Friday, December 21, 2018


Where the hell was this in the first 3 damn movies?? I'm almost pissed off at how good this movie is!

So yeah, shock of the flippin' new millenium! Bumblebee was pretty damn good! I have so much to talk about and so little time to talk about it. Bottom line, go see it. Yeah, I know. You know my history. But go see it! The action is really good, the comedy doesn't make me want to inflict harm upon myself and others, the bond between Bumblebee and Charlie is absolutely wonderful. The look is Generation 1 all the way and it looks spectacular! The movie is soaked in 80s radical music and clothing, to the point where I might buy the soundtrack. I won't even divulge plot, cause I want this to be totally fresh and new to all eyes. If you've seen the trailer, good for you the movie is even better. I do hate one thing about it but trust me you'll know what! I am being real with you, this may squeeze into the top 10 of this year! I am questioning my own sanity but it's true! I really, really enjoyed this movie guys. Good behavior and good movies must be awarded and as the last film reviewed of the year we went out on a high note. Thanks for sticking around, you know how much it means to me. To a new year of reviews, and of course the happiest of the holidays to you. Goodnight everybody!


What a rush!

If a movie can make my jaw drop based off of visuals and scale alone, quite a few times even, you may have a really damn good movie. Just saying. Well the plot mostly stuck to Throne Of Atlantis, with some well added elements, Jason Momoa is fantastic as always, Amber Heard further proves not only why I love redheads above all others but also that Mera can take any badass chick from the DC universe, James Wan brought so much to the visuals and style which was excellent, and I have to admit it ended pitch perfectly. Hell it even threw me for a few loops most of which were good but I gotta say, there was one shock that wore off quick. Take a shot everytime someone is having a conversation then stuff explodes from the background into the foreground, you will get tipsy fast. But honestly that's the only bad thing I can say. The film looks so beautiful in terms of design, color, effects style, it's a visual feast to the eyes and I give it 10/10 for visuals easily! They did the story very well and yes it actually involves a bit of world trekking both above and under the ocean waves which is fun. And oh, that reminds me! I almost daresay that the movie would not be nearly as impressive audibly at home than the theater, every wave, every water drop sounds so impressive with that booming surround sound. I just love this movie both from a technical standpoint to story. I definitely recommend it, especially to a friend who thinks Aquaman is a bit shall we say outclassed in the Justice League. Major props to Geoff Johns for making Aquaman freaking beast, and of course to Jason Momoa for bringing such a wiseass, hard edged, rough and ready persona to a growing in popularity hero. Go see it for sure, you will not be disappointed!

And now I am going straight from Theater A to Theater B for, hopefully the Transformers movie I've been wanting since 2007.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Home Alone 2

I think because of both of these movies I always watch where I'm stepping all the time.

I'm not doing a plot synopsis, I think even the director admitted it was just a bigger remake of the first one, substitute being home alone with accidentaly travelling to New York, and you pretty much got the same movie with some fine additions. So let's talk about them! I love seeing New York, you get some fantastic scenery and tons of locations to see. The traps are even more inventive and somehow even more lethal than before, with a welcome return of the paint buckets but I love the new additions. And of course every bad thing I could say about this movie like the almost egregious whoring out to the Talkboy, or the exact same scary force turned friend like in the last film, or how the actor playing Kevin's dad is the most boring and phoned in trite I have ever seen in a performance despite one really funny bit, or even how carbon copy the plot is has some really outstanding bits to counter it. Like I love the owner of this toy store Kevin visits, he is one of the nicest characters I've ever seen in film he's just so nice and his voice is the cheeriest elderly voice I've ever heard and ack, it just brings me such joy. Yes they have yet another Marley character named Pigeon Lady, seriously you couldn't even name her? You had to be so lazy you couldn't even name her character Tilly or Annabelle or some nice old fashioned name? But I'll be damned, they have yet another copied scene where they sit and talk and share parts of their lives and while it doesn't have that absolutely outstanding atmosphere and sweet simplicity, the writing is absurdly good in that scene, it goes a bit deeper than the previous one and really showed why John Hughes was still a great writer even after his 80s hits. I've never heard anyone talk about it before so I had to bring it up, cause it's a real gem. Speaking of gems, Tim Curry. Ohhhhh my sweet beautiful snow, Tim Curry. You want a reason to watch this movie? Tim Curry. He cracks me up damn near every second he is on screen, he is just oozing with deliciously devilish smiles and hilarious dialogue, oh my God I just can't get enough of him! It's like he knows he's not in that good a movie but decides screw it, I'm going to have fun regardless and it is such an improvement. If Tim Curry was not in this movie, it would lose a star already from a 2/4 star rating. Yeah these movies aren't exactly the glorious movies I remember, the writing is off in terms of story, the dialogue is average which is a shame coming from Hughes cause you know he can write gooood, the traps while fun and even sometimes funny doesn't merit the lollygagging around beforehand, yet at the same time I don't hate them! They're okay movies, they have moments of greatness and can be little Christmas guilty pleasures, but man they really did not age well for me. You can always watch them with friends or family while you open presents or gorge on Christmas dinner, just as some movie fluff to put on, and get a few laughs out of the pained screams and enjoyableness of a certain actor. Adequate movies but not exactly a Christmas classic to all.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Home Alone

Boy would this film be impossible to potray in the modern day.

Like, you go back and watch this and you're just like holy hell people would be up in arms over this stuff today. I don't know, do I even need to recount the story? Well better safe than sorry I suppose. An average family of about 15 are traveling all the way to Paris for Christmas, because....I guess it's a supreme spot for the winter season (yeah I know it's just to make the plot more feasible but seriously what?) and a young boy named Kevin who is a surprisingly accurate depiction of a boy his age in a family this size, gets left home alone through a series of supremely fine tuned mishaps, and soon the house is assaulted by burglars which he must fight off while his family races back home to him. I loved watching this movie when I was young and after quite a considerable time since I watched this movie last, we're talking 10+ years, looking back I finally understood why I watched it a lot. I really got Kevin! His bratty attitude, his resourcefulness, even his massive bouts of panic induced running, I totally identified with this kid! Plus the final act antics with the booby traps was endless fun, now I just look at them with cringing pain and shock. Some of these are sadistic and might kill someone! But hey man if people are trying to bust into your house and take your stuff, there is no mercy to be found within it's walls. I also never really paid that much attention to the family members cause honestly they were jerks and I didn't want to see them as a kid, but now I daresay the best performance in the movie is Catherine O'Hara as Kevin's mom, she friggin' cracks me up and is hell bent to get home to her son and loses her stocking stuffing with how much crazy nonsense she deals with, I absolutely love her. And, though I'm incredibly happy of the outcome and even the best scene in the movie comes about because of it, I hate the antagonistic edge to Kevin's next door neighbor Marley played by Roberts Blossom. There's nothing wrong with his performance, I really love it, but it's just the fact he runs into Kevin like 3 times and scares the living daylights out of him each time and he doesn't even say a hi or how are you, just unsettling stares set in silence. Why?? If I scared a young kid, I would at least attempt to calm them and show I was no threat. That bugs the hell out of me. Even though the scene they share together in the church is lovely, and easily is the best scene in the movie, just a quiet conversation backed by beautiful singings of Christmas songs before the big finale. And yes, that music when he starts leaving the church is awesome, it pumps you up to set some traps and nail these bastards! And the music is quite nice with a decent mix of orchestral and holiday hits but nothing compares to that. It's an ever so slight mixed movie, it's good but you might need to suspend that disbelief a bit more than usual. Also, a personal thank you to John Candy for saving the day, he's the reason Kevin's mom gets home by Christmas! Go John, we miss you.

And we might as well do Home Alone 2 tomorrow. Cause how the hell am I ever supposed to say no to Tim Curry?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Miracle On 34th Street (1994)

I bet not many people would know that John Hughes actually produced this movie.

So yes, another remake of a Christmas classic, does it hold up against the original? Honestly I've heard both in my lifetime, it improves elements of the original and it shouldn't have been made, and so on and so forth. Do I hate it? No, it has some real lovely scenes, they can show off a lot more because of the budget, and Sir Richard Attenborough is a wonderful Santa Claus. The scene with him and the deaf girl is one of the most cherished scenes in cinema, you can't friggin' frown at that scene even I a very grinchy Grinch soul loves that scene down to the milisecond. But I must admit the film, like any other has pros and cons. Richard Attenborough is magical, and Mara Wilson though a bit on the cutesy side for me plays it well and her relationship with Attenborough is truly lovely. Yet on the other side of the spectrum, Elizabeth Perkins I swear to God looks so damn bored in this movie! She just looks uninterested and I know her character is always thinking, and moving, and working but did someone spike her drinks with adderall, she barely looks awake! And Dylan McDermott still has that friendship with Kris like in the original, and he does alright but the romance just doesn't work as great in the original though it was slightly a product of it's times. But what really gets on my nerves about this movie is the fact they have to throw in a ridiculous antagonist who I swear they filmed for a different movie and accidentaly spliced him in, most 90s movies even if they were simple kids movies tried to shoehorn in some conflict so we have this whole bruhaha about a feuding business owner who wants to hire Kris to his buisness so he can....take over the city, or something. You think I'm joking about that, but watch this dude's first scene and tell me he doesn't seem more suited as a crime boss working for the Kingpin or perhaps a less intriguing Bond villain. It is so friggin' lame and it only gets worse with idiot side henchman, and the fact that the movie puts Kris in more...violent light. I have no idea what they were trying to communicate but a few mean words and Kris is about to take his cane and beat somebody like they owe him his money. Now there is one scene where I can justify it to the teeth, but the other times seem just so out of character. Attenborough brings a ton of charm and even more magic I would say to the role of Santa Claus than Edmund Gwenn did, the smile on his face is unbridled delight and happiness, he feels more like a true entity of Christmas than just an elderly gentleman who lives in a nursing home who just so happens to be Santa yet they still put him in a home but whatever. There's more tropes of 90s family films you can notice throughout but there's one scene that makes up for (almost) all of it, it's a very quiet and even powerful scene where Kris explains to Mrs. Walker what his image means and it's really incredible to listen to. It's the best scene in the movie hands down! Plus I like how they updated the court case at the end, and the ending is something clever and works better than the way they proved Kris' credibility in the original. So yeah, it's mixed what they did incredibly right and did horrendously wrong, but I still say go see it just for Attenborough and Wilson who are what made the film so memorable even to this day. Miracle On 34th Street regardless of film version is a unique and interesting story, one that takes it's own route in the oddities of Christmas films and is still viewed and enjoyed by millions of people every holiday season. Whether you believe in Santa or not can make your holiday experience boundless with optimism or drenched in melancholy, but I think regardless of your own personal beliefs someone thinks about you every Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Miracle On 34th Street (1947)

Well thank the celestial beings we're ending on a high note.

Yes, we finally got around to Miracle on 34th Street and will look at the remake tomorrow. Yet again, you know I'm realizing I must have not watched a damn thing around December. Cause can't be more than 3 years ago I saw this movie, the remake (which is odd cause I actually owned the movie, you figure that out), It's A Wonderful Life and the Charlie Brown Christmas Special and you'd think after being a bitter, cynical, Grinch loving adult the magic would be lost on this award winning Christmas movie made not all that long after World War 2. But, the first time I watched and future viewings have proven there's a reason it's still loved and watched today. The story centers around an old man who believes he's Santa Claus, and is soon hired to be a mall Santa (guess they still had those even back then) as he comes into the life of a mother and her daughter who are more logical thinking and don't quite believe in things like Santa Claus. And thus the story involves Kris trying to prove he is the genuine article of Christmas spirit. Now I love how the writers woved the story and sequence of events, the whole challenge of faith is done very subtley centered around not a deity but a dignified, sophisticated, and above all kind man who believes he is Santa. Edmund Gwenn is a joy to watch, it's hard to distinguish from actor and beloved gift giver and even actors from the set felt the same way. Little Natalie Wood is quite possibly the best actor in the whole movie, cause we never really got, competent child actors back then, we just had to work with their modicum of acting but she is excellent in this movie, seeming wiser than any child and exudes intelligence with still a sense of innocence and wonder. Maureen O'Hara has always been a wonderful actress, and still brings her all to this performance. I love the relationship between her and Natalie, they seem like a real mother and daughter, and her parenting style is something to be admired. And I just love the fact that we have an adult who is unfaltering in his belief that Kris really is the Santa Claus, and it's hard to argue with that! Hell, they even hold a court hearing to decide if he's legitimately Santa or if he's just nuts. Now you may be saying well that can't hold a child's attention and maybe this is more for older viewers, but I would disagree, they keep it interesting and simple plus kids would want Santa to win so there's some hardcore stakes for the little ones to get invested in. So yeah, I love it, you feel the true spirit of the holiday, and walk away with a smile on your face. What more could anyone ask? Watch it this season for sure, and we'll compare notes tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Doug was severely on top form with his review of this movie.

And entirely correct too. Yes, the Jim Carrey Grinch movie isn't held highly in my eyes. But why you might be asking? Well there is surprisingly some stuff I really like. Jim Carrey looks just like The Grinch, the make up and suit allows so much expression and movement which of course is a big part of Jim's performance. I really like Taylor Momson as Cindy Lou she is absurdly cute, and makes up the only decent person in Whoville. The art direction really nails that Seuss style of drawing, and there is an incredible amount of sets and practical effects. But with every positive I noted there is negative connotations with it. Carrey plays an eccentric grump, and does have his funny moments but only when he acts like a jerk. When he's being Jim Carrey in a green suit, it's not distracting but it's not good. Cindy Lou Who has Christmas doubts because well, Whoville is filled with materialistic and commercial assholes. A town that loved the spirit of Christmas? I guess that was too hard to believe! God help me. Though they brought the world of Whoville to the realm of the 3rd dimension, it doesn't all work, sure the buildings and props look all fine and well but the Who's themselves look freaky as hell! Mainly because in animation if a character has no upper lip, it can work but if a character in the real world has no upper lip it looks disturbing. And while we're on the subject of Who's they're not doing well as a society, the city looks smoggy and kinda dingy with no real burst of color anywhere, as I said the Who's are heavily delved into commercialism and care nothing more than to get their presents on Christmas day, and the fact that I don't think they care what happens in their town, kids run with hacksaws, people fall and get in wrecks, they don't care about delinquet behavior. Do you see why I have such issue with this movie? It entirely misses the point of the story. I heard some people bitch about Cumberbatch's Grinch because they softened him up, he doesn't hate Christmas or the Who's, he acts more like a millenial adult with emotional support animals etc., and he acts somewhat nice to his dog and Cindy. Okay first off, he's a dog owner so he wasn't a total jerkface, he had nice moments in here too like saving Cindy from being crushed and not running over a woman and her baby carriage, so they can get off my planet. I still prefer it to this! Oh my God, it's like every time I think I ran out of stuff to hate, it just. Keeps. Going. I counted 3 moments that Dr. Seuss would roll in his grave for! The face plant in a woman's chest, an explosion a la' Michael Bay occured, and the worst offense, the Grinch lets his dog be kissed on the rear. I honestly want to eat cyanide laced gingerbread men after typing that. I want to give up on life. Ron Howard, what the **** have you wrought??! I'm done! **** it!! This movie is garbage, it's ass sauce, this is the worst Christmas movie I ever saw in my life!!! It's proof that Jesus was crucified for nothing and legally changed his middle name to ****ing!! A few funny moments and one genuinely nice lovely moment cannot change the fact this is garbage that should be taken to the summit of Mt. Krumpit to dump it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Christmas Chronicles

Okay, here we go.

The Christmas Chronicles is okay. It's a mixed bag if anything. I must admit, I think is the first Netflix Original film I've seen and honestly the production and budget does not seem much higher than your everyday children's movie budget except they got a big name star in it. So what's the story? Well we get a montage of home videos introducing us to our main characters Katy and Teddy who after losing their dad in a fire has come to the first Christmas without their dad, and through reasons I don't think I got Katy's older brother gets roped into staying up with Katy to see Santa Claus because....I have absolutely no idea. They hear him on the roof and give chase, leading them to meet ol' Saint Nick when all hell breaks loose. The sleigh crashes, the bag of toys is missing, and Christmas cheer is slowly plummeting, forcing our young siblings to help Santa retrieve his belongings and save Christmas from not happening. A goal I can despise. So here comes the problem with this movie and why I deem it a mixed bag, Kurt Russel is amazing, it's like if you mixed Jack Burton, several Santa's like from the Ernest movie and the Guardians movie, with even a dash of old Luke Skywalker when he gets upset at them, but he makes the role his own and he may be my favorite Santa ever. The problem, I hate to say it comes from the kids. Not the actors, they do fine especially the girl who plays Katy she's just so full of that Christmas spirit and is really great to watch, but the problem is more their personal story. Now I need to go on a brief tangent but trust me it ties back! Last Christmas I was forced to watch a Christmas movie with my younger cousin and you know all those bargin bin, shoestring budget, lazily written, poorly contrived, and low quality kids films? That was one of them. I hated every nanosecond of it. That's kinda what this movie is, a not so great written kids movie with a bit of a budget, but no good or interesting family elements. They lose their dad in a fire, the mom is barely around, they bicker and argue but deep down they love each other, it's so ridiculously forseeable and shoddily written. But every scene with Kurt Russel in it is the reason you watch this movie. It's like the writers had this great premise of a no nonsense, more gruff looking Santa and they really wanted Kurt to play him and wrote all this great stuff, but then had to write main characters from a Hallmark tv movie. I love how they handled the Santa mythos kind of, like how his hat is magic and is what lets him get through chimneys, his sleigh is that mix of tech and mysticism like you see in Elf, and The Santa Clause, they get some stuff really right!....and then you get to the elfs. Like they fully reinforce this weird undercurrent of almost horror you see throughout the movie. Like the first time the kids hear Santa it switches to a handheld camera as they run around trying to find him, and when you first see these elfs, not only are they quite disturbingly designed like they look like rats, tails and all! Wait I take that back, it's like if a lemur and a rat had babies then they were mutated by radioactive waste. And these suckers are mean! The first time the girl meets them, they swarm her, tie her to a chair and are about to probably torture her. But that's nothing compared to when the brother meets them. They pull a Gulliver's Travels and pin him down as one elf comes toward him with a fully working chainsaw about to take it straight to his gnards until his sister intervenes! The f*** movie??! Jesus Christ, who needs a (slightly less) creepy elf on a shelf when you got these beasts? Soooo, yeah. Kinda juggles a bit in this movie. Just YouTube Kurt's scenes, they are the best part of the whole movie, and I saw you little Elvis nod, very nice touch! Just watch A Very Murray Christmas if you're on Netflix, there's less muck you have to wade through and it's an underrated Christmas special!

Tomorrow, I'm not looking forward to. I've gotten and will probably continue to get comments about how I don't like this movie, but I need to set the record straight so I don't have to do it next year. Tomorrow, we'll be looking at, the Jim Carrey Grinch movie. Oh boy.....

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Year Without A Santa Claus

The more I analyze it, Christmas movie titles are such liars! It's A Wonderful Life is not wonderful, How The Grinch Stole Christmas is not an instructional video on how to steal Christmas, and The Year Without A Santa Claus has Santa Claus delivering presents! What even in the coldest depths of hell??

As our final nod to the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials I decided to do this movie, and it's not half bad so we ran the full gambit of, not that good to excellent to okay. And so the story goes that Santa woke up one day before Christmas and through quite honestly the rudest and most likely to be terminated elf decides that his days of nightly adventure to bring gifts to kind and good children must come to an end, but the missus won't be having none of that talk and sets out with two elfs to find the Christmas spirit that Santa doesn't believe exists anymore. Now I for one would think that would be an incredible Christmas movie, to have Santa Claus himself doubt his abilities and intentions in a world that doesn't believe in him and the Christmas spirit has disappeared leading to a very reflective, dark, and downright depressing movie where Santa has to come to terms with the world and come out on top. And you get hints of that here, I mean obviously they have to keep it upbeat and not childhood scarring but come on! How great would that be to see a character study of quite possibly the most beloved man in history? But it's more subtext than actual text I grant you that, with Mickey Rooney returning as Santa giving a very good performance juggling doubt and sadness with hope and kindness, and the cool thing is it ties with Santa Claus Is Coming To Town! Santa is still voiced by Mickey, Mrs. Claus has red highlights so clearly she's Jessica, and even some artwork survived to this movie. It's a shame we couldn't have Winter back but we kinda make up for it with the addition of Snow Miser and Heat Miser which are very brief characters in an already brief special, but my lord did they leave an impression. Everyone knows or has at least heard I'm Mr. White Christmas, I'm Mr. Snow once in their life, and it is a very catchy and fun tune. The music quality is sort of in the middle this time around, not as great as Santa Claus but not as forgettable as Rudolph, I Believe In Santa Claus and Blue Christmas are highlights for me and they are very nice and sweet. So if you're in the mood for more after the first two Rankin/Bass specials check this one out, it's an alright movie with some highlights though Santa Claus will always be the best in my eyes. I always heard very mixed opinions about the Rankin/Bass stuff ranging from absolute Christmas classics to just being weird and kind of nonsensical so I wanted to bring up a few examples and judge for myself and let you do the same. Personally, they are a mixed bag but I don't hate them, I'm a fan of stopmotion and true it's no Harryhausen but they did good work. I guess it depends on what you like, which I can understand. And next week, we look at some well known, something new, and something I'm....less than looking forward to. Until next time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Bet you didn't know Santa was a total ginger!

You'd think after the near merciless beating I delivered to Rudolph, I'd be ready to take out old Saint Nick as well but I think you'll be surprised how much I enjoy this special. This was the one along with Rudolph that I watched many a time when I was very young regardless of the time of year, and it's aged very well in my memory. Though I doubt it's the first, I do say this is the best Christmas special that tells the story of how Santa Claus came to be. The story takes every pre-known fact about Santa and interweaves it into a lovely little story, starting when he was just a wee baby and adopted by a family of elfs who parent him and teach them their ways of toymaking. As he grows up he decides to take the toys he and his family made to the children of a small and rather quite depressing looking town, which brands him as an outlaw and forces him to be more elusive in his delivering of toys to the good kids. There he meets a schoolteacher named Jessica and a very sweet relationship starts between them, and they continue on with their lives while still delivering gifts. Unlike the Rudolph special that took barely a darn thing from the actual song it was based on, this special covers just about everything with hardly anything added on besides a penguin in a scarf and a warlock turned babyface but even then it works very well. Mickey Rooney is our Santa and honestly I never realized how absolutely southern he sounds in this special, and it is glorious. It's just a cherry on top of an already very good performance where most of the story focuses on when Kris Kringle was still a young man and he brings such a legitimate joy and niceness to a world known and beloved person. Robie Lester is such a sweetie in this movie as Jessica and quite possibly has the best song in the whole special, in fact the songs are quite sparse compared to the last special but are done way better. They're more memorable, fun to listen to, and are even songs I wouldn't mind hearing on the radio this time of year. One Foot In Front Of The Other is an incredibly upbeat and catchy tune, and serves basically as an inspirational song while My World Is Beginning Today is a slow little ballad that's quite lovely to listen to and Robie Lester slays the singing. The more I think about it, just the entire quality of the production is improved since Rudolph, the animation while still stopmotion is more fluid and looks nicer, the songs are definitely a gigantic improvement, the story and characters feel natural, and it can have it's sweet moments that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. And again my favorite character is the warlock who Kris meets and convinces him to be a friend to his journey, I don't know if it's Keenan Wynn's voice or what but he's a joy to watch and it's funny to think he legitimately scared me when I was younger before he became a good guy but honestly I was one step above being afraid of my own shadow at that point so I'll give myself some credit. And we even have Fred Astaire as the narrator and it's always nice to see him in a movie. So yeah, kinda surprising that I love this special so much but it's hard to argue with decent material and fine actors that make it all work so well. Now this is a definite recommendation for the holidays with your youngins' or just if you're curious from how much praise I showered it with. No wonder I used to watch it a lot as a kid.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

Okay. This is gonna suck either way so let's get this over with.

You know waaaay back when, when I was but a lad I used to watch this and our next movie this week even if it wasn't Christmas time. In fact I watched tons of Christmas movies long before or after (depending on your point of view of time) December. And I have not watched this special in years. And boy howdy, is it much much weirder than I remember. You all know the story of Rudolph, the young reindeer who is born with a neon red nosed who is shunned by his parents, friends, Santa and just about everybody except for a nice elf who breaks conformity and ventures to be a dentist, before saying "Peace bitch!" to the North Pole and travel the wastelands of the arctic evading a genuinely unsettling snow monster while meeting a prospector who soon find themselves on an island of odd and yet somehow really friggin' awesome toys led by a winged lion whose title is King Moonraiser, before returning to Christmas Town to save Christmas when a devastating snowstorm blows in. It's just like the song! So yeah....a touch different than most people would remember this special, but I take ever so slight issue with this than just story. Mainly the fact that everyone in the North Pole aside from one elf, a girl reindeer, and a enthusiastic prospector are a bunch of jackasses! This is a very mean spirited movie, not quite as abusive as Chicken Little, but when the message of a movie is if you're born different you will not be accepted by society unless your unique trait is useful, is kinda f***ed up! But is there more than just general disdain for the story in this special? Actually yes. Burl Ives is a nice narrator, he has a warm and inviting voice and can sing incredibly well, the animation though far from Kubo And The Two Strings quality has a charm and style all it's own (and surprisingly was done in Japan), some of the backgrounds with certain effects and lighting can look very moody and pretty, and my favorite character is the Abominable Snowmonster. This guy makes the movie for me, not only is the design and how he moves and react strange but effective, the fact that they pose him as a threat and he kinda works as a threat is something you rarely see. He's no moustache twirling villain who wants to destroy Christmas, he wants to wreck your stuff and eat your girlfriend because he's a terrifying beast. Perfect. This creature is known for being a force to be reckoned with and should be stayed away from and you feel that, his roar is actually unsettling, and I wouldn't wish meeting such a beast on even my worst enemy. You want to know the best part of the movie? Him. But gah, I just can't get over just the cruel and unusual punishment Rudolph has to take from these people! He's a good kid and despite clearly being segregated and ostrecized still tries to do the right thing so I think the special is trying to impart, don't be a part of society if they judge you and don't want to be around you and look for a group of people who respect and appreciate you as yourself, and to not settle for anything less. Which is commendable but that took some inference on my part to come to that conclusion so the special tells it very sloppily if that was the intended subtext. Geez I guess it just shows what America in the mid-60s viewpoint was on people who were a bit different huh? And this never bothered me as a kid...much, it still pissed me off that they treated Rudolph and Hermie the elf so poorly when they were perfectly fine folk, but everything else I took at face value. So do I recommend this movie? I'm not entirely sure I can. I don't even think it's a Christmas classic, though tons of people watch it every year. Now I know the Rankin/Bass specials have a place around this time of year, but this one tries to fly and lands face first into the ice for me. I sense this is just the beginning for a month of, less than great shall we say, movies to talk about. Better than It's A Wonderful Life. But only by a smidge.