Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 12: Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

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I love this special. I’m coming out and saying that right now. I watch all the Rankin Bass specials every Christmas. It’s quite possibly my favorite part of Christmas watching all these specials. We had the VHS tapes at my house growing up and we owned them all. These days the tape boxes are very damaged. I’m guessing my brother and I watched the crap out of all of them too much. I guess I should talk about the plot.

The Plot

The Kringle family are toymakers who once worked for the king. They find a young baby who had been blown onto their doorstep after the baby was sent away to the orphanage by the Burgermeister Meisterburger. Burgermeister is a total dickhead throughout the entire special. The Kringles raise the baby as their own and name him Kris. Kris learns to make toys and he eventually befriends a penguin. He wants to get the toys out to the town called Sombertown. It’s run by the Burgermeister, so I can see why it’s called that. The Burgermeister does not like toys, so he wants Kris put in jail. Kris befriends a woman named Jessica who originally abides by the rules of the town, but she comes around after he gives her a gift. That’s the best way to a women’s heart. You give them stuff! Kris must deal with the evil Winter Warlock along the way. Kris gives him a toy too and the evil in the Warlock leaves his heart. He finally becomes a good Warlock! The Burgermeister eventually imprisons Kris Kringle and Jessica, Winter, and Topper the penguin must rescue him! Winter gives Jessica the magic feed corn to make reindeer fly! Rudolph is not present since that’s another story. They save Kris and he eventually changes his name back to Claus which was on his name tag as a baby. Burgermeister tries to hunt him down, but Claus had moved to the North Pole with his new beard and wife! The Burgermeisters died out and the legend of Claus grew throughout the land! He became Santa Claus and he made Christmas the one day of year where he would deliver presents. Happy ending!!!!!!

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Final Analysis

I’ve already said it’s a classic. I love every second of this special. I can quote pretty much all of it. I can sing all the songs. My favorite song is “Put One Foot in Front of the Other” which Kris Kringle sings when he’s changing the Winter Warlock from bad to good. It brings a tear to my eye seeing that Warlock become good! I actually did shed a tear at the narrator’s speech at the end of the special. He really brings out the true meaning of Christmas. This is the perfect time to remind everyone that “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.” Rankin Bass specials are the best!

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Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 11: Blackadder’s Christmas Carol

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I’m going British today! I’ve heard great things about Blackadder which was a show in Britain starring Rowan Atkinson. I’ve never bothered watching the show since I’m an American and I don’t like things that are different. Netflix has made try things different recently. I’ve always enjoyed Rowan Atkinson in Mr. Bean, so I’m sure he is just as good in Blackadder. So what did I think of Blackadder’s Christmas Carol? Keep reading to find out!

The Plot

I could probably some up the plot pretty quickly. I guess I should get into the backstory of Blackadder all together. BBC ran a few different series of Blackadder and in all of him he’s a sneaky, conniving opportunist. He’s really not a good guy, but he’s an anti-hero we can enjoy. In Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, he begins the exact opposite of that. He’s the nicest man in town! Blackadder and Baldrick (His sidekick/servant) are trying to have a nice Christmas, but the problem is that they are very poor. Everyone who comes over takes advantage of Blackadder. They take their tiny tree, their little turkey, and their nuts! They end up with nothing left on Christmas Eve. His goddaughter even takes all their presents which was just a hat and gloves. Queen Victoria even comes over at one point, but she really wants to visit the lady next door. Blackadder is still nice to her though since he’s basically Scrooge at the end of A Christmas Carol. In his sleep, Blackadder is visited by Hagrid….I mean the Spirit of Christmas…Hagrid is easier to write. So Hagrid tells him all the cool powers he has and Blackadder is intrigued by it. Hagrid shows some Blackadders from the past and present Blackadder enjoys the nefarious ways the old Blackadders lived by. This was the opposite effect that Hagrid wanted. Eventually, Blackadder asks Hagrid what his future would be like if he was bad. That future shows him as a ruler of the universe pretty much marrying the queen. Blackadder then makes Hagrid show him the future if he remained nice. That future Blackadder has been replaced by Baldrick’s ancestor. This convinces Blackadder that being mean is the way to make it in life. He wakes up the next morning and immediately punches Baldrick in the face. He gleefully takes money from the people that took advantage of him the day before and he even shuts the door on Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria was going to reward him with 50,000 pounds, but he makes fun of Professor Sprout and calls her fat and ugly. The problem is Blackadder did not think she was the real Queen. She had only showed the royal seal to Baldrick. So being mean doesn’t end entirely well for this Blackadder, but he still gets a nice big turkey at the end.

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Final Thoughts

I had fun seeing Mr. Bean, House, Hagrid, Professor Sprout, and Rita Skeeter in roles I hadn’t seen before. I guess these shows were the reasons why they got those roles in things like Harry Potter. Damn, Mr. Bean would have been awesome in Harry Potter. The special itself depends on how you like your humor. British humor is very different than American humor. It’s more clever and dry. They rely on wordplay and wit. I like that to an extent, but sometimes I feel it’s too much. I did love the reversal of A Christmas Carol with the nice guy wanting to be bad at the end. It’s nice to see that nice guys sometimes do indeed finish last. Rowan Atkinson is great in the role. I was so used to him not talking as Mr. Bean, but he’s really quite hilarious. I also enjoy every time he punches Baldrick in the face. He deserved it. I’d give it a good recommendation if you are into British humor and want to see something different. American audiences might not enjoy it as much, but it’s worth a watch.

Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 10: That 70s’ Show – Hyde’s Christmas Rager

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I figured I should change it up a bit and go back to That 70s’ Show instead of continuing Boy Meets World today. I like a good mix of styles. Not much has changed in the That 70s’ Show world since the first season Christmas episode. All the main characters are still around in the third season episode. Laurie Forman isn’t in this one, but she disappears a lot during the show’s run. I think I should just get on with it already. Here’s Hyde’s Christmas Rager!

The Plot

Hyde has been living with his father, Bud, for some time. We later find out that Bud isn’t his real father, but that’s in the future. I don’t remember too much of Bud in his run on the show. He’s a pretty forgettable character. Bud allows Hyde, Eric, Kelso, and Fez to throw a party at his place. Kitty comes over at some point to deliver things and the gang pretends to Christmas carol which Kitty find suspicious but she doesn’t do anything about it. Jackie is complaining that she’s single for the first time on Christmas. Nobody loves her and she wants a man to kiss her under the mistletoe. Donna makes fun of her the whole time. They’re terrible friends. Eric keeps losing the drinking game at the party and he winds up pretty drunk. Kelso takes him home and Eric starts mocking Red. The problem is that Red is right behind him. Eric solves this problem by throwing up on Red’s shoes. That’s not good. Donna and Jackie are at some bar where Jackie is hitting on firemen. Donna makes fun of the firemen for talking to high school girls. Jackie laughs at one of their jokes and the firefighter says he used to date a girl with that laugh twenty years ago. It turns out it was Jackie’s mom and then things get awkward. Back at Forman house, Kitty complains about Bud’s bad parenting. Red shows up and gets Bud a pep talk about how you have to bring down the law on your kids to get them to know right and wrong. They’ll hate you for it, but they’ll know to make the correct choices. Bud goes back to his house and ends Hyde’s party right before Fez was going to light himself on fire. Hyde tells Eric later that Bud is making him do homework and eat his vegetables now along with other stuff. Hyde seems pleased that Bud actually cares to be a good father now. I guess that doesn’t work out later in the series since Hyde ends up back at the Formans. Eric makes fun of Hyde and Hyde playfully attacks him before Red comes into the basement. Red is ready to give Eric a nice talking to but Eric apologizes and says how ashamed he is. Red gives Eric a present, but SURPRISE!!!! It’s the shoes that Eric vomited on haha. That Red sure is funny!

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Final Thoughts

It’s got a few decent laughs, but it’s a lackluster That 70s’ Show episode. It’s an even worse Christmas episode. Christmas is put in the background throughout the episode. Small nods are made here and there, but I feel this episode could have worked the same without all the Christmas references. The episode falls into the same problem that the Easy Street episode of Boy Meets World did. I like when my Christmas episodes focus primarily on Christmas and use it to advance the stories. This episode and the BMW episode put Christmas on the backburner for what could easily have been a run of the mill episode the series. I liked seeing Bud and Hyde bond a little. The Eric and Red plot was my favorite part of the episode. I could have done without Jackie and Donna’s plot. It went nowhere. Fez didn’t get much to do. He might as well have lit himself on fire. Kelso surprisingly isn’t around for much of the episode. He’s in the beginning, the drinking game, and he takes Eric home. That’s it. Not his most exciting episode. This episode could have used more of his stupidity. Decent episode, but not good for the holiday season.

Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 9: Boy Meets World – Easy Street

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Another day of Boy Meets World! I’m so excited. It’s like the first week of Christmas was about Power Rangers and the second is Boy Meets World! It’s just the way Jesus intended it to be. This is a fourth season Boy Meets World episode. A lot has changed since everyone has gotten older of course. Morgan is not in this episode since this may have been during her long timeout. I don’t remember. I should have rewatched the ending picture they took to make sure. No more Minkus who only appears one more time in the season five finale. This episode features the addition of Mr. Turner who made his debut in season two. Enough explaining things! On with the show!

The Plot

It’s not your typical Christmas episode. The episode begins the typical Boy Meets World way. Mr. Turner is discussing “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and Cory and Shawn are sleeping through class when Mr. Feeny arrives. In one of the best BMW scenes, they debate over which class they slept through. Feeny claims that during his class “Mr. Hunter does the yipping” while they sleep. Turner talks to them about choices and roads not taken. You know right away this will be our central theme for the episode. Cory and Shawn both have new jobs. Cory has a job at an Italian place where he basically gets coffee for the mob. Shawn works at the docks really early in the morning. Cory takes Shawn to his job where Shawn informs him he is working for the mob. Cory is too stupid to figure it out for himself. Cory quits his job for the funny mobsters. They really are highlights of the episode. Shawn then begins to work for them instead. Shawn feels happy he can buy Christmas presents for his friends even if he knows where the money is coming from. He happily gives Cory a watch, but Cory feels that because where the money is from that he can’t be completely happy about it. It’s a nice reversal from the first season BMW Christmas episode. Shawn is told to deliver a package on Christmas Eve where he waits until Cory tells him to come back to his place. They discuss roads not taken and it all ends with Shawn taking the right path. Woo! The Eric sideplot isn’t too much to write about. A girl he works with named Lonnie is lonely and wants to spend Christmas with her family. Eric tries to drive her there since he wants sex, but they end up in a blizzard. Eric bumps himself on the head which knocks him out. Maybe this is the moment where Eric becomes incredibly stupid the rest of the series. Lonnie later tells Eric back at Eric’s house that she had to strip them down naked to keep the warm. Eric was not pleased to hear this and he keeps trying to get her to do it again. It all ends with a happy Christmas picture! No Christmas Carol this time! Lame!

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Final Thoughts

I don’t think it’s as good as the season 1 episode which is interesting since I normally prefer season 4 over season 1. This episode had a big lack of Feeny. I think that’s what it was missing. He only appears in the first and last scenes. The parents aren’t given much to do either. Topanga is even barely used. Her role was basically the same as it was in the season 1 episode. That’s odd since her role on the show has grown big since that season. It is good to see some Mr. Turner in this episode. I’m pretty sure this is his second to last onscreen appearance. The next time we see him he’s in the hospital from a motorcycle crash. Quick Wikipedia search confirms that Morgan was in this episode. She must have been in that picture. This is indeed Mr. Turner’s second to last appearance. Poor guy goes out in the hospital. It’s a good thing Minkus mentions him in the season 5 finale or else we might think he’s dead. The Cory and Shawn stuff are the good parts of the episode. I’d argue the mobster guys got too much time, but they brought good comedy. My main gripe with the Cory/Shawn scenes are that it was too similar to the first season episode even if the roles were reversed. Plus A Christmas Carol works better for Christmas than The Road Not Taken. I didn’t really care for the Eric parts in this episode. It’s somewhat funny, but I guess I’m not a big fan of horny Eric. He’s reeking of desperation. Overall, it’s not a great BMW episode and it’s an average Christmas special. The Christmas focus was on the backburner for the Shawn choosing the right road story. I’m hoping the next BMW Christmas special is much improved.

Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 8: Boy Meets World – Santa’s Little Helper

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I love Boy Meets World. It might just be my favorite television show of all time. I remember hearing the word of Girl Meets World and being the happiest guy on the planet. I figured Christmas would be a good time to revisit my favorite show. This episode is from the first season and is the first of a few Christmas episodes on Boy Meets World. The first season of Boy Meets World is far from my favorite season, but there are a lot of good moments. Plus the first season has Minkus! I’ve been watching some One Tree Hill recently. Don’t judge me! Lee Norris who plays Minkus on Boy Meets World has a big role on that show as the character, Mouth. He’s a bit of a nerd in both, but he’s awesome either way. Time to review this episode.

The Plot

It starts with Mr. Feeny (the greatest teacher ever) reading A Christmas Carol to his 6th grade class. It’s a bit of a Christmas tradition on Boy Meets World to have Feeny read the Dickens classic. Cory and Shawn do their typical make fun of the Feeny book of the week routine which makes Feeny have Topanga switch seats with Cory. This is the first season so Topanga is a total weirdo. One thing I forget about in the first season is that it has a theme song with opening credits. It’s the most elaborate of all the Boy Meets World openings, but I like it. After the theme song, Cory and Shawn talk about what they are getting for Christmas. Shawn says he’s getting a shitload of stuff while Cory brags about getting a basketball. Cory also complains about wool in this episode a fair bit. Cory notices that Shawn has a packed lunch today which is unusual. Cory shows Shawn that he’s saved up five bucks to buy a net for his ball. Minkus asks Shawn for five dollars to pay for Feeny’s class gift, but Shawn says he doesn’t have the money yet. Minkus says that he has been putting off paying him for a couple of days now. The youngest daugher, Morgan, who is maybe  4 or 5. I’m not sure. She went to visit Santa Claus where one of the elves was possibly a mobster. She sat on Santa’s lap and he had a heart attack. She’s now locked herself in the bathroom because she thinks that she has killed Santa. Alan, the father, thought it was hilarious when he heard the story. Cory comes in and checks under the Christmas tree for presents. He immediately finds the wool present. Cory goes to tell Shawn when his dad stops him. His dad tells him that Shawn’s dad got laid off from work and that Shawn won’t be getting many presents this year. Yes, I do believe this is the first “Shawn is poor” episode. Cory believes that giving Shawn one of his presents will make things better. It goes wrong with Shawn not wanting Cory’s charity. Mr. Feeny listened in on the conversation and he told Cory that Cory only gave Shawn the gift because Cory wanted the thanks from it. Mr. Feeny is a smart man. He always delivers good advice. The next day at school, Minkus demands Shawn to give him the money but Shawn still can’t give him any. Minkus tells him that he will not get his name on the card and he will look like a deadbeat. Shawn leaves, but Cory comes to the rescue. Cory tells Minkus that Shawn loaned him five bucks and Cory pays off Minkus. In class, Minkus gives Feeny the present. Feeny reads all the names including Shawn. After class, Shawn thanks Minkus for putting his name on there when Minkus tells him what happened. Shawn finds Cory back at his house and he gives him an old net he found in his garage. The two are best friends again and all is well. Morgan has spent the episode in the bathroom until she is bribed out by Eric (older brother) and her mom. She is happy until the mobster elf comes and scares her some more. The episode concludes with Mr. Feeny dressed as Santa Claus to convince Morgan that Santa is still alive. I think Feeny does a bad job since he doesn’t even put the beard over his mouth. Morgan even figures it out wondering why Santa looks like Mr. Feeny. The End!

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Final Thoughts

It’s pretty good for a first season Boy Meets World episode. I’m more partial to season 2 myself. While the “Shawn is poor” stuff gets a bit tired throughout the seasons, it’s nice to see where it all begins. Mr. Feeny is in top form in this episode. He gives out his usual advice and comes through as Santa in the end. He’s awesome. Cory seems like an idiot throughout the episode caring only about getting gifts that aren’t wool. He shines at the end though finally learning his lesson. I didn’t mention Eric much in this episode since he has a small role. He has the best line though when talking to Morgan in the bathroom. He tells her Santa is on the phone and that he said, “Ho Ho Hoohohoh” imitating a heart attack. I got a good laugh out of that scene. Shawn does well hiding that he’s poor, and it’s easy to see why he’s upset when Cory gives him a charity gift. I like that he knows in the end that Cory was just trying to be a friend. Boy Meets World is nothing without the Cory/Shawn bromance. Overall, it’s a fun Christmas episode and I would gladly watch it every Christmas. I might need to track down the other Boy Meets World Christmas episodes to compare. That sounds like a plan.

Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 7: Power Rangers Megaforce – The Robo Knight Before Christmas

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It just so happens that Nickelodeon aired another Power Rangers Christmas special today. I thought I had escaped the Power Rangers and their holiday specials, but they brought me back for one more. So the story of Megaforce is that Troy (Red Ranger) has been having visions of this great war between an invading force and past Power Rangers. I still can’t wait for that episode. Our Power Rangers have been brought together by Gosei (who hasn’t done shit most of the season) to fight evil aliens and robots. It really hasn’t been that great of a season of Power Rangers. The other rangers include Gia (Yellow), Emma (Pink), Jake (Black), and Noah (Blue). So how does this episode compare to past Ranger Christmas specials? Keep reading!

The Plot

The Rangers are at Ernie’s Brain Freeze (not to be confused for Ernie’s Juice Bar from MMPR; different Ernie too) and they are talking about Christmas gifts. It seems Jake and Troy have not bought anything for Christmas yet. The girls want something expensive. They’re in trouble. Noah talks to Robo Knight who thinks that the humans are acting strange by cutting down trees and putting lights on them. I could see how that’s strange too if you know nothing about Christmas. Noah explains Christmas to Robo Knight and has him stand still in the mall for 24 hours to observe people. Robo Knight is standing in a donation spot and gets shipped to Africa. It’s kinda comical actually. The Africans don’t really know the true meaning of Christmas either, so Robo Knight explains it to them. He does this with a clip show! Damn them for doing another clip show! As per the norm for Power Rangers clip shows, it shows the best highlights of the season. Those moments where there’s actual character development for the five Rangers. It’s been very few this season. Robo Knight ends up putting them all to sleep with his story. I guess the Africans thought the season was boring like me. Robo Knight goes back to wherever Megaforce takes place. I assume America, but I can’t remember if it’s specified. He wishes a Merry Christmas to all and sounds a lot like the Santa from Power Rangers Samurai.

Final Thoughts

Robo Knight is the most developed character in Power Rangers Megaforce and this episode shows it. He’s the only one who has had a real arc. He’s made a change from the start of the season. He used to complain about the Power Rangers and think their human emotions got in the way. Now he sees that they are doing the right thing and he sees them as friends. Sadly, the other Power Rangers haven’t gotten that proper development. They are bland and we don’t care too much about them. They are barely even in this episode. This episode also has no morph scenes or Zord battles, but Megaforce has too much of that anyway. The clips used actually didn’t show much of that. Instead they went for the few character building scenes. The show needs more of those scenes and less Sentai footage. It’s a decent Christmas special. Nothing too great, but it’s actually one of the better Megaforce episodes since it highlights all the good stuff from the season.

Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 6: That ’70s Show – The Best Christmas Ever

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This brings us to 5 TV episodes (4 Power Rangers) and 1 movie. I’m doing this title all wrong! I chose an episode of That ’70s Show today because I knew the show was on Netflix. The show is also pretty damn funny. It follows Eric Forman who lives with his parents, Red and Kitty, while hanging out in the basement with his friends Hyde (the stoner), Fez (the foreigner), Kelso (the idiot), Jackie (the rich girl), and Donna (the tomboyish love interest). It’s a pretty entertaining show, but I had trouble remembering any of the Christmas episodes. Too bad because this one is pretty fun.

The Plot

Eric is tired of joining his parents during their Christmas party, so he decides to throw one of his own in the basement. The problem is they need money for beer. Red gives Eric money to buy a Christmas tree and he can use the remaining money for his party. This prompts Eric, Hyde, and Kelso to cut down a tree so they can keep the 40 dollars. Meanwhile, Hyde has been asking around to see what kind a gift Donna would like for Christmas. I actually forget there was a love triangle between Eric, Donna, and Hyde during the first season. Red has to work for Bob on Christmas Eve since Bob wants to be the only place open in case an idiot needs to buy a gift at the last second. That’s exactly what happens when Kelso comes in to buy Jackie a gift. They also play a game of Pong together which I found hilarious. At the party, Fez is being hit on by drunk friends of Jackie because they like his foreign accent. The cops come over and tell Red that the tree was stolen. Hyde gives Donna a present which is a picture of Hyde and Donna from the 5th grade. Donna seems to really like how personal the gift was. Eric got her some perfume that Donna likes. Hyde actually asked Donna’s mom earlier in the episode about what Donna likes and she said that. Hyde didn’t have the money to buy that though. Red goes downstairs and yells at Eric about the tree and the fact they had beer. He wants the rest of his money too but it’s revealed that Kelso spent the rest of the money on Jackie’s gift. Jackie is very happy that Kelso got in trouble for her. She then proclaims that Hyde loves Donna which Hyde denies. He kicks everyone out and makes Eric and Hyde clean up. Donna gives both of them their gifts from her. Eric got something with is name engraved and Hyde got socks. Eric seemed pleased about this. The episode ends with Bob thanking Red for working and that he wants a hug. Red doesn’t give hugs. Bob jokes about a mistletoe scaring Red even more to end the episode.

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Final Thoughts

It’s a very enjoyable Christmas episode. Everyone gets their time to shine even some of the minor characters like Bob, Midge, and Laurie. Kitty is very funny in this episode even though I did not mention her much when it came to the plot. Red’s mom is also in this episode being a bitch, so it’s fun seeing Kitty go against her. It was neat to see the love triangle with Eric/Hyde/Donna again. I never really liked the idea of Hyde and Donna together. I preferred him with Jackie, but it was cool to see this dynamic that I forgot about over the years. I will say the episode made me root for Hyde and Donna together more than Eric and Donna since Eric seemed a bit like a douche in this one. Overall, it’s a good Christmas watch especially if you love this show like I do.