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Holiday Specials and Movies

   Discussion: Holiday Specials and Movies
Gordondon son of Ethelred · 16 years ago
What are your favorite holiday films and specials? Is the Rankin/Bass Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer uplifting or a crime against humanity? Does A Charlie Brown Christmas make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

My two favorite holiday films are A Christmas Story and It's A Wonderful Life. I watch them every year.

I grew up listening to Jean Shepherd on the radio and A Christmas Story captures the feel of his writing perfectly. The fact that he does the narration is a huge part of it. I want a Red Ryder bb-gun with a compass in the stock.

It's A Wonderful Life gets a bad rap from people that haven't seen it for being treacley. Till the last few minutes it is a very dark film showing how George Bailey's life is a series of disappointments. The part where it shows what life would be like if he never lived is pure film noir. It is that darkness that makes the ending so uplifting. Pure movie magic. Capra and Stewart were brilliant.

Not on the same level but still good are the various versions of A Christmas Carol. Mr. Magoo was born to play Scrooge.
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years ago

I like most of 'em. I love the Rankiny stuff and I love the Frosty the Snowman cartoon and I love the Charlie Brown one and stuffs.

I HATE A Christmas Story. So much. So so much. I like It's a Wonderful Life, but feel no need to see it every year.

I love Scrooged. :)

Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
You "HATE" a Christmas Story? I'm not sure if I can still like you.

OK in the Spirit of Festivus I do still like you.
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years ago

Awww, you liked me to start with? :)

I just remember watching it when I was younger and be annoyed beyond all reason with the whole damn movie. Not my cup of tea I guess. :)

goovie is married! Back · 16 years ago
a christmas story is probably my favorite christmas movie. and you're so right about it's a wonderful life--the darkness surprised me the first time i watched it, because all i'd ever heard was how treacly it was. (and can it get any darker than a single woman working as a librarian? horrors! :)

oh. and white christmas, which is pure cheese, but the cast is so great, the songs are so fun...i can't help loving it.

the charlie brown christmas special does make me feel all warm and fuzzy, thank you. and i love to dance along with the kids to "linus and lucy."

and we can't forget the muppets--specifically emmet otter's jug-band christmas and muppet family christmas--the original, uncut versions, thanks. (and i'm so happy to say that a special edition dvd of emmet has been released this year.) i closed my show friday night with "when the river meets the sea."
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years ago
Oh! White Christmas! Love so!
Geoff Back · 16 years ago
There is nothing to compare to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Nothing. Though this comes close.
nate... Back · 16 years ago
scrooged is AWESOME
sheryls Back · 16 years ago

nodnod, it's one of the few christmas movies i bought willingly :P we have national lampoon's christmas vacation but it was a gift..and i like it too i suppose :P

we also have Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but that's more of a Thanksgiving movie. but it has snow and warm fuzzies at the end so it's vaguely christmas-y.

nate... Back · 16 years ago
Oh yeah... I *love* planes trains and automobiles.

Starfox · 16 years ago
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (really more Thanksgiving)
Muppet's Christmas Carol

Those are the ones that must be watched. If they are on TV we try to catch.

Miracle on 34th Street (the original)
A Christmas Story.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Absolutely NO It's a Wonderful Life. Ugh.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
You are right about White Christmas. The cast is why it is fun and the original Holiday Inn is relegated to a trivia question [that Jaci answered correctly]. Danny Kaye is incapable of not being funny.
Prinut Back · 16 years ago
A big yes to A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life.  Also, both Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.  And The Santa Clause. 
Gordondon son of Ethelred · 16 years ago
It was written by Dr. Seuss and directed by Chuck Jones but the best part is still the song. The Slaid Cleaves version of it with the magic Oliver accordion solo is on the radio right now. It instantly made me happy.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
This is where I start feeling like I'm from another planet. I actually saw P,T,&A in the theatre and found it painfully bad. Scrooged is not much better but I was spared watching the whole thing as I've only seen it on TV.
renita · 16 years ago
many have already been said: muppets, white christmas, charlie brown, wonderful life...

my addition:
the bells of saint mary.

goovie is married! Back · 16 years ago
the original grinch, of course.

i refuse to acknowledge the existence of the other one.
Bender Back · 16 years ago
the song was sung by Tony the Tiger.
Rachel Marie aka RAI · 16 years ago
I absolutely LOVE The Santa Clause. Maybe it's the dork in me and the fact that I used to watch Home Improvement, but I don't know. It's just a good movie.

And Elf was also way cute. Super happy too. A good Christmas movie.

But I have to vote It's a Wonderful Life on pure ethical purposes as my favorite Christmas movie.
Talcott · 16 years ago
Well, It's A Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story are on my list, but I don't really have anything new to say about them.

The Night They Saved Christmas is my sentimental favorite. It has everything. Snowmobiles, over-the-top political messages, teleporting Santa. What's not to like?

John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together is the second-best Muppet-related Christmas thing. It's corny, friendly, odd, a bit too much at time, and pretty much everything a Christmas special needs.


Christmas Eve on Sesame Street
would be the best Muppet-related Christmas thing. Aside from all of the good in this, it's my closest link to the Mr. Hooper era. I was barely one when he died, and it was a bit like watching film of a relative who I was too young to remember.
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years ago
Sadly, recently died. :(
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
Well of course the original. I totally forgot the remake. Why did you remind me?
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
What about Kiss Saves Christmas?
goovie is married! Back · 16 years ago
love love love christmas eve on sesame street. i got the dvd a few years ago.

and this is where a few years' difference in age can mean a lot, because i remember mr. hooper's death very clearly. that episode still makes me bawl.
goovie is married! Back · 16 years ago
kiss saves santa.
Prinut · 16 years ago
Does Nightmare Before Christmas count as a holiday movie? Because if it does, I'm adding it to my list.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
It is but what is the holiday? Christmas or Halloween? I think it was a Halloween release. Either way it is a great film.
*joolee* Back · 16 years ago
The Night They Saved Christmas is totally my fav too. I have it on VHS with all the commercials and such.
I can see the bunny Back · 16 years ago
*Love* White Christmas, Bells of St. Mary's and It's a Wonderful Life. But my absolute favourite holiday special has to be The Year Without a Santa Claus which doesn't get aired nearly as often as it should.
Nik Chaikin Back · 16 years ago
What other one? ;)
Will work for anime · 16 years ago
A new Christmas traditon (since last year) is for richard and i to watch "Love Actualy" together. If any of you have never seen this film..GO WATCH IT!!! It one's of the best movies ever!

One of my favorite specials since i was a kid has always been Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas Special -classic.
Talcott Back · 16 years ago
ooooh!
I used to have a copy, but it has since gone to the great VCR in the sky.

I don't suppose you'd have the crafty skills to copy that? (yes, I know I could probably find it elsewhere, but the commercials are a big draw. Seriously. I'm a freak ;-)

I'll, um, buy you coffee at FRFF :-D
Talcott Back · 16 years ago
I don't think it's the same one, but does anyone else remember the christmas special with claymation Dinosaurs? I mean, you really can't get much cooler than that.
Annika Back · 16 years ago

I almost always watch  A Christmas Story, I love that movie!  My parents both hate it, but would sit through it at least once every year when I was a kid.
My favorite though is Claymation Christmas.  I haven't seen it on in quite a few years so I may have been one of the few who really liked it..

*joolee* Back · 16 years ago
:) I don't drink coffee.

But I don't have copy abilities...sorry!
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
Hold out for chocolate
Will work for anime Back · 16 years ago
I think we are talking about the same show.  The Claymation Christmas Special was hosted by two talking dinosaurs - a blue t-rex (named Rex i think) and a red tricerotops named Herb.  They would introduce various christmas songs and carols while trying to figure out the true meaning of the song "Here We Go A-wassaling".  ehm.....not that i've seen this show ten millions time over,,,,,i taped it when it was on TV many many many years ago and nearly wore the tape out....then i found the DVD last year...Oh Joy!!! :-)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
It had dinosaurs and I never saw it? Now I have to. Of course "true" Christians know there were no such things as dinosaurs so they wouldn't like it.
Talcott Back · 16 years ago
Yep, that's the one! :-D
Actually, the "Here We Go A-wassaling" segment is the one part I remember at all clearly.
goovie is married! Back · 16 years ago
same here.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years ago
I really like Steve Martin's Mixed Nuts, although I think I'm the only one. :-)

Oh, and the Claymation Christmas Special... Although I haven't seen that in years.

.oO Here we come a waddling Oo.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years ago
Wow.

No one's ever went from "basically okay" to "dead to me" quite that quickly.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years ago
> Maybe it's the dork in me

Heh heh mmm heh
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years ago
Other segments I remember:

An ice-skating animal (hippo? Maybe I'm lifting that from Fantasia) to "Angels We Have Heard on High"

A kind of abstract painting-y thing to "Joy to the World"

The California Raisins performing "We, Three Kings"

An incompetent bell trying to take part in a performance of "Carol of the Bells"

"Oh, Tannenbaum" taking place in a Christmas-Tree ornament.

Umm...It seems like I'm forgetting one, but I can't think of what it might be...
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
Harsh. I still like Andrea even though she doesn't like a Christmas Story an intelligent, funny, touching, classic.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years ago
Okay, okay. In honor of the holidays, I'll bump you back up to "basically okay." But let's not make a habit of this. :-)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
I couldn't read that. I'm dead :-)
Will work for anime Back · 16 years ago

An ice-skating animal (hippo? Maybe I'm lifting that from Fantasia) to "Angels We Have Heard on High"
actually they were walruses who kept squishing the penguins the were watching them

A kind of abstract painting-y thing to "Joy to the World"

one of my favorite bit of the show!!!!

The California Raisins performing "We, Three Kings"

Umm...It seems like I'm forgetting one, but I can't think of what it might be...

they actually sang a motown version of "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer".  It was the 3 kings and their camels that sang "We Three Kings" (My other favorite bit). that may be where you got confued.....umm...not that i've just watched it or anything ;-)

Gordondon son of Ethelred · 16 years ago
Anyone else here know Meet John Doe?. As a kid I was both facinated and totally creeped out by it. There aren't a lot of holiday movies with the twin central themes of suicide and an attempt to turn United States into a Facsist dictatorship. This is another Capra film and it stars Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyk.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 16 years ago
Oh, yeah! Thanks for reminding me.

Need to get that DVD and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.

.oO if that isn't a true-blue miracle, I don't know what one is Oo.
Andrea Krause Back · 16 years ago
Seconded! Yay Ref!

"EXCUSE ME! If you don't mind, the corpse STILL has the floor!"
I can see the bunny Back · 16 years ago
Oooooh - I absolutely loved Meet John Doe. Capra did some amazing films - I think I've seen most of 'em. :)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
Best Capra Films:
  • It Happened One Night
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
  • Lost Horizon
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • Meet John Doe
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • It's A Wonderful Life
goovie is married! Back · 16 years ago
i'm pretty sure mr. smith went to washington. :)
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 16 years ago
Yes you win the prize for finding the mistake I deliberately put in my list. Yeah, that's it. And um, I never said the name of the town, did I?

Now that the contest is over I corrected it.

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