Author Topic: Danae's Yuletide Marathon  (Read 4798 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« on: December 01, 2012, 03:15:55 PM »
So, much like Pete we watch our seasonal movies and specials at this time of year.  We will try to watch one of them a day for the rest of the month, however this will be at least a bit interrupted because we are also re-watching Lord of the Rings in preparation for The Hobbit coming out this month.   So, naturally we won't get through all of these.

Here is a list of all my Yuletide DVDs.  There are likely some Christmas-themed episodes on TV shows I have as well, but I won't dig those out.  We'll do good to get through these.  Anything marked in italics we haven't seen yet.  Those marked with a ** will definitely be watched.

Specials:
- A Charlie Brown Christmas **
- Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales
- Cricket on the Hearth
- Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury
- Frosty the Snowman **
- Frosty's Winter Wonderland
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas **
- I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown
- The Little Drummer Boy
- Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
- The Night Before Christmas
- Prep and Landing **
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer **
- Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
- The Year Without a Santa Claus

Music:
- Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration
- A Kilted Christmas with Coyote Run
- Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve

Shorts Collections:
- A Christmas Past: Vintage Holiday Films 1901-1925
- A Collection of Christmas Classics
- Walt Disney Classic Cartoon Favorites: Classic Holiday Stories
- Walt Disney Classic Cartoon Favorites: Holiday Celebration with Mickey and Pals

Movies
- Arthur Christmas
- Barbie: A Perfect Christmas
- Barbie in A Christmas Carol
- Barbie in The Nutcracker
- Beyond Tomorrow
- A Christmas Carol (1935)
- A Christmas Carol (1951)
- A Christmas Carol (1999)
- Christmas in Conneticut
- A Christmas Story
- A Christmas Without Snow
- The Holiday
- Holiday Affair
- Holiday Inn
- It Happened On 5th Avenue
- It's a Wonderful Life
- Joyeux Noel
- Love Actually
- Miracle on 34th Street
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
- The Nutcracker (1968)
- The Nutcracker (1977)
- The Nutcracker (1995)
- The Polar Express
- Prancer
- Santa Buddies: The Legend of Santa Paws
- Santa Claus
- Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
- The Search for Santa Paws
- Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
- This Christmas
- Thomas Kincade's Christmas Cottage
- Tokyo Godfathers
- White Christmas

Other:
- The History of Christmas
- Hamtaro: Ham Ham Christmas
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 03:31:29 PM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline addicted2dvd

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 04:57:31 PM »
Yay! Glad to see someone else doing a marathon this month... will be watching the thread!  ;D
Pete

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 10:30:26 PM »

A Collection of Christmas Classics

I'm down with whatever upper-respiratory crap is going around right now, so some cartoons sounded like just the thing while sucking down hot tea and hoping my sinuses clear.  This is a cheapie collection of cartoons that I think are in the public domain, and I picked it up solely for the first short.  

My big complaint is that I would really like to see a lot of these cartoons remastered and in a better release.  Two of them are incomplete and that was quite sad.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
This is an 8-minute Max Fleisher short from 1948.  It's Fleischer's last cartoon, so that alone makes it worth a look for animation buffs.  It's also a really cute, creative cartoon that follows the famous song.  Sure, it's been long overstaged by the Rankin-Bass classic, but it's still a great little short.  

"The Snow Queen"
We skipped this, as it's just over an hour.  It's originally titled Snezhnaya koroleva and was made in The Soviet Union in 1957.  I'm going to go back and watch it at some point, though given the two cartoons that followed it, I'm kinda afraid it won't be complete.

"Santa and The Three Bears"
This was apparently a TV special from 1970, and features two bear cubs that are curious about Christmas, their mother bear who just wants to sleep, and a park ranger at Yellowstone who tells the cubs about the holiday.  It was a sweet, cute little show with some late-60's psychedelia in the visuals.  Unfortunately, the cartoon is not complete on this disc!  It cuts off just as the cubs have convinced their mom to get them a Christmas tree.  

"The Little Christmas Burro" aka "The  Little Brown Burro"
This is the other incomplete cartoon.  Apparently the 70's were a time for Christmas donkey cartoons, because this is one of three (the better known two are "Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey" and "The Small One").  This was a really well-animated cartoon.  I was very impressed with the art overall, especially the use of light and shadow, and the character design on the burro was adorable.  As with the other cartoon, it's very unfortunate that this one is incomplete on the disc, and cuts off just as the burro has made friends with Omar the mouse.  

"Christmas Comes But Once a Year"
This is a 9 minute Fleisher Studios short from 1936.  It's about the terrible Christmas that the children at an orphanage are having and Professor Grampy, the inventor who sees this and decides to give them a merry Christmas with toys made from household goods.  It's a cute, fun cartoon with lots of inventive gadgets, but it does leave the viewer asking what happens the day after, since Grampy has turned all of their kitchen goods into toys.

"Snow Foolin'"
This is from 1949 and features animals getting ready for winter and playing winter sports. Lots of fun, innovative sight gags in the first half, with the second half being a sing-a-long with a section of "Jingle Bells" that include verses that I hadn't heard before.  I guess they've fallen out of favor.

"The Shanty Where Sandy Claus Lives"
This is a black-and-white Merrie Melodies cartoon from 1933.  A poor orphan is taken to Santa's workshop where he plays with some toys.  The toys sing the title song and the orphan helps them put out a fire when a candle falls.  Overall, a charming little cartoon worth a watch.

"Somewhere in Dreamland"
A poor woman is struggling to raise two children in abject poverty.  The children dream of a better life with clothes and food and warm blankets, only to wake Christmas morning to find that their neighbors have provided.  This is another Fleisher cartoon, this time from 1936.  It has a lot of charm and detail and is filled with hope and optimism.

"Hector's Hectic Life"
In this Famous Studios cartoon from 1948, Hector the dog must keep quiet and not make a mess or he will be thrown out into the cold.  Unfortunately someone just dropped three puppies on the doorstep...  Much like the Sylvester or Tom cartoons of this same general plot, this familiar, but funny and heartwarming all the same.

"Jack Frost"
This is an early Ub Iwerks cartoon from 1934.  When Jack Frost warns the animals that winter is coming, a grizzly bear cub thinks he can shrug off winter because of his fur coat.  After running away from home he meets Old Man Winter and regrets his choice.  Great art work, lots of rich color and detail, fun for kids and animation buffs alike.  You can really see what Iwerks brought to Disney looking at his work.

"Christmas Night"
Another black-and-white cartoon, this time from 1934, we have The Little King take two tramps home for Christmas, get them a hot bath and a warm bed for the night, followed by having fun on Christmas morning with the toys Santa has left.  This is a cute little cartoon with a unique visual style and very little dialog.

"Santa's Surprise"
This is another Famous Studios cartoon, this time from 1947 (my mom was 1 year old!).  Santa had a long night's work delivering all those toys around the world, so some children hid in his sleigh and, led by Little Audrey, decide to give him a present by cleaning up his house.  This is the first appearance of Little Audrey, who went on to appear in Famous Studios cartoons through 1958, and later on TV and in comics.  This is another fun cartoon with a nice message about gratitude and giving back, with some fun sight gags and a nice try at diversity for the time it was made.

"The Alpha-Bots Christmas"
The modern offering on the disc, this is a computer-generated piece from 2005.  The animation is alright, nothing special or anything, but this is so-obviously made for very small children.  The Alpha-Bots escape their boxes on Christmas night and play a game where they spell out the alphabet.  Dreadfully boring.  Had to skip over it.  Also the sound is out of sync, with the sound being a scene behind the screen, so this DVD isn't even going to teach your kid the alphabet.  

"The Christmas Visitor"
This is a 1959 cartoon set to part of the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and features Santa delivering toys while Pa looks on.  Then Santa sits down for a snack and the toys break free and engage in their own pursuits before Santa settles them back down and leaves.  This was also a cute cartoon, though I've seen better.  I expect it would look better if the print was better, because the section with the toys looked much better than the first or last sections with Santa and Pa.

Overall I'm not sorry I picked up this disc (it was free), but I really want a better release of these great old cartoons.  Alpha-Bots is completely out of place, as it's target audience is much too young to understand or appreciate the rest of these cartoons.  There are a few outdated racial stereotypes that crop up in "Santa's Surprise," "The Shanty Where Sandy Claus Lives" and "Christmas Night" but one must remember these are 30's and 40's cartoons and things were different then.  I personally don't think it ruins any of these cartoons, and in fact I think "Santa's Surprise" is trying to be inclusive and diverse by including non-white characters, something that's surprising considering it's from '47.  

Overall:  3.5/5 (for the cartoons)  1/5 (for the disc)

I don't normally rate the disc, only the content, but in this case I had to since it includes 2 cartoons that aren't complete!  If anyone reading this knows of another release I can pick up that might have these cartoons (sans that Alpha-Bots crap) please let me know!

UPDATE:  Turns out the rest of the cartoons may be on the disc and I just have a bad copy.  Maybe I'll try to get another copy of this release if I can't find something else.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 03:28:14 AM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 06:44:06 PM »


Barbie: A Perfect Christmas

Year of Release: 2011
Starring: Diana Kaarina, Rachel Harrison, Lauren Lavoie, Ashlyn Drummond
Directed By:  Mark Baldo, Terry Klassen
Genre:  Comedy, Musical

Overview:
Join Barbie and her sisters Skipper, Stacie and Chelsea as their holiday vacation plans turn into a most unexpected adventure and heartwarming lesson. After a snowstorm diverts their plane, the girls find themselves far from their New York destination and their holiday dreams. Now stranded at a remote inn in the tiny town of Tannenbaum, the sisters are welcomed by new friends and magical experiences. In appreciation for the wonderful hospitality they receive, they use their musical talents to put on a performance for the whole town. Barbie and her sisters realize the joy of being together is what really makes A Perfect Christmas!

My Thoughts:
Okay, so this would be much more appropriate if I was about thirty years younger.  However, I still enjoyed it.  It would be really good for small children - it has a really nice message about Christmas being about your family and friends and what you can give rather than about yourself and what you're going to get.  If you've got young kids (especially girls) pick this up.  While the animation is nothing special (it's all CGI and hasn't appreciably changed since they started making these Barbie films in 2001) and the music is catchy but forgettable for an adult, it's a cute Christmas film with some actual Christmas spirit behind it.  Also, all the characters are female and they have a lot of agency here, and in every Barbie film, which is a big reason I like the franchise.  Just try to ignore the rampant consumerism that is Barbie and just enjoy the film for its own merit.

Bechdel Test:  Pass

Overall:  2.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 03:27:21 AM »


Frosty the Snowman

Year of Release:  1969
Starring:  Jimmy Durante, Billy De Wolfe, Jackie Vernon, Paul Frees, June Foray
Directed By:  Arthur Rankin, Jr & Jules Bass
Genre:  Comedy, Musical

Overview:
This remastered special is an original holiday classic from the team that brought you "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."  When Frosty the Snowman comes to life, he must weather a storm of adventures and the dastardly plans of an evil magician before he can find safety and happiness at the North Pole.

My Thoughts:
I wrote a review for this title last Christmas, and my thoughts haven't changed, so I'll just quote it again here.

Frosty the Snowman was a jolly happy soul.  You know the story.  

Another classic Christmas cartoon, as perfect and timeless this year as it has been every year.  There's no snow outside (thank you climate change) but there's always snow on the telly with Frosty.

It's a simple, short cartoon that follows the song.  Frosty and Karen are sweet, Hocus is still my favorite character, and Professor Hinkle is still as bumbling as he was when I was kid.  

It just isn't the season without him.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2012, 03:10:48 AM »


Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales

Year of Release:  2002
Starring:  Wesley Singerman, Serena Berman, Corey Padnos, Megan Taylor Harvey
Directed By:  Larry Leichliter
Genre:  Comedy, Musical

Overview:
'Tis the season for the cheer and charm of the Peanuts kids – and this delight special offers five segments full of unforgettable Christmas moments. Snoopy works as a bell-ringer to raise money and tries making peace with the ferocious cat next door. Linus strives to strike the right tone in his letter to Santa – and his friendship with an indecisive girl at school. Sally's ideas about gift-giving and the identity of Santa Claus may be unusual – but her strange notion of how to obtain a Christmas tree surprisingly does the job. Lucy tries awfully hard to be nice...and still coax everyone around her to buy her presents. Charlie Brown and Sally wait up for Santa (a surprisingly short man), who spreads Christmas gift cheer further than they had thought. Make merry!

My Thoughts:
A really late night last night calls for early-to-bed tonight, so another short cartoon is just what bedtime ordered.  This is my newest Peanuts addition to the collection, and only the first cartoon is a Christmas one, so we watched that. 

"Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales" is a series of slice-of-life vignettes featuring the members of the Peanuts gang.  They're cute, funny little scenes with the most popular Peanuts characters (the Browns & the Van Pelts), but there's no overarching story.  Nowhere near as good as "A Charlie Brown Christmas," this is really strictly for Peanuts fans, as the humor comes from knowing the characters.   I really enjoy the Peanuts cartoons so this will be in my regular holiday rotation for years to come, but I could only recommend it for people who own multiple Peanuts DVDs.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  2.75/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2012, 07:55:51 PM »


Trans-Siberian Orchestra:  The Ghosts of Christmas Eve

Year of Release:  2001
Starring:  Ossie Davis, Allie Sheridan, Jewel, Michael Crawford, Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Directed By:  Bart Perry
Genre:  Music

Overview:
The Ghosts of Christmas Eve, is a timeless holiday story of a young runaway who has broken into an old movie palace, looking for shelter on a snow filled Christmas Eve. Closed for decades, the building is filled with countless discarded artifacts from the past. There she is discovered by the old caretaker who uses the ghosts and spirits that inhabit this long abandoned world to turn her life around. This enchanting tale featuring Ossie Davis, singer/songwriter Jewel, and Broadway superstar Michael Crawford is highlighted by the performances of Christmas favorites as well as Trans-Siberian Orchestra's own unique arrangements of holiday classics.

My Thoughts:
Here's a Christmas DVD that will never make it into Pete's marathon!  The frame story of the young runaway with Davis as her ghostly protector is simply a concept for the concert.  I find Trans-Siberian Orchestra's music to be fabulous.  If you like their music then you will enjoy the concert, it's as simple as that.  I picked this up several years ago and it has found its way into my regular holiday rotation ever since.

If you haven't heard them, try this youtube vid:


Bechdel Test:  N/A

Overall:  4/5 (I just wish it were longer than 46 minutes!)
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 03:34:49 AM »


Creature Comforts: Merry Christmas Everybody!

Year of Release:  2004
Starring:  the British public
Directed By:  Richard Goleszowski
Genre:  Comedy

Overview:
How do hamsters cope with indigestion? Why do dogs hate wearing Christmas hats? What happens when a partridge is chased out of its pear tree, and why do dogs find Christmas unbearably emotional? Join in the festive fun with our furry friends.

My Thoughts:
I'm so glad I snagged this when it came in the shop yesterday.  First of all it's fun stop-motion animation featuring animals trying to sing and interpret "The 12 Days of Christmas" to varying success.  The character designs are all very cute and fun, and the show was really funny and now I'm interested in watching more of it.  It's sort of droll and quirky, very, very British, and hilarious. 

While I really liked it, one's enjoyment of this program correlates directly to their enjoyment of dry British humor, so keep that in mind. 

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 03:53:13 AM »


How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Year of Release: 1966
Starring:  Boris Karloff
Directed By:  Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Genre:  Comedy

Overview:
"Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot." And every family likes How the Grinch Stole Christmas! a lot! This joyous, heart-tickling holiday event based on Dr. Seuss' beloved book and featuring the voice of Boris Karloff has delighted all ages since its 1966 debut. The fun begins when the grumpy, grouchy, Yule-hating Grinch plots to ruin the Whos' Christmas.  Can he steal their holiday spirit by stealing their holiday treats? Or does Christmas...perhaps...mean a little bit more? The answers to those questions unfold charmingly under Chuck Jones' pitch-perfect direction. You can't help but have a Merry Grinchmas!

My Thoughts:
I wrote a review for this title last year, and my thoughts haven't changed, so I'll just repost them here.

A seasonal classic, this is one of five Christmas stories that are in the "it wouldn't feel right without it" category.*  This cartoon is practically perfect in every way, from Boris Karloff's masterful voice, to the devilish grin on the Grinch's face, to Thurl Ravenscroft's "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," to the sweetness of Cindy-Lou Who, to the very put-upon Max who still loves his grumpy master. 

If you don't like this cartoon you have no soul.  If you haven't seen it ... where is that cave you're living in?

I do want to add that this year I have the blu-ray instead of the old DVD copy and the alteration is striking.  The colors in the blu are almost unbearably bright and at points almost make it hard to keep the eye in focus on the cartoon.  I guess I'm used to the old, muted colors but I'm kinda tempted to take the blu back and trade it to get my DVD back.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  5/5 (program) 

I don't know what to rate the blu's too-bright colors.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 04:35:40 AM »


'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Year of Release:  1974
Starring:  Joel Grey, Tammy Grimes, John McGiver, George Gobel
Directed By:  Arthur Rankin, Jr. & Jules Bass
Genre:  Comedy

Overview:
Inspired by Clement Moore's poem, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is the charming animated tale of Scrooge-like Albert Mouse, who calls Christmas "a fraudulent myth" and intercepts letters to Santa Claus written by the children of Junctionville.  The skeptical rodent must be brought to his senses "and let up a little on the wonder why."

My Thoughts:
This is the second cartoon on the release of Frosty's Winter Wonderland.  This came out the year before I was born, and it has a very 70's look and a lot of nostalgia for me.  I hadn't seen this in years before I picked up this release in 2009, but once I put it on it definitely clicked with memories in the back of my mind.  Of course, we're too jaded to make anything like this little gem today.  It's a charming tale from a more innocent time, when cartoons were still good.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall: 3/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 06:08:25 AM »


The Muppet Christmas Carol

Year of Release:  1992
Starring:  Michael Caine, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, The Great Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat
Directed By:  Brian Henson
Genre:  Comedy, Drama

Overview:
'Tis the season for love, laughter, and one of the most cherished stories of all time! Join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and all the hilarious Muppets in this merry, magical version of Charles Dickens' classic tale.

Academy Award® winner Michael Caine* gives a performance that's anything but "Bah, humbug!" as greedy, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge. One fateful Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Together with kind, humble Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog) and his family, the Spirits open Scrooge's eyes – and his heart – to the true meaning of Christmas.

My Thoughts:
I love A Christmas Carol, and I remembered enjoying the Muppets years ago, so I thought I'd pick this up this year, making this the sixth version of Dickens story in my collection.  I'm very glad I did too.  While this doesn't top my favorite version of the story (that would be the 1951 film with Alastair Sim), I think this might be my second favorite.  I loved Michael Caine's performance as Scrooge.  He did a wonderful job in the character and her really brought a lot of believably to Scrooge's transformation and redemption.  Kermit makes a great Bob Cratchet and the rest of the Muppets add a lot of charm to the film.  Given VirtualScot's posts about it over at Invelos we chose to watch the fullscreen version (which includes the song "When Love is Gone") and I'm very glad we did.  I really feel the song adds a lot to the film and Scrooge's character and it was a shame to cut it.  Great film, recommended for anyone looking for a good Christmas film for the whole family.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 05:50:16 AM »


Prep & Landing / Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice

Year of Release: 2009
Starring:  Dave Foley, Derek Richardson, Sarah Chalke, Rob Riggle
Directed By:  Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Kevin Deters
Genre:  Comedy, Adventure

Overview:
PREP & LANDING
On Christmas Eve, a high-tech team of elves from an elite unit known as 'Prep & Landing' ensures homes around the world are prepared for Santa's visit. But when two hilarious little elves face unexpected challenges and are pushed to their limits, it'll take a great big effort to save the season. Enjoy a heartwarming holiday classic sure to make everyone's Christmas list!

PREP & LANDING: NAUGHTY VS. NICE
The outrageous yuletide adventures of Christmas elves Lanny and Wayne continue in this totally tinsel adventure that reminds us there's room for everyone on the 'nice' list. Santa's stealthiest little elves must race to recover classified North Pole technology, which has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking naughty kid, in order to stop Christmas from descending into chaos. Bring the family together for a comical adventure that puts the Ho, Ho, Ho in your holidays!

My Thoughts:
These are two of the cutest new Christmas specials.  For me, so many of the newer Christmas specials just don't have the charm of the old Rankin-Bass ones, but these are definitely an exception.  They're absolutely nothing like them, except that you can tell the creators really put their heart into these two, just like the old classics.  They have it all:  great voice acting, good character design, world building, great animation, humor and heartwarming moments.  Highly recommended for the whole family. 

Didn't get to watch the bluray though because I have to validate the encryption key on my player?  WTF people.  Not everyone has their system hooked to the internet.  I'll have to snake the ethernet cord through the hole in the wall again sometime in the future.  Fortunately this is the combo pack and everything, including all the extra shorts and fake commercials, are also on the DVD.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2012, 11:11:37 PM »


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Year of Release: 1964
Starring: Burl Ives, Larry Mann, Billy Richards, Paul Soles
Directed By: Larry Roemer
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Overview:
Christmas has been cancelled!   Or, at least it will be if Santa Claus can't find a way to guide his sleigh through a fierce blizzard.  Fortunately for him, there's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!  Shunned by the other reindeer because of his glowing nose, Rudolph becomes a hero when he guides Santa through the storm and enables him to deliver Christmas presents to all. This digitally remastered version of the family classic features the renowned original musical score known the world over.

My Thoughts:
I wrote a review for this title last year, and my thoughts haven't changed, so I'll just repost most of them here.

THE Christmas special of our family.  This was the one that we looked forward to every year, paging through the TV Guide to see when it would come on.  It just isn't December without this adorable animagic special.

Rudolph, Hermie and Yukon are still looked forward to, like the appearance of old friends.  I still don't know what makes the doll a misfit toy, however. Not that it matters.  It's a wonderful seasonal classic.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2012, 11:21:28 PM »


Arthur Christmas

Year of Release:  2011
Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jenson
Directed By: Sarah Smith
Genre:  Comedy, Fantasy

Overview:
How CAN Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? With an army of one million combat-style Field Elves and a vast, state-of-the-art control center under the ice of the North Pole! So how could this incredible operation have MISSED one child?! To Santa's young son, Arthur, it threatens to end the magic of Christmas. With retired Grandsanta, a rebellious young elf, an old sleigh and some untrained reindeer, Arthur sets out in a crazy mission to deliver the last present! Deck the halls with excitement, fun and wonder in this new Christmas classic!

My Thoughts:
This was a great, fun movie for the season.  CGI animation keeps getting better every year.  The heart of the film is the relationships between the members of the Santa family, and the characters are pretty well fleshed for an animated film.  It has a good story and lots of humor to keep it going as well.  This will likely make my yearly rotation, and would be a good addition to the collection of any Christmas movie fan or any family with children.

My only complaint is that, like Prep & Landing, I didn't get to watch the blu-ray version because it wants me to update my player.  Which is a pain in the ass.

Bechdel Test:  Fail

Overall:  4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Danae's Yuletide Marathon
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 05:15:49 AM »


Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration

Year of Release: 2007
Starring: Chloë Agnew, Lisa Kelly, Méav Ni Mhaolchatha, Órla Fallon, Máiréad Nesbitt
Directed By: Russell Thomas
Genre: Music

Overview:
The lovely ladies of Celtic Woman bring you a selection of traditional and modern carols, sung with clear, beautiful voices and backed by an orchestra and choir.

My Thoughts:
I've reviewed this last year, so I'll just repost my thoughts again here.

Do you enjoy traditional Christmas music?  If so, you will enjoy this DVD.  The ladies of Celtic Woman have beautiful voices and give a wonderful performance of carols. 

Do you find traditional Christmas music overdone and sappy?  If so, skip this DVD.  Pete, you can skip it too.    :P

Bechdel Test: N/A

Overall: 4/5
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 05:18:09 AM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield