Our pals Niall Flanagan and Dwayne Moloney, co-hosts of the Secret of the Sailor Madness podcast, join us this week to try and make sense of Rankin/Bass’ 1967 Christmas special The Cricket on the Hearth!
Based on Charles Dickens’ other holiday novella, Cricket plays fast and loose with its source material to mold it into something suitable for television. Certain characters get cut out, new ones invented out of whole cloth, and no less than NINE musical numbers thrown in to stretch this to an hour for your holiday viewing pleasure.
It’s nonsensical, it’s absurd, but it’s also 100% pure-strain Rankin/Bass. There’s a charm to the madness on display here, and honestly? We wouldn’t have it any other way.
When we discussed A Karate Christmas Miracle last year, we swore that we wouldn’t touch its follow-up unless we had no other choice. Ladies and gentlemen, that day came far sooner than we expected…
A Wrestling Christmas Miracle has the distinction of being the only Christmas movie to feature the late, great Gilbert Gottfried. Going into this, that was all we knew. Only now can we say that we have been well and truly bamboozled. Gottfried is only in this movie because it recycles footage from a completely different movie, one that actually does feature Gilbert Gottfried. None of it makes any sense, but we’ll do our best to explain it all on this week’s episode!
Please enjoy this week’s Stocking Stuffer to tide you over until our next full episode. This week we’re taking a look at The Norm Show, Norm Macdonald’s foray into the world of late-90s sitcoms.
In this episode, “Norm vs Christmas”, Norm tries to show his co-workers how magical Christmas can be, with a non-denominational holiday party, a Secret Santa gift exchange, and surprise decorations at home. This inevitably ends with everyone visiting the hospital, where even more shenanigans ensue.
Also on this podcast, we briefly discuss the film we originally meant to cover, Joe eats a disgusting flavor of marshmallow peeps, and Jonathan takes any opportunity to talk about Elden Ring.
This week we return to world of Jim Henson with the 1992 holiday classic The Muppet Christmas Carol! You know how this story goes: Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old turd who only loves his money. Three spirits show him the error of his ways, yadda yadda yadda Christmas is saved!
But the Muppets put their own unique spin on this tale, with some help from Jaws: The Revenge‘s Michael Caine! Is it enough to overcome what an often dark and tragic story A Christmas Carol can be? Or do the Muppets take things too far in the sillier direction? Join us as we answer these questions and more!
Happy New Year to one and all, and welcome to Season 8 of Christmas Creeps!
We kick off the new year with the little-seen 1987 animated Christmas special Christmas Every Day. Based on an 1892 short story by William Dean Howells, this cartoon seeks to answer the question: What would happen if we celebrated Christmas every single day?
Not only does the situation send one family into crisis, but it also puts a huge strain on the global supply chain, and sends this very podcast into an existential spiral from which we only barely manage to recover!
Last week we pit the original Home Alone against its 2021 remake. Of course the remake didn’t hold a candle to the original, but there is still a bit of unfinished business we need to discuss.
On this podcast, we attempt to rank all of the traps from both films. First we rank all the traps in the original Home Alone. Then we do the same for Home Sweet Home Alone. How does the nail in Marv’s foot stack up against the blowtorch to Harry’s head? A billiards ball to the face vs a barrage of thumb tacks to the face; which is worse?
This episode attempts to answer these questions, and more!
SHOW NOTES FOR THIS EPISODE
The entire Home Alone series is available to stream on Disney+
Merry Christmas to one and all! We don’t usually pit two films against one another, but since it is Christmas we thought we’d give you fine listeners a little holiday treat.
Home Alone is one of our generation’s unassailable holiday classics. We’ve covered a number of its sequels on the show before, but tonight we’re finally digging into the 1990 original. But because one Home Alone simply isn’t enough, we’re also doing a deep dive into the newest entry in the series, Home Sweet Home Alone, just released on Disney+.
What makes the original a modern classic while the remake struggles to even find its footing? How many of the traps would a human being reasonably fall for? What on earth do you even use a male-to-male extension cord for, anyway? Join us as we answer these questions and a whole lot more!
SHOW NOTES FOR THIS EPISODE:
All six Home Alone movies are available on Disney +
Christmastime is here once again, and with it come a whole gaggle of new holiday offerings from all your favorite streaming services! This week we’re discussing the nostalgia-fueled Nintendo frenzy of the film 8-Bit Christmas. Inspired in part by A Christmas Story, the film tells the tale of young Jake, a kid like any other in 1988 who just wanted a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas.
As you can imagine, this week’s podcast is going to be wall-to-wall Video Game Chat. We understand if that might not be your cup of tea, but as three fans of video games ourselves, we each have firsthand experience with being a kid in the thrall of Nintendo’s 8-bit charms. This could not be any more For Us if it tried. And yet, this is a film very much NOT For Us. Go figure.
Anyway, we’ll dig into why this film’s sense of nostalgia may be a bit askew, times when it’s not appropriate to tug at the heartstrings, and why the most prominent NES game featured is, of all things, “Rampage”. Buckle up, because it’s about to get nerdy. Good luck, have fun!
Now that it’s December, we can finally crank up the holiday movie machine! And just like we did a few weeks ago, it’s time to break down this year’s schedule for Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas.
Once again, we’ve crunched the numbers of the past four years of scheduling, and come up with a handy dandy graph to show which films get played more than others. For the most part, it’s exactly the ones you’d expect. Christmas is not a holiday known for disrupting traditions.
While the Halloween chart represents the entire broadcast day, this time around I’m only going to be counting what Freeform airs in prime time (think 5pm thru midnight). The easiest way to do that was to compare all four schedules published to Freeform’s social media pages.
The reigning champ of Freeform’s schedule is, for some reason, the 2000 live-action version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, airing 23 times over the last four years. Home Alone and Home Alone 2 are tied for second place with 16 airings each.
This year will see more Santa Clause 2 airings than ever before, at 4. That also means it will get more airtime than either SC1 or SC3 this year, which are only airing 3 times this year.
Only 7 films have appeared all four years: Grinch 2000, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, The Santa Clause, The Santa Clause 3, Toy Story and Toy Story 2
2019 is the only year that saw marathons of Simpsons Christmas episodes, all airing after midnight for some reason. After the rollout of Disney+, I guess they decided anyone who really wanted to watch The Simpsons after midnight would just stream it like the good lord intended.
The Nightmare Before Christmas has only ever aired once per season, when it has historically aired anywhere from 3 to 10 times during the Halloween season. Those of you who consider Nightmare a Halloween movie might be onto something after all…
2020 saw the most one-off airings, meaning the most instances of a film or special only airing once per season, at 11.
Now, what does any of this really mean? I’m not sure, but the apparent continued popularity of Grinch 2000 and the Santa Clause trilogy feels like more of a forced obligation than anything else. They’re the most recent big budget, non-Elf Christmas films around, and at least in the case of The Santa Clause, I guess someone at Disney just gave up and said “That’s what we got! We don’t need anything else.”
Home Alone‘s continued popularity, at this point, has entered the realm of holiday tradition. It’s been that way for a long time, and it’s clearly not going anywhere any time soon. Now, whether or not Disney plans on keeping it that way, or if they’ll phase it out in years to come to make room for new reboot, Home Sweet Home Alone, remains to be seen.
What do you think of all this? Any data points we might have overlooked? Let us know in the comments!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Or rather, Happy T-Hanksgiving!
This week we dig deep into the Tom Hanks-filled 2004 animated feature The Polar Express, which somehow manages to turn Chris Van Allsburg’s 32-page book into a feature-length adventure full of magical train-hopping hobos, swing-dancing elves, and one kid’s quest to continue believing in Santa at all costs.
Our discussion takes some wild turns, from musing on the film’s intended audience, to The Polar Express‘s influence on later animated features and video games (more than you’d think!), to postulating the existence of a Santa Claus multiverse. So hold onto your tickets and hop aboard, because this train’s about to leave the station!