Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 23: Die Hard and The Year Without a Santa Claus

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You know there’s not much in common with Die Hard and The Year Without a Santa Claus. They share no common characters. There are no terrorists in The Year Without a Santa Claus. No reindeers dressed like dogs in Die Hard. The only real similarity is that they have some themes of Christmas. So why review them both at the same time? They were both on TV today. It’s that simple. The two don’t mix and match well, but I’m going to give it a whirl as Kevin McCallister would say.

The Plots

John McClane is invited to a Christmas party by his wife who he’s been having trouble with lately. Santa is also having some trouble since he thinks nobody believes in him anymore and that there is no need for Christmas. Both John McClane and Santa run into some problems as time progresses. Our favorite Hogwarts professor, Hans Gruber, is trying to take over Mr. Takagi’s big building. He has some get rich quick scheme. People are dying including Takagi and John McClane has to do something about it. Santa has to find where the elves, Jingle and Jangle, went so he can retrieve the reindeer named Vixen. Vixen has been taken to the pound, so it’s like she is taken hostage and Santa has to rescue her. The films have parallels after all! John McClane gets help in this movie from Carl Winslow. Carl hasn’t lost his mind dealing with Urkel yet, and he’s on a mission to save John McClane’s ass. Santa is also getting help from a little boy named Iggy. He didn’t really believe in Santa just like Carl at first with John, but they both come around. There’s some skeptics on both sides. The principal from Breakfast Club keeps complaining to Carl Winslow about the job John McClane is doing in the same way the mayor is doubting Santa Claus. John’s wife, Holly, tries to talk with the villains to get them to allow some things, and Hans Gruber is nice enough to comply. The same happens with Mrs. Claus. She has to deal with the Miser Brothers. It took some time to convince the Snow and Heat Misers to help, but a talk with Mother Nature straightened them out. John McClane eventually kills all the terrorists one by one in the same way Santa convinces everyone to believe in him one by one. They both get one last bit of help from Carl and Iggy. Carl shoots the last bad guy and Iggy helps other kids mail Santa. They both even end with Christmas songs!

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Final Thoughts

Clearly these two films have more in common than I imagined. It’s like watching the same film! I mean nobody dies in The Year Without a Santa Claus, but what does die is kids not believing in Santa. The parallels do not go unnoticed. I’m sure the Die Hard writers had The Year Without a Santa Claus in their mind when getting this movie made. Both are classics, so I suggest everyone should watch them in the next couple days. You won’t regret it. Look for the similarities!

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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!