Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the real deal Santa Claus that for some reason has escaped an old folks home and decided to wreak his holiday brand of havoc on the capitalist pigs at Macy’s, as well as firing up a little girl’s imagination which has been stymied by her divorced workaholic and very sensible mother. He’s also got no use for drunken Santa imposters, pop psychiatry, and doesn’t mind going to trial to prove he is the one and only Santa! Continue reading “Miracle on 34th Street (1947)”
Three friends have their Christmas Eve dinner plans canceled so they do what anyone would do under the circumstances – devise a wacky Candid Camera-style stunt by tossing wallets with ten dollar bills and each one of their business cards into the street! Then they wait to see if anyone has the old Christmas spirit in them and returns the wallet with the cash. And anyone who does will be invited to dinner! Continue reading “Beyond Tomorrow (1940)”
In ancient times it never paid to get down too much when misfortune hit you. Sure, it might seem like God is taking a divine dump on you if you’re an orphaned shepherd boy who gets hit by lightning and catches a case of the blindness. But if you were patient and didn’t rage too much at the unfairness of it all, usually God would show back up later with a curative dose of miracle, especially at Christmas, as if to say, “see how freaking awesome Christmas is!” Continue reading “The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975)”
If you wonder how a Christmas cartoon about a donkey giving the Virgin Mary a ride to Bethlehem could have ever been shown on network TV, you have to recall what the TV landscape was like in 1977.
Most people only the three networks and PBS, no cable TV and no home video. When a Christmas special came on (if you remember the spinning CBS Special logo and its music, you know what I’m talking about), you were damn glad to be finally getting a break from your parents’ idiotic programs like Carter Country or The Shields and Yarnell Show. Even if it was about some farm animal you never heard of saving a religious Christmas instead of the normal North Pole Christmas, you sat and watched in rapt attention despite having no idea what was up with all the talk about a savior and Roman soldiers! Continue reading “Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)”
Who knew Raggedy Ann was such a technophobe? Even before she can hear Alexander Graham Wolf explain what the purpose of his Gloopstik was, she was catching the vapors over the very notion that a large red machine simply existed! It sure made you wonder at Comet’s wisdom in selecting her to be part of the special ops team tasked with degrading and destroying Wolf’s command and control in the North Pole! Continue reading “Raggedy Ann and Andy in The Great Santa Claus Caper (1978)”
Is it really possible for a Christmas special not to be the dumbest in the world when everything happens because a sea captain forgets to pack the ship’s Christmas tree for the long holiday voyage? Or that the captain detours his ship to a small island because he saw a tree he liked and orders the obviously learning disabled cabin boy ashore to dig the thing up? Or that said cabin boy continues to dig up the tree even after he sees that the island is full of leprechauns! Continue reading “The Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold (1981)”
This DVD is a lot like that Tiny Tim sob story at the end of it – lame and propped up by only one good leg. It is ironic then that Tiny Tim’s segment in this, another gimpy attempt by Disney to trick you into making a holiday donation to their coffers, is the best part of this lump of video coal. Continue reading “Mickey’s Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse (2001)”