I have fond memories of watching Rudolph and the other animated specials every year, so I’ve been slowly building up a library of holiday movies for us to watch as a family every year. My husband G. Grod isn’t so into the whole every-movie every-year thing as I am, but we all know he’s not as compulsive as I am, either. And aren’t holiday traditions all about the compulsivity?
We started off with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This year nearly 5yo Guppy wasn’t scared of the Bumble, and both boys enjoyed it. And on IMDB, I found the answer for why “Dolly for Sue” is on the Island of Misfit Toys: “This gripping debate raged on for decades, until official word from Rankin-Bass recently decided the issue: Dolly for Sue is a “misfit” because she has psychological problems - she feels unloved.” Also, another burning misfit question answered: “When the elf drops the blue train from Santa’s sleigh, he no longer has the caboose with square wheels, the one thing that made him a misfit. Also, the bird who couldn’t fly is shown leaving the sleigh without an umbrella. Though not stated, it could be implied that Santa was able to use his magic to fix the misfit toys’ problems.” And the misfit scene at the end was added on after viewers protested that they weren’t revisited in the original. Nowhere on IMDB does it address why it’s Herbie at the beginning of the show and Hermie later on.
The 1965 A Charlie Brown Christmas was a harder sell. 7yo Drake remembered not liking it, and was bored and flopsy for most of it. He perked up for the 1992 sequel It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown which not only is not good, but contradicts the anti-commercial message of the first one. Inexplicably, the boys preferred the sequel.
Next was The Muppets’ Christmas Carol, with Michael Caine as Scrooge and Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Robin (*cough, cough*) as tubercular Tiny Tim. Guppy had some time behind his hands and under the blanket during the many ghost parts, but did OK. Drake remembered much of it from the previous year. I enjoyed the Marley brothers, Jacob and “Robert” who were surrounded by noisy cashboxes in a tribute to Bob Marley and the Wailers.
I chose Miracle on 34th Street next. Guppy’s refrain throughout was “when is the exciting part?” I told him it was the courtroom scene. He did not agree. Drake was mostly bored during, but enjoyed the ending. I think this is more a grownup than a kid movie, or at least little kid movie.
Last night, we borrowed Elf from a friend. I thought it would be a hit, with its childish humor. Instead, Drake hid under the blanket every time Will Ferrell did something embarrassing (i.e., almost every scene) and continually moaned “I hate this movie!” He did not, though, leave the room though we suggested it more than once, and did cop to liking the ending. Again, not so much for the little kids, and maybe never for Drew, who couldn’t stomach the awkward comedy like that of Will Ferrell and The Office.
Next I’m going for Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. G. Grod has declined to join us. But I think this will be a bit more kid friendly.