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Can we admit that Santa Claus Christmas movies suck?

Discussion in 'Movies, Music & Television' started by AGXStarseed, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    (Not written by me. I've decided to share this to see what you think)


    In related news, I might not have a soul.

    The holidays are a time for cheery family films, but if I have to watch another Santa Claus movie I might move to the North Pole myself.

    Thanks to Coca-Cola and the merging of many convoluted cultural myths, Santa Claus has become synonymous with Christmas in a way that would probably make our ancestors (like, way, way back) gasp in horror. Especially in America, it’s hard to imagine a Christmas without the idea of Santa Claus hovering over everyone’s minds. Which, naturally, has brought about a slew of increasingly weird Santa Claus movies.

    While I love all the Home Alones and the wonderful thrill of romantic comedies set in the holiday season, Santa Claus movies have just become weird for me. Maybe my mistake is in holding them at the same level of Oscar-worthy films, or in assuming that child-friendly movies are aimed at me, but I’m irrationally irritated about Santa Claus movies.

    I’m not trying to change your mind if you enjoy watching Tim Allen strut around wearing a long white beard, or if you’ve legitimately dedicated hours of your life to analyzing Santa’s genealogy and consequent line of succession — after all, I like the High School Musical trilogy and I can quote the entirety of Shrek in Spanish, so to each their own — but if you’re like me and the sight of Santa leaves you feeling particularly soulless, let’s break down the main reasons for which Santa Claus movies usually suck and what it would take to make one that’s actually good.


    Santa should not have a hero’s journey!
    It upsets me to no end when Santa has an emotional breakdown about being Santa Claus, or finds himself suddenly conflicted about his life choices. Hasn’t he been doing this job for millions of years? You’d think he would have gotten over this a long time ago! If Santa is indeed as wise and experienced as he should be, he should be more of a Gandalf-like figure than a main character.

    Then there’s Santa’s heir — a classic — who is usually a grown man trying to live up to the real Santa. And that story is always incredibly frustrating. The characters always spend almost the whole movie thinking of their only of themselves and their life on earth, which nobody cares about. The world is in your hands, man! The happiness of children all around the world (though mostly America, let’s be real) depends on you! Step up! Nobody wants to see a middle-aged man have an identity crisis about being Santa Claus, of all things.

    The only scenario in which I might be interested in seeing a Santa Claus coming-of-age story would be if we traveled back in time to Santa’s first year of gift-giving, waaay in the past. Mix in some history and various mythologies and I might even go to theaters to watch it.


    Gift-giving is exciting, but not that exciting
    Santa Claus movies focus on the idea that without gifts, there is no Christmas. Which is kind of weird if you think about it; especially since not everyone in the world — even the Christian world — has the custom of giving gifts on Christmas. Also, what does Santa do during the rest of the year? How is it that everyone Santa delivers to is a middle-class American family that also has a chimney?

    They never seem to spend enough time exploring the logistics of Santa-Claus-ing. I need a mockumentary that thoroughly explores the toy manufacturing process of the North Pole. I would say that that’s much more interesting than the absolutely unbelievable reindeer transportation, which is usually the climax of the film.


    And what is this ever-elusive Christmas spirit?
    I realize that disliking Santa Claus movies probably makes me something of a monster. Maybe it’s the fact that I never believed in Santa as a kid? But I’m fascinated by the ways in which these movies try to encompass the spirit of the holidays — to make it about kindness, family and generosity. I guess this is the way that we can most easily capture those values in pop culture. It’s a way to turn consumerism into something much more profound.

    Santa Claus films, I guess, are one attempt to try to capture the Christmas experience and neatly package the feelings it brings. But that’s also one of the things that bothers me about it: that it condenses, and ultimately simplifies, an inner feeling into what is usually formulaic, slightly-angsty comedy.

    Then again, that’s okay. We’re all trying to unpack what the holidays mean to us, and reflect on our own place in the world. So maybe it’s okay to somewhat-irrationally hate Santa Claus films, if we can see the value in the intention behind them. Or at least appreciate the importance of selflessness in A Christmas Carol, or social responsibility in Gremlins.

    The holidays are what you make of them. I’ve decided that my holiday movies will be free of old bearded men unless they’re Gandalf or Dumbledore. But you’re free to watch elves scrambling to fix reindeer-related issues, or viciously dissect the North Pole’s line of succession. And I guess you’re also free to recommend Santa Claus movies that you think could change my mind.

    But if you’re like me and feel slightly evil for disliking Santa movies, just remember: the holiday spirit is beautiful and about a lot more than gift distribution, and there are plenty of other movies out there.


    Source: Can we admit that Santa Claus Christmas movies suck?
     
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  2. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    ... they're childrens films. And not generally the sort of kids films that adults can also enjoy. I'm somewhat bemused at an adult (I assume) caring enough to actually write an article about it. Personally I can't think of a single christmas film I enjoy.
     
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  3. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    because it comes from a different culture ,I appreciate the life of nicholas bishop of bari (modern day turkey) , Sinterklaas ,father frost, Santa Claus ,father Christmas,Have different meanings ,bishop Nicholas Is no different to anyone else ,he would say what he does is done by God, in the Bible each person who is saved is a part of the body of Christ !so each person is different,I might represent a part of the arm or a part of the leg ,Nicholas might represent a part of the mind .Therefore what he did is what he is part of ,and the next part of the teaching is the arm cannot work without the shoulder ,the leg cannot work without the foot, the mind cannot work without the brain ,what I’m trying to say is it is just every day life, it !is !not! a man only !ever !throwing three !coins !in a stocking, through ,a window, same as Jesus is now 2000 years old According to some people !so he cannot be physically born every year, that stems from Catholicism and the worship of the family and Marian worship ,it also stems from the fact that a certain amount of people have no interest in Christianity at all and are celebrating Yule ,Which makes the story even less realistic, would someone stop saying Christmas if it was termed a mass for Christ, maybe they would stop saying it if They saidit that way.
     
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  4. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    @AGXStarseed
    "I've decided to share this to see what you think."

    The piece itself was re-chew on a perennial topic.
    Written well enough, not offensive, but not a fresh
    approach and not a fresh topic.

    Not that I have anything against people discovering
    old ideas. Most anything has basis in the past. And
    any idea is new to a person who hasn't thought it yet.
     
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  5. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Chaotic Neutral

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    You might like Rare Exports, where Santa Claus is the monster.
     
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  6. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Agree totally - Christmas movies are a bore. They most definitely do NOT bear re-watching. I know people will disagree, and that's fine. Just wanted to register my vote.
     
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  7. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    In general, I think this article follows a common hipster trend I see in a lot of online articles - let's call out and rail upon some common behavior to show that we're better than it. By reading it, you get to feel smug about not being one of "those sheep that follow that trend."

    I think Christmas movies are like candy bars - best enjoyed in small doses. There are a few favorites that we see every year. I love to watch A Christmas Story every year. My wife and kids love Elf. I have never seen It's a Wonderful Life and briefly contemplate watching it every year.

    I'll bet that there have been more movies made about "saving Christmas with/for Santa Claus" than there have been actual Christmases since the Santa Claus tradition started. The saint it's based on was born around 280 a.d., so if you go back that far, you need about 1,740 movies. However, the real commercialization of Christmas featuring a Santa Claus character started in the early 1800's (per this history site), so you could justify only needing 220 movies. There are at least 19 versions of or variations of A Christmas Carol, so that's a start (I counted only theatrical releases, not TV movies).
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Maybe the author of the article is just a ghost writer for Billy Bob "Bad Santa" Thornton.

    Or Ebenezer Scrooge. Take your pick. :p

    (The Grinch was unavailable for comment.)
     
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  9. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    You wouldn't want a comment from a flip-flopper like him anyway.
     
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  10. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    If your xmas childhood brings back not so great memories, you will not miss watching this genre of films.

    If your entire family brings on shudders and moaning, then like me, you are counting the days of Dec. to be quickly over. The holidays are the busiest time of the year for psychiatrists.
     
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  11. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I usually don't watch anything outside my normal (fixated) genres so have only seen a few. My impression however is that they are in general quickly produced, silly and done mainly for a quick holiday buck ( like every musician does a Christmas album) so I wasn't likely to invest any time in them. Not when there is a 3 hour documentary on 4th century BC Chaldean arrow point types to watch. I more or less had to watch 'A Christmas Story' when a guest brought it over to watch but ended up really liking it and laughing quite a bit. The cast and screenplay were excellent and they really nailed the time period feel. 'Home Alone' was really good too. Kinda different and another great cast.

    But a seriously done Alien franchise film done at Santa's arctic facility might be interesting.
     
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  12. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    So glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this.
     
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  13. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    The closest you've got to that is a 2018 animated short called "The Predator Holiday Special", which depicts a Predator attack on Santa Claus and his reindeer at the North Pole.
    (I can't post it here due to gore and bad language)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  14. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Santa and the elves are making all the toys during the rest of the year, I thought everyone knew that!?

    I sort of like Christmas films, the safe, predictable themes, the simple characters, and often quite value driven themes and people. Elf is a great example , amusing and quirky, but I like many of the Scrooge related films too, and have a good tolerance for the romantic plot lines also. So sue me.

    Some of the Santa ones are OK, they vary in depth...
     
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  15. KagamineLen

    KagamineLen Gay and autistic midlife weeb.

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    I don't like those movies because I don't like Tim Allen, he sold out all his druggie friends to stay out of prison himself and now he is a superstar.

    Die Hard is a better Christmas movie, anyway.
     
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  16. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I like Polar Express.
    Not ashamed to admit it.
    Have a Coke and a Santa!
    BuschXmas 183.JPG
    :rolleyes:
     
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