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Author Topic: My picks for the 5 worst Christmas specials  (Read 3965 times)
WingedSerpent
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« on: December 07, 2008, 12:09:06 PM »

Well, its getting near that time again where everyone is getting readyfor the hoildays.  Walmart has had Santa up since Halloween.  Salvation Army members are ringing bells out side And secular progressives are complaining about Natvitety Scenes on public property. (just you wait, we'll see them attack the scenes ooutside private residences in our life time..but I digress)

I'll admit, I still love most of the older holiday specials as much as the next person.  Even some of the newer ones aren't half bad.  But some are.  So here are my picks for the 5 worst Christmas specials.  Because, bad Christmas movies could file up their own post, I'm limiting my list to programs that did not have a theatrical releases.  I'm talking about made-for-tv, straight-to-video, special Christmas episodes, etc.  They also fairly recent.  I have problems with some of the older ones, but that's for another time.

5. It's a Very Merry Muppet Movie 
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0329737/
Normally, I love the Muppets, but this on just falls flat.  The show is a re-telling of It's a Wonderful Life with Kermit learning what life would be like if he had never been born.  My first problem is that I've seen this movie pariodied a hundred times before this one came out.  One too many pop culture references that seem out of place.  David Arqutte stars as an Angel and Whoopi Goldberg stars as God.  I'll give you  a minute  to let that sink in.

Still here? 

4. Live Action A Year without a Santa Claus
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0828465/
To be fair.  Does anyone remember anything about the original besides Heat and Snow Miser?  Didn't think so.  This one gets higher marks than some because it still has a live action version of the two singing their famous songs.  So it's not all bad.  Still, jokes about how Santa feels out of place in the modern world and attempts to update his image just serve to remind anyone old enough that this holiday used to actually mean something.

3.Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YM1S06HML._SL500_AA280_.jpg
In this sequel to the original, the Villian known as the  "Toy Taker" is stealing toys because kids eventually grow up and forget about them.  This thing reaks of made for a quick dollar mentalliy.  The movie is CGI and looks terrible.  The characters have none of the warmth the origianl had.  Maybe I'm just too old for it.

2.  The Happy Elf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Happy_Elf
This special is about an elf so happy and annoying that they give him an assignment in the middle of the desert so he won;t bother them.  Imagine Spongebob x5 and you'll have an idea of what the main character is like.

and the  Number 1 Worst holiday special is...

1.  Grandma got run over by a Reindeer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandma_Got_Run_Over_by_a_Reindeer_(TV_special)
I have never been able to watch more than 10 minutes of this cartoon.  The problem is the same with the recent Dr.Seuss movies in how do you streach something that is only a few minutes worth of entertainment into an hour special.  But instead of hoillywood writers, they apparanetly gave the script to a couple of 7 year old and said "Here, pad this out"  Jokes are cheap, and ...ugh, less said the better.

Well, I've done my Scrooge act.  Maybe I'm just too old to appreciate Christmas specials like I could as a kid.   Still, I'm going to try to get my picks for Under-rated Christmas specials out sometime soon.  Until then I'll leave you with the season's greeting of Norm McDonald
"To all the Christians-Merry Christmas, to all the Jewish people-Happy Hanukkah, and to all the atheists-hello."
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 12:15:20 PM by WingedSerpent » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008, 12:22:08 PM »

From 1978-the STAR WARS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL....oh...the horror...the horror.

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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2008, 12:28:29 PM »

I hated Twas The Night Before Christmas
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0208654/
I don't think I ever made it through the entire episode.  Basically it takes place a town where a mouse writes a letter to Santa (for whatever  reason) telling him the town didn't believe in him.  With the help of a clockmaker, they rush to do some damage control before Xmas.  Or something horribly stupid to that effect.

Pee Wee's Christmas Special was frightening.  Pee Wee digs up some odd special guests like Little Richard, Grace Jones, Frankie and Annette among others.  The oddity of it all was Oprah making an appearance. 

The Gumby Christmas Special, then again I never found Gumby all that entertaining. 
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« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 12:31:22 PM by The DarkSider » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2008, 12:43:58 PM »

Does anyone remember a fairly insipid cartoon called "The Christmas Tree Train". Wasn't there also a "Muppets" special about enchanted toys in a children's playroom where two pretty dolls had to fight off the attentions of a female action figure that looked similar to Mum-Ra in his unwrapped form. I think 'Kermit' appeared at the beginning and end of the programme as a sort of host. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2008, 08:22:48 PM »

Well, its getting near that time again where everyone is getting readyfor the hoildays.  Walmart has had Santa up since Halloween.  Salvation Army members are ringing bells out side And secular progressives are complaining about Natvitety Scenes on public property. (just you wait, we'll see them attack the scenes ooutside private residences in our life time..but I digress)

I'll admit, I still love most of the older holiday specials as much as the next person.  Even some of the newer ones aren't half bad.  But some are.  So here are my picks for the 5 worst Christmas specials.  Because, bad Christmas movies could file up their own post, I'm limiting my list to programs that did not have a theatrical releases.  I'm talking about made-for-tv, straight-to-video, special Christmas episodes, etc.  They also fairly recent.  I have problems with some of the older ones, but that's for another time.

5. It's a Very Merry Muppet Movie 
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0329737/
Normally, I love the Muppets, but this on just falls flat.  The show is a re-telling of It's a Wonderful Life with Kermit learning what life would be like if he had never been born.  My first problem is that I've seen this movie pariodied a hundred times before this one came out.  One too many pop culture references that seem out of place.  David Arqutte stars as an Angel and Whoopi Goldberg stars as God.  I'll give you  a minute  to let that sink in.

Still here? 


and the  Number 1 Worst holiday special is...

1.  Grandma got run over by a Reindeer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandma_Got_Run_Over_by_a_Reindeer_(TV_special)
I have never been able to watch more than 10 minutes of this cartoon.  The problem is the same with the recent Dr.Seuss movies in how do you streach something that is only a few minutes worth of entertainment into an hour special.  But instead of hoillywood writers, they apparanetly gave the script to a couple of 7 year old and said "Here, pad this out"  Jokes are cheap, and ...ugh, less said the better.



I'd agree with the Muppet Christmas movie, although, I do gotta say:
I appreciate that they utilized Fozzie a bit in this movie.  He was relatively unheard from in the '90s Muppet projects, most notably Muppets Tonight and Muppets From Space.  I also say that Pepe, the King Prawn made this worth watching.  He's a great new Muppet character.

As for Grandma Got Run Over..., I agree wholeheartedly.  A 3 minute novelty song is fine for such a subject, but it CANNOT sustain itself over an hour.  I don't care who you are, or your tolerance for bad, but it was awful.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 08:52:24 PM »

From 1978-the STAR WARS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL....oh...the horror...the horror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXcb7VPw59s

Well come what may...Happy Life Day everyone. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 10:11:19 PM »

From 1978-the STAR WARS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL....oh...the horror...the horror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXcb7VPw59s


That was horrible and was going to be my choice too.  David Bowie and Bing Crosby was a little odd.

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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2008, 08:07:15 AM »

It's a Wonderful Life.  I can't stand Jimmy Steward to start with, and having him plus 100 pounds of sugar dumped on my head...can't...stand...any...more...
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 12:47:50 PM »

I just went and saw It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen here in town this past Monday --
No way do I get the "sugar on the head" business -- I find it to be the very dark story of a man whose life is saved via supernatural intervention.  The scene with Stewart in the cemetary, scratching the snow from his brother's grave has always chilled me.  The manic exhuberence at the end can be a bit much, but I still admire how it builds -- and Lionel Barrymore's Mr. Potter is one of the greatest slimeball villians of cinematic history -- Give me a good, slimy villian, and I can forgive a lot in a film!

Not so much bad as so bland it was never shown again:  Jeremy Creek:  The Town That Forgot Christmas.  Wasted voiceover work from Dick Van Dyke and character work by Phil Proctor in service of a very ordinary script.

peter johnson/denny crane
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 02:49:34 PM »

The manic exhuberence at the end can be a bit much, but I still admire how it builds -- and Lionel Barrymore's Mr. Potter is one of the greatest slimeball villians of cinematic history -- Give me a good, slimy villian, and I can forgive a lot in a film!

I always wondered why Barrymore (or Frank Capra) had made the choice to do the character in a wheelchair, but I was always impressed that the wheelchair is basically irrelevant to how much you hate Mr. Potter. Then I read in an online bio of Barrymore that he actually was confined to a wheelchair. So now I'm doubly impressed.

He did the nasty-villain-in-a-wheelchair at least once more in a western I saw. I can't remember the name, but he's a rich rancher, the wheelchair is worked into the plot (some sort of crippling accident when he was younger), and he actually rides a horse at one point in the film.
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2008, 04:07:52 PM »

The worst one that I've seen so far was Frosty's Return in which the title character was voiced by none other than John Goodman(!).

Absolutely wretched. I could only make it through the 1st ten minutes.

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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2008, 10:39:44 PM »

LOL @ Star Wars...never seen that. bizarre

was harrison ford drunk?

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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 07:21:20 PM »

The manic exhuberence at the end can be a bit much, but I still admire how it builds -- and Lionel Barrymore's Mr. Potter is one of the greatest slimeball villians of cinematic history -- Give me a good, slimy villian, and I can forgive a lot in a film!

I always wondered why Barrymore (or Frank Capra) had made the choice to do the character in a wheelchair, but I was always impressed that the wheelchair is basically irrelevant to how much you hate Mr. Potter. Then I read in an online bio of Barrymore that he actually was confined to a wheelchair. So now I'm doubly impressed.

He did the nasty-villain-in-a-wheelchair at least once more in a western I saw. I can't remember the name, but he's a rich rancher, the wheelchair is worked into the plot (some sort of crippling accident when he was younger), and he actually rides a horse at one point in the film.


Sounds like "Duel In The Sun" fron circa 1945.
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2008, 10:14:31 AM »

I have to agree that "The Star Wars Holiday Special" needs to be on this list.  Not only topical, but just awful to boot.  Ninety minutes of wookies "Warrrgggghhhh"ing at each other.

Yes, a review:  http://www.badmovies.org/movies/swhs/

4. Live Action A Year without a Santa Claus
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0828465/
To be fair.  Does anyone remember anything about the original besides Heat and Snow Miser?  Didn't think so.  This one gets higher marks than some because it still has a live action version of the two singing their famous songs.  So it's not all bad.  Still, jokes about how Santa feels out of place in the modern world and attempts to update his image just serve to remind anyone old enough that this holiday used to actually mean something.


Haven't seen this one, but turning that classic into a live action sounds like a bad idea to start.  Half the fun was the characters and how you could over-stylize them with the stop motion.  I'd say that we remember all of the film here at the Borntreger's.  Katie and I have made jokes about naming a child "Ignatius Thistlewhite."  Mickey Rooney was really good as Santa, and even characters like the Mayor and Police Officer where pretty amusing.
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2008, 12:20:22 PM »

From 1978-the STAR WARS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL....oh...the horror...the horror.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXcb7VPw59s


I feel the need to explain myself on this one.  I purposely left the Star Wars Christmas special of my list, for the following reasons
 EVERYBODY knows its terrible.  I didn't see the need to bring it up again.

And since it hasn't been played since its first airing or ever been officially released, it didn't fit in with my list as to the specials that are still played on tv or are avalible on Amazon, instead of on youtube.
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