Stockings are hung by the chimney with care, chestnuts are roasting over an
open fire, sugar plum fairies are getting jiggy with it, and It's a Wonderful
Life is showing 24 hours a day -- it’s that holly jolly time of year again.
time of gift giving, joy spreading, and eggnog-flavored memories. As the
draw near, I recall favorite presents, fighting killer snowmen, and
playing kick the
frozen Jell-o. 'Tis the season to remember, and it seems the
more offbeat the
experience, the more memorable the memory, so in that
tradition, here’s a list of
offbeat holiday movies...
A Charlie Brown
A Charlie Brown Christmas centers on animated
social philosopher Charlie
Brown, who becomes disheartened by the
over-commercialization of the
holiday and embarks on a journey to find the true
meaning of Christmas.
While it's not Chuck's best work (that honor goes to
It's the Great Pumpkin,
Charlie Brown) it is the longest-running cartoon
special ever televised.
The cartoon classic relates to an annual family
tradition. Every year, my
father inevitably sought out the most pathetic "Charlie
Brown" tree and
insisted we adopt it because no one else would. Every year, my mom
with a big, beautiful evergreen, and the two would have to compromise on a
mid-size fir that was somewhat hapless, but not completely
All "Ralphie" Parker (Peter Billingsley) wants for Christmas
is a Red Ryder
Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle BB Gun. Unfortunately, his mom
Dillon), his Old Man (Darren McGavin), his teacher, and even Santa Claus are
all convinced he’s going to shoot his eye out.
Despite the fact that
it takes place in the 1940s, the real magic of A
Christmas Story is that it
perfectly represents grade school culture: the
power of the "Double Dog Dare,"
neighborhood bullies, embarrassing
family customs, and over-active
Among the cartoon Christmas characters making up
the holiday, there is only
one Yuletide Pumpkin King -- Jack Skellington. The
Nightmare Before Christmas is the magical holiday story about Jack, Halloweentown's
number one celebrity, who becomes infatuated with Christmas, kidnaps Santa (with the best
intentions), inadvertently ruins the holiday, and then in turn has to rescue
save Christmas. This spin on the cliché "Christmas in jeopardy"
delivered in signature Tim Burton style with stunning
animation and an awesome
Planes, Trains &
Planes, Trains & Automobiles is one of the best
buddy cop movies ever made -- except that this odd couple isn't fighting crime, they
don't carry guns,
and they're not cops. Nonetheless, the formula is still there --
cynical Neal Page (Steve Martin) and obnoxious, blabbermouth Del Griffith
(John Candy) embark on a surreal holiday journey where they irritate,
and annoy one another, all the while discovering things about each
and the world around them. It's all very moving.
Wishing you and
yours an off-kilter holiday season and a more than