Tooncrap has gotten a hand on one of my biggest Holiday thorns in the side, Frosty Returns.
Though there's more things I'd attack in the special, I'm glad to know this isn't exactly well liked a Christmas tradition CBS kept putting away with. I could list for hours what was wrong with this special, so I'll attack the main points.
The Complainers are Always Wrong.
The special's main driving message is essentially how great winter is because of magic of being a kid (read: one that doesn't do shoveling unless they're paid and one that doesn't have to commute to work). The adults are portrayed as either bitter, miserable old people or gullible morons when they say how much they hate dealing with snow. One of them being an elderly woman shoveling off her driveway and front steps. As in, an activity that kinda could kill her? And why, yes... winter is a dangerous time to get around in. Why is the entire town an antagonist, especially if they're made up of old people who have a point?
You have the likes of Johnathan Winters, John Goodman, Andrea Martin, and Brian Doyle Murray here. Reading a bad script full of dated jokes. The old woman teacher even makes a dumb "What do you think this is? MTV?" comment. It really is a shame how these guys were slumming it. Lorne Michaels really must've pulled his weight around to rope these comedians into this. Not to mention Bill Melendez Studios made this thing.
Environmental Message, sort of
Very much a product of the early 90's when people cared about the environment briefly (anything else I could add to this statement would be a long and winding rant), Frosty Returns delivers a pro-Earth message... or, rather, not. In a movement that even Captain Planet would find embarrassing, the villain is a one dimensional evil corporate big wig who invents a spray snow remover. What would otherwise at least be an environmental message turns into "rich guy is evil for inventing something out of evil the people actually could use but did we mention he's evil?" As for the environment, it's mentioned in passing by one of his board members (who gets the Monty Burns trap door treatment) and never brought up again. So instead of saying "while well meaning, this product can do irreparable damage to the planet, and an easy solution such as this isn't worth the impact," the message is "old rich guy BAD! Snow Good." What makes this message really fall through is the only reason the product's even considered evil (and therefore the rich old guy) is it could hurt Frosty. So where would a spray snow remover do any good? I dunno? Massive, city crippling blizzards? Dangerous snow storms? Even just getting the walkways cleared so the snow doesn't turn into thick ice? The snow removal spray is designed out of spite, how?
Overall, it's unnecessary
It's clear this was a throwaway special (even with a massive cast) meant to poop out on home video and maybe show a couple times on television. It's not even a Christmas special. Sure, Frosty isn't exactly a Christmas Song (doesn't mention Christmas in it at all, unless you count the rewritten version from the original special), and apparently his other special was a non-holiday Winter cartoon. But this special adds nothing, isn't holiday related, and just...feels like it's there because of a contractual obligation. The music isn't that good, the actors kinda fart their way through, the characters are all stupid except for the designated heroine, the environmental message is muddied by lack of explanation, the moral of the story is essentially "kids like snow, so the heck with anyone else." Just overall one of the dumbest specials there is.
But I'm waiting on those "Rapsitte Kids Believe in Santa" reviews. You think once that hit the net, one of the many caustic critics on the internet would have gobbled it up by now.
Sure, they shoved Christmas down our throats early this year...but now is the time when I'm ready for this Christmas time, and I know in the blink of an eye it will be over (along with the year 2015) and I'll be sorry to see it go.
Have to admit. There aren't any overly offensive or annoying Christmas themed commercials this year. Then again, there aren't any interesting or clever ones either. And must we always have some company use Rudolph characters for their ads? The Sprint ones aren't that good.
Of course, nothing beats my personal favorite Christmas commercial... the one that tells it like it is.
After watching the Nostalgia Critic review of Christmas with the Kranks, I wonder if the John Grisham novel its based on, Skipping Christmas, is any better? Was there anything lost in translation on its way to the big screen?
I've seen some of that movie and it feels pretty mean spirited. I don't think there's been a remotely good Christmas movie since Home Alone 2 or even the first Santa Clause film. Then again, it's YMMV, since there are those who like Elf, and that's cool, but I feel Will Ferrel works better when he's straight faced. And The Grinch was okay, I guess. But certainly the more recent crop of holiday movies just aren't that good.
Of course, that's how I feel about Christmas specials as well. Though a few here and there are good. I liked the Murray Saves Christmas thing from last year. I caught like roughly 30 seconds of "Elf on the Shelf" and was like...nooooo. no....no...
So Macaulay Culkin has reprised his role of Kevin McAllister in a new viral video on YT, and frankly, it's downright disturbing . . . but, I guess it's pretty true to how many people probably envisioned how Kevin would turn out as an adult: a troubled sociopath who is crippled by the memories of his family leaving him behind during Christmas and having to fend off two criminals from his home.
Come to think of it, apparently this was kind of what John Hughes' original intention was for HOME ALONE 3: Harry and Marv are released from prison, they go straight and start new lives for themselves in the suburbs, meanwhile Kevin goes all Terminator on them.
One Christmas special that got played into the ground this year is "Year Without a Santa Claus". Everyone from my generation can quote the Heat Miser song on cue (" He's Mr. Green Christmas, He's Mr. Sun..."). But one plot point that never sat well with me. All the children in the world unanimously agree to give Santa the day off. One billion kids, in the spirit of Christmas, GIVE Santa a day off. Nice sentiment.
Except for one dissenting little girl (I thought this was highly selfish on her part!) who sings/whines/pouts "I'll Have A Blue Christmas Without You". Every other child on the planet generously gives of themselves for Santa. But this ONE girl can only think about what she won't be GETTING!!!!
So Santa forfeits his day off, and the goodwill of a billion kids is shot to Blazes.
Whatever happened to Majority Rules?
And the selfish little brat grew up to be Madonna. Or Paris Hilton.
Maybe ABC Family/ Freeform can take a cue from Disney. Take a few of the heavily-rotated specials and put them in the vault for ten years. Dust off a few others:
Santa and the Three Bears
The Tiny Tree
Little Drummer Boy
New company- new approach.