December 19, 2003

My 10 favorite Holiday Specials/Movies at the moment:

1.Jack Frost (animated)
In my opinion the most beautifully crafted of the Rankin/Bass stop-motion specials. Jack Frost, a spirit of winter falls in love with a girl and wishes to become human but has till spring to win her heart and make it in the human world. The Puppets are beautiful, the story is sweet with a surprisingly not so happy ending, and there are cool robot knights and a steam powered horse. The human town of January Junction is as well fleshed out (they use ice money) as the mythology created around the world of the elements (with gods who create snowflakes with scissors and sprites who's job it is to aim them at specific regions).

2.Charlie Brown Christmas.
It's so raw and charming. I love every second and every background detail. Even Linus's speech.

3. Raymond Brigg's The Snowman.
So simple and yet so captivating. Snowman explores the world of humans and makes us realize how our house and day to day kind off stuff like flipping a light switch can seem magical to someone who's never experienced them. Nice animation captures the feel of the original graphic novel. The ending makes me cry every time.
Good complementary material:
-Raymond Brigg's Father Christmas
Worn out Santa takes a bloomin' holiday only to find that he can't escape his own celebrity. Really treats Santa like a person rather than a myth. There's a bit in the middle that ties into a scene from the Snowman but shows it from Santa's perspective.
-The Bear
Silent story about a girl traveling through the city on a giant polar bear (sadly not an armored bear like in HIS DARK MATERIALS!)

4. Edward Scissorhands.
Not totally about Christmas but still seems tied to it thematically and visually. It's really just one of my all time favorite movies. One of the all time most beautiful scores, great art direction, and performance by Johnny Depp. The fact that he may or may not have the heart of a cookie is a stroke of genius.

5. Rudolf The Red-nosed Reindeer
The Island of Misfit Toys = awesome.
Hermey the dentist = awesome.
Burl Ives= awesome.

6. Nightmare Before Christmas
More wonderful holiday based stop-motion and puppet designs. Great fairytale story of the representative from one holiday wanting to take the place of another. The events are mostly driven by the great soundtrack (which stands on it's own and features bonus narration by Patrick Stewart). I give Danny Elfman credit for really singing the part of Jack Skellington with all his heart and making this movie seem like its about him. It really captures how magical Christmas can feel to an outsider. A tear-jerking song by Catherine O'hara is a personal highlight.

7: Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas.
Nothing cuter than puppets of otters playing in a jug band. And oh, that Momma otter is such a great singer! Some decent songs from Paul Williams, including a funny tribute to 70's theatrical rock. I'm a huge fan of all things Jim Henson and this ranks as one of his best (and seemingly personal) little films. And just because someone doesn't like soul food it don't mean they ain't got a soul!

8. A Christmas Story.
Hysterical film we all loved growing up. I fear though that things like 24-hour marathons and hearing people constantly quoting from it will lead to resentment. But hopefully not any time soon! That kid standing in line with Ralphie to meet Santa is the best.

9. Jim Henson's the Christmas Toy.
Basically the same plot as Toy Story only done with puppets many years earlier.
A stuffed Tiger fears replacement by a new toy so he sneaks down to the Christmas tree so he can put himself in a box and be his owner’s favorite all over again.

10.Olive the Other Reindeer
J.Otto Seibold is one of my favorite artists so I think its awesome that he got a TV special. Its almost a completely different story than the picture book its based on, but it still has a cool look to it and a charming story. I usually don't like Drew Barrymore but her upbeat voice is really cute match for Olive's can-do spirit. The "we're not so bad" song that Michael Stipe sings is pretty hilarious.

Runner Up:
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (animated).
Just thinking about the live action version gives me I may have to avoid watching this one for a while...just to play it safe.

Notable Mention: I remember Pee Wee's Playhouse X-mas special being pretty funny.

11:56 AM


December 18, 2003
If I may be so bold...
Allow me to recommend the perfect holiday gift:

Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden

If you know anyone who likes them Harry Potter books...or someone who enjoys reading comics...or a person with a fondness for Alice in Wonderland...and especially people who like strange stuff they've probably never heard of...This is the gift to get!
And is offering 30% off the cover price...
which is even cheaper than I'd sell them to you for.
Yes it's true that I wrote this book. And yes it is true that I have something to gain from every sale. But that just makes it like a donation to charity right? And thats what this season is all about :D
So why not help a friend in their time of need?
Seriously it would mean a lot!

1:56 PM


December 16, 2003
new Spiderman trailer!!!

Woo Hoo!

5:00 PM