Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)

The idea of a Walt Disney Christmas movie seems to be a win-win proposition. The legions of Disney zombies out there would gladly eat up a cartoon that featured classic characters such as Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Chip and Dale, and Pluto in a Christmas setting. More importantly of course is that for the Walt Disney Company, it would surely be a gold mine for them, guaranteeing sales every Christmas for years to come. Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas would be the ideal result of such a concept except that it sucks Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey‘s balls. Continue reading “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (1999)”

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)

The Man Who Came To Dinner is a story about a radio host, Sheridan Whiteside, who ruins Christmas, but since this is Hollywood, he also manages to save it in the end. And unlike the majority of real people, the titular man’s consistently caustic manner and maddening self-absorption is fairly amusing. The writers also understood the most rudimentary elements of comedy and thus we are also treated to penguins periodically running around loose in the house. Continue reading “The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)”

Legend of the Candy Cane (2001)

Throughout history legends have played an important role in passing down information and values to succeeding generations. Whether it was Washington Irving’s The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow teaching us that the jocks will always exercise supremacy over the nerds, the legend of Johnny Appleseed who pioneered the “tin pot as hat” craze of the mid 1950s, all the way up to more recent tales such as The Legend of Billie Jean which taught us that Helen Slater really did peak with Supergirl, our need to spin yarns of bigger than life heroes, deeds, and blue oxen are a window into our national identity. But of all the stories a young and bustling land vomited forth upon the cold prairie nights, it is the legend of the candy cane that has captured the imagination of Americans more than any other! Continue reading “Legend of the Candy Cane (2001)”

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Barbara Stanwyck plays Elizabeth Lane, a gal who writes a column for a magazine extolling the virtues of a traditional home in the country and who provides recipes and babbles about her family. The funny part (not ha-ha funny of course) is that she lives in the city, has a Hungarian chef named Felix do all the cooking, and doesn’t have a family beyond the stuffy architect suitor (John) she loathes. Her editor knows all this, but her publisher (Sydney Greenstreet) doesn’t and would fire her in a minute if he ever found out.

The movie begins with two sailors on a raft with little food. If you threw a priest and a hooker in there with them, you’d have the makings of a pretty good joke, but as it is, this is merely all set up for Liz’s big Christmas problem. Continue reading “Christmas in Connecticut (1945)”

The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (1966)

Here’s one instance where the author of the book can’t whine about how his precious work of art has been bastardized by the film industry into a commercial bit of tripe not befitting the work of genius that his powerful novel about The Chrsitmas That Almost Wasn’t was. You see, Paul Tripp, the author of said powerful novel also starred in the movie, wrote the screenplay and is credited with coming up with the lyrics to the copious songs that littered this movie like giant piles of reindeer crabapples. (Did you think songs that rhymed “sorry” and “jolly” wrote themselves?) Continue reading “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t (1966)”

The 12 Dogs of Christmas (2005)

Part of my court-ordered counseling I have to participate in involves me taking ownership of my problems. To that end, I feel compelled to own the fact that my favorite Christmas song is “Winter Wonderland.” There’s just something about getting married by a snowman that speaks to the sentimental fool in me.

And if “Winter Wonderland” is the greatest Christmas song of all time, then “The 12 Days Of Christmas” has to be the worst. In fact, it’s so bad I would even have to rank it below those trailer park Christmas songs like the one where mama was kissing Santa or that other one where grandma was getting run over by a reindeer. White trash sure do have interesting holiday traditions, don’t they? Continue reading “The 12 Dogs of Christmas (2005)”