and clearly her favorite, basically do whatever the hell he wants. He eats like a “little piggy” at the dinner table *gag* and hides under the sink so his father won’t yell at him. Meanwhile, she makes Ralphie bite a bar of soap after dropping a well placed f-bomb that he hears all the time at home.
She also completely ignores his pleas to take off the stupid bunny costume his great aunt sent him for Christmas. What the actual hell, great aunt?? The dad is a few screws loose I think but I find him somewhat sympathetic. I mean who wants to work all day and come home to dogs barking at you like they’re rabid and a house with shoddy electric?
The running theme through all of the movie is Ralphie’s lust for this BB gun. And every time he asks for it he’s told “You’ll shoot your eye out!” But by some Christmas miracle he receives the gun and he goes outside still in his pajamas to fire it. Now remember when I said I’m all for responsible gun ownership? Yeah, his parents let this nine year old kid loose with a BB gun in a residential neighborhood and he manages to get hit with a ricocheted BB within ten seconds of going out back. Not only that but he then breaks his glasses in the process of trying to recover and then lies to his mother about the whole incident. And she believes him because she wasn’t supervising her kid while he played with a gun!!
The Best Christmas Movies Ever
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charlie Brown and company have the holidays locked up in my opinion. Halloween through Christmas is all Charlie Brown all the time in my house but I think they really nail Christmas.
Who has felt like Charlie Brown during the holidays? Completely overwhelmed with the idea of buying all of these things and just very blah about the holiday and its true meaning? Charlie Brown tries, he really does try to get into the Christmas spirit. He attempts to direct the Christmas play because Lucy says he needs “involvement”. But his efforts to be involved are undermined time and again but the cast and crew who give him nothing but shit about everything. If we stop at think about it, Charlie Brown could lose his mind at this point and no one could blame him or say he overreacted. But he doesn’t because Christmas, folks!
Finally, Lucy takes over the play and tells him to get a Christmas tree, a “big, shiny, aluminum Christmas tree” but he exercises some free will and gets a tiny little sapling of a tree and gets ripped to shreds by the rest of the Peanuts squad. Only when he finally does lose his mind (rather calmly I might add) and wants to know if anyone knows the true meaning of Christmas does Linus speak up and drop some Gospel (literally Luke 2:8-14). Quickly the rest of them realize what assholes they’ve been and try to make amends with some decorating and Christmas caroling.
This is probably the most contemporary and heartfelt Christmas movie currently available. You have a non-traditional family built through adoption, namely Buddy and Papa Elf, and then the hunt for Buddy’s biological father. Buddy embodies everything that should be good about Christmas: faith, good cheer, and a ton of sugar.
Buddy is the person we all want to be. The person who can find the good or silver lining in (almost) everyone (remember he did accuse “Santa” of sitting on a throne of lies). The message is perfect for kids and adults alike and the jokes are perfect.
I remember walking through the video story as a kid (yes I realize that dates me) and seeing this video jacket with an electrified Chevy Chase and wanting to know what this was all about. My mom would quickly hustle me past it and distract me with Mario Bros. 3. I finally watched this movie for the first time as an adult in my mid-twenties and was really mad at my mom for holding back such Christmas genius.
But really she was right from hiding this from eight year old me. The jokes are definitely intended for the adult crowd. Who doesn’t have at least one member of their family that is either completely batshit crazy, oblivious, and has no fucks to give? I have all of those people in my family and then I married a whole other set of them.
Sure our families can be overbearing and drive us crazy and the stress of the holiday to be absolutely perfect can be overwhelming but I think the wisest advice came from Clark’s dad:
*boom* mic drop.