The year without a Santa Claus

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1974

Santa feels like dog pooey and that combined with rumors of people no longer believing in him makes him think he should skip Christmas this year. Mrs. Claus sends elves Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells along with young reindeer Cupid down to southtown to see people care about Christmas. Wait, she send two muddleheads and a little deer to a hot area with people who don’t like Santa? Shame on you, Mrs. Claus. So the elves lose Vixen  in Southtown, they get laughed at generally just screw things up. Santa finds out what is going on and sick or not he goes after them. He meets this kid who doesn’t believe in Santa, but his parents do. Blah, blah, blah, Santa, elves, Vixen, Southtown – you and I all know we watch this one for two reasons…Snowmiser and Heatmiser. So let’s get to them then. The people of Southtown will believe in Santa if it’s snows there so if Heatmiser let’s Snowmiser bring snow there it would help Santa, but the miser brothers argue. So Mrs. Claus gets their mom Mother Nature to order her boys to cooperate. That’s all well and good but after the peak of this show is before that when the miser’s do their songs – oh yeah!. Everything works out, the south gets snow, Santa perks up and everything gets back to normal and you know you’ll rewind to watch the misers do their songs again.

It’s like a collage of the shapes creating a little scene in the bottlecap. I think that I put some of photos of them on my pinterest page if you want to look at that. I ‘m having trouble looking at it with this slow connection. I’m not sure how we should word it in the description, but it would be a Spring scene. Or they are welcome to bring their own photos to make one with a personal picture.  Maybe we should make two. One like the traditional way and the other as the collage- Spring scene.

Misers

The negatives- Not a whole lot.

The positives-I think this one is underrated. Rudolph is better, but I prefer this one to Santa Claus is comin’ to town and the Little drummer boy. Mickey Rooney and Shirley Booth are very good as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. As a fan of the inimitable Dick Shawn I’d have to see he was great as Snow Miser. The show looks great, the pace is good and the story works out. I actually watch this at least twice every year around Christmas.

ELVES, REINDEER

How the Grinch stole Christmas

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2000

This Grinch person lives up on a mountain with his dog Max. He is fond eating onions, rubbing them on his pits and scaring off teenagers. So he’s kind of like an old geezer only greener. However this Grinch likes to sneak into the village and cause trouble as he vandalizes vehicles and messes with the mail. He runs into a girl name Cindy Lou Who and wraps her like a present for daring to think he has a shred of niceness in him. Ewww take that! After her run in with the Grinch  our little Cindy Lou starts talking to people. Hey look there’s a backstory on this Grinch. He liked this girl, but another Who wait who? Oh the Who that is now the mayor that’s who. Well, the now Mayor was a little Who and he made fun of the Grinch for a bad shaving job. So the Grinch was bullied and treated like dirt when he was little and he ran up the mountain and became mean. Wow what a bunch of rubbish fascinating insight into the Grinch’s mind. Meanwhile the Grinch chews on glass and talks to himself like a lot. Cindy Lou gets the not so wise idea to invite the Grinch to the village’s big celebration. The mayor and others think it’s a horrible idea, but they go with it thinking he won’t show. Only he does so he gets shoved through all kinds of fast moving events-some funny, some gross and some just plain odd. Eventually he gets made fun of again and is given a razor, he gets mad again so he causes more vandalism and hateful crimes before departing. The town blames Cindy Lou and her dad for daring to be nice. Hold on wasn’t this movie supposed to be based on a book of some sorts? Oh, right lets cram that part from the book in where the Grinch takes everything. That sets it straight now it’s kind of based on the book. So the Grinch is off to dump all that Christmas stuff and end the happiness of the Whos. Wouldn’t you know it Cindy Lou Who has stowed away on the sleigh? Oh no so they go a wild ride before the Grinch saves her and the Christmas stuff and takes it all backs to the Who. He admits his crimes – overacting, theft, overacting, breaking into Who houses, overacting and other stuff. They decide not press charges. The Grinch gets the love of his life and is accepted at last. Let loose the rainbows and unicorns and roll the credits.

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The negatives- I guess it boils to the cartoon was perfect so why make another version? Well to make money of course. So to take a children’s book and make it have enough going on for a feature length film you have to add some parts. I get that, but most of the added parts here tend to change the characters in ways that don’t appeal to me. The Grinch goes from being a simplistic sourpuss to having a grudge which makes him a little less likable for me. However I think the change that bothers me the most is the Whos. In the cartoon and book they already know the true meaning of Christmas and teach it to others. In this film most of them are a mess and it takes numerous disasters and near misses to make them grudgingly change. Maybe that makes them more like us, but I preferred it when they already knew what was important. Oh and Jim Carey rattles on way too much. He’s like a little kid on a sugar rush only grumpier.

The positives-Visually it has some real moments. I probably prefer the snow scenes and the Grinches lair to Whoville, but overall it looks good. Although I think the Grinch’s problems as a tike wasn’t a great storyline I did like the casting of Jeffrey Tambor and Christine Baranski as the the characters who were part of that piece. Carey has some moments as the Grinch as I smile when he rubs the onion under his pits and has his head clanged between the cymbols of a giant toy monkey.

As a whole it’s just alright. I watch it with the kids around Christmas every year, but we always enjoy the cartoon a lot more.

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