December 21, 2003

Holiday Video

One of my favorite holiday specials is Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas. (I reviewed it a few years back on But there are a number of videos which are either Christmas specials, Christmas films, or they just take place around the holiday season. My favorite holiday-time films are Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas for its message, A Charlie Brown Christmas, for nostalgia, A Lion In Winter for the cutting dialogue, Year Without a Santa Claus for the goofiness, Christmas Vacation for the parody of everything that can go wrong. The next tier (very close behind) would contain Trading Places for the comedy and How The Grinch Stole Christmas for the story.

So I put together a poll for all of you. What the heck. Anyhow, I'm sure their are some people's favorites which are left off the list, feel free to mention them in the comments. But also please vote. If you chould choose only one of these films, which would you choose?

Free polls from
If you had to choose one to watch on Xmas eve, which would it be?
The Year Without a Santa Claus
 A Charlie Brown Christmas
Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas
The Lion In Winter
 How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Trading Places
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Frosty The Snowman
The Santa Clause
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer


Posted by James at December 21, 2003 3:23 PM
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Here's my comments about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:

- Rudolph is different.
- With varying degrees of sensitivity, everyone, including parents, teachers, and Santa himself, indicates that Rudolph's minor "nonconformity" makes him useless.
- It turns out later that Rudolph's "nonconformity" can solve a problem for his former tormentors, so they say they're sorry and they graciously allow him to help them out.
- Rudolph is a better person than I am, but I don't think anyone else learned anything. If Rudolph hadn't been able to save the day, he'd be on welfare now and living in a shack.
- Lesson: if you're different, you're screwed, unless you have at least TWO super powers. Or a friend that has at least two super powers; otherwise, I think that dentist elf would have been screwed too.
- Evidently, Santa is okay with that.

No, I don't really take it that seriously, but I do wish they'd air a disclaimer with that story, like, "Santa isn't really that much of an asshole, honest!"

Posted by: julie at December 22, 2003 12:30 AM

Watching Rudolph as an adult I can't beleive that our parents let us watch that show. It's a truely horrible story!

What no Christmas Story or Christmas Carol on the poll!!! Oh F-U-D-G-E except I didn't say fudge. My vote Christmas Story one of the fiunniest movies ever never mind chritsmas movies. Followed by the George C Scott Christmas Carol. My favorite animated special didn't make it either. The Year Without a Santa Clause. Love Heat and Cold Misers.

Posted by: Bob at December 22, 2003 9:11 AM

Firstly: Rudolph was not on my first version of the poll because it always creeped me out as a kid. Pretty much exactly for the reasons Julie cites.

Secondly: Christmas Story was originally on the poll, but I had to switch polling services, and the current one only allows 10 things to choose from. So blame the poll hosting service.

Posted by: James at December 22, 2003 10:09 AM

Scrooged man....what about Scrooged with Bill Murray, its a classic

Posted by: Ryan at December 22, 2003 11:40 AM

I'd add It's a Wonderful Life and I agree with the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol. Sometimes (rarely) someone airs the full version, which includes a scene where Scrooge goes to hell. (I'm not kidding. Must be seen to be believed.)

Posted by: julie at December 22, 2003 1:40 PM

Ooooh, I've never seen that version. I'll need to see if I can find it on dvd.

Posted by: Bob at December 22, 2003 2:34 PM

I fear my deconstruction of "Rudolph" has ruined it for Bob. "My bad," as the kids say these days.

I'm puzzled by "The Lion in Winter" being on a Christmas list. Excellent movie, but what's the connection to Christmas?

If I could pick only one, it would have to be "A Christmas Story."

Slight tangent: What ever happened to "Rudolph's Shiny New Year"? The bird Eon was creepy!

Posted by: Patti M. at December 23, 2003 10:34 AM

It's set in the Christmas of 1183. Eleanor of Aquitaine is allowed out of her tower briefly for the holidays.

Posted by: James at December 23, 2003 12:20 PM

Oh, right! Merci bien.

Posted by: Patti M. at December 23, 2003 12:46 PM

I thought I ruined Rudolph for you! I forgot about Rudoplh's shiny new year. I always liked that one better than the original.

Posted by: Bob at December 23, 2003 3:02 PM

love Lion in Winter, but didn't really think of it as a holiday film.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town and The Grinch are my faves; most of the Bass and Rankin ones are great. Dan loves Emmet Otter, as well as It's a Wonderful Life (genesis of Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street) and A Christmas Story ('Fra-gee-lay - must be Italian!').

Posted by: beth at December 23, 2003 10:31 PM

augh - forgot to mention Patrick Stewart's Christmas Carol.

Posted by: beth at December 23, 2003 10:32 PM

Although Snowmeiser and Heatmeiser are amusing, if really disturbing, you just have to go with the Grinch.

My favorite line in American letters:

"He slunk to the kitchen, he stole the Who's feast. He stole the Who pudding, he stole the Roast Beast. He cleaned out the icebox as quick as a flash; why that Grinch even stole the last can of Who hash."

Slunk is just too good a word to overlook.

Posted by: Steve at December 24, 2003 12:57 PM

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