Merry Christmas! We’ve finally made it to the very end of the 25 Days of Christmas article bonanza and I have to say, I’m very happy with the way it has gone. I love Christmas and Christmas movies, so I was all too happy to gorge myself on all these festive specials.
As it seems to happy every year, however, time flew by and before I realized it was far behind with posting articles, I had less than a week left. While I would’ve liked to gotten to them all, some had to get put to the side, but they will live on in this post. These are in no particular order, but here are the 5 MOVIES AND SPECIALS I WATCHED THIS CHRISTMAS BUT DIDN’T WRITE ABOUT.
5. The Polar Express
The first attempt by Robert Zemeckis to do the whole motion capture thing is oddly cold at times, but its ending may offer some redemption. Imagine if, on Christmas Eve, a huge train pulled up to your house when you were a kid and promised to take you to the North Pole. That’s the basic premise of The Polar Express and it plays out like a Harry Potter movie that never gets off the train to Hogwarts. Sure, there are scenes at Santa’s Workshop, but the workshop itself is kind of disappointing. Maybe back when this was first made, the animating of backgrounds was still a little suspect, but it’s all slides and conveyor belts and kind of boring.
But the heart makes its way there at the end, once the main character gets to meet Santa and he finally, truly, believes.
4. The Santa Clause 2
I’ve written more articles than I usually wind up doing this month, so while I would’ve liked to keep up with every single viewing, sometimes life just got in the way. The Santa Clause 2 is an easy one to skip because although it isn’t as dreadful as the third film, it’s nowhere near as special as its predecessor.
In this one, Scott Calvin, now completely Santa is on the verge of losing his powers because he has yet to find a wife: The Misses Clause (get it?). Seeing as how there are no women at the North Pole that aren’t played by child actors, Santa puts a robot clone in charge while he sets off to find a woman that will marry him.
While the idea that Santa has to go incognito to find a wife, whom he’ll ultimately have to tell his secret to is an interesting plot device, the romance with the woman that eventually becomes Mrs. Claus is too quick. Also, save for a cameo by Molly Shannon (doing an impression of nearly every SNL character she ever had), there’s only one eligible bachelorette and it becomes a missed opportunity for some conflict.
3. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Another sequel, this one didn’t make the cut for a full-fledged article because it is just too similar to the original. This doesn’t make it a bad movie, but it doesn’t exactly make it worth an entire post by itself.
In this one, Kevin boards the wrong plane and, instead of heading to Florida with the rest of his family, winds up on a trip to New York. There, through kismet, he runs into Harry and Marv as they prepare to rob a toy store on Christmas. As he’s the only one that knows about the plot, it’s up to Kevin to stop them.
Though the addition of Tim Curry adds something, this movie is essentially a carbon copy. Don’t get me wrong, I still find it enjoyable and I must make special mention to Daniel Stern’s comedic ability once again, if you’ve seen the first, you’ve seen this one.
2. Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
I don’t enjoy the Disney characters in 3D. There’s just something I find odd and upsetting about the CGI rendered Mickey and pals and, while it’s not exactly a terrible problem for this anthology series, it kind of disappoints me a little.
There are a few stories here that check in on your favorite Disney characters as they prepare for the holidays: Huey, Dewey, and Louie head to Santa’s workshop to get a hold of his Naughty List, Pluto runs away from home and winds up with Santa’s reindeer, and Goofy’s son Max brings his girlfriend home to meet his dad among others.
Over the past few decades, these characters don’t seem to be doing much of anything; they’re probably stashed somewhere in that Disney Vault we always hear about. So while on one hand it’s good to see these characters, I can’t help but feel like these stories are excruciatingly trivial.
1. Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics
The second appearance by Mr. Hankey on South Park is also an anthology series and, while good episode and a nice break from an episode’s usual structure, there’s really not much to talk about.
As if set up like an Andy Williams’ Christmas special, Mr. Hankey introduces each segment by fireside. The songs, as they always are when you’re talking South Park, are top-notch, including the new rendition of the Mr. Hankey theme song. From Cartman’s selfish rendition of “O Holy Night” to Mr. Garrison’s xenophobic song inundating non-Christians with Christmas spirit, there are some truly memorable moments throughout the episode.