Posted by: Mad Ness Monster | 06/29/2009

“The Christmas Tree” review

(12/12/06)

Friends, I have seen the most unreal holiday-themed film in existence.

This is a Goodtimes video. And if you’re any kind of animation fan, particularly a Disney fan, that should be a red light right there. Goodtimes was one of the many video companies that gained notoriety during the 90′s for selling cheaply produced knockoffs of almost every Disney film imaginable. Now they’re back with DVDs of even more cheaply produced movies to prey on the gullible. I got this movie at a dollar store. If you’re part masochist, like I suspect I am, do not pay more than three dollars for one of these movies. In fact, I’m pretty sure three dollars is a good estimate for how much this movie cost to make.
Because, I swear, this movie has the most downright sh*tty animation I have ever seen, and no, I am not forgetting “12 oz. Mouse”. I could go into any cheesy “Get *FREE* MySpace graphics” website and find sparkly animated gifs that showcase more artistry than this thing. I really cannot get over how ugly this movie is.
For example, there’s one scene where the villain goes on and on about her evil plan for about five minutes. During those five minutes -I’m not even kidding- her mouth is the ONLY thing onscreen that moves! And these people wanted to cash in on Disney movies!!! Unreal!
Furthermore, nobody in this movie ever shuts up. The movie (I really ought to call it “illustrated radio”; Chuck Jones rules) is the ultimate Rain of Blah-Blah. First, the narrator won’t stop talking. Then, the villain won’t stop talking. Then, the nice lady won’t stop talking. Then, the little children (most of whom have creepy sped-up adult voices) won’t stop talking. You get the idea. The most sympathetic and animated character in the movie is the titular one. Think about that.
But this isn’t the most unreal holiday movie just because of it’s hideous visuals or it’s nonstop dialogue. The ending, the way they choose to wrap the conflict up, is the thing that pushes it over and into the abyss. I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like the insanity that goes down at the end of this movie. It is ALMOST worth suffering through the rest of it to see. Almost.

The Best Parts:
2 minutes in – And I thought Annie had it hard. And knock.
3 minutes in – Why won’t the narrator shut the hell up?!?
6 minutes in – I know who’s starring in tonight’s nightmares.
8 minutes in – I am totally sure that Mrs. Hopewell (the Christmas Tree of the title) appreciates having nails driven into her bark. This is only fair if she can send the orphans off to Body Xtreemz.
12 minutes in – Yup, this is going to end well.
15 minutes in – So… many… transitional… wipes…!
18 minutes in – She’d be a more effective villain if she could F***ING MOVE!!!
22 minutes in – Mrs. Mavilda, you really can’t convince us that you are genuinely surprised that the kids think that you are a psycho.
23 minutes in – GAH!!!
Yes, from now on, when Mrs. Mavilda is being REALLY evil, she’s going to be drawn even sloppier than she usually is. That’s as creative as the producers are going to get here.
24 minutes in – I can totally not tell that most of these kids are given creepy sped-up grownup voices.
26 minutes in – I have a toothache now. (Gags…)
28 minutes in – So the miracle that helps the nice lady is a terrible traffic accident. Psy-yi-yi... duck?
30 minutes in – Stephen Colbert unavailable for comment.
31 minutes in – TOO MANY DRAMATIC THINGS HAPPENING ALL AT ONCE!!!!!!!
34 minutes in – You know, the nice lady could stand to be a little more worried about her kids being lost in the Great Canadian Wastelands.
35 minutes in – Aww, she’s like Darryl Hanna!
37 minutes in – You win the Perceptive Politician Of The Year Award.
38 minutes in – THE “HOLY W.T.F.” SCENE!!!
Highlight for spoilers:
In the space of less than one minute the following things happen:
* – Mrs. Hopewell, the tree, is struck by lightning, just as Mrs. Mavilda attacks her with a chainsaw. Miraculously, the tree survives.
* – Mrs. Mavilda, the villain, is also struck by the lightning as she attacks Mrs. Hopewell. Mrs. Mavilda is by all evidence instantly vaporized. Certainly, she was concentrated pure evil, but I don’t think she deserved that!
* – Santa Claus arrives out of f*cking NOWHERE. He sounds and looks more like the evil Santa Robot from “Futurama” than anything. Santa zaps the orphan children with his magic, giving them new clothing and toys. He zaps Mrs. Hopewell with his magic, transforming her into the most beautiful Christmas Tree there ever was. And he zaps the Mayor with his magic, giving him a modicum of intuition. Oh, and he has rescued the irritating little girl. Then he wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season and flies away as quickly as he arrived.
Good times, eh?

Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“When I’m scared, I dream that Mrs. Hopewell’s branches are warm arms to hold me!” – Orphan Kid
“Little did the Mayor know that the money he donated would be used for pursuits OTHER than the children’s pleasure!” – Narrator Who Won’t Shut Up
“Red velvet? For stockings? What’s that?” – Another Orphan Kid
“I wish my widdle teddy bear had his udder arm!” – Irritating Little Girl
“And Mrs. Mavilda? Well, she’s going to be alright! …She’s good now! And she’s learned that you always win when you are good!” – this is the Narrator Who Won’t Shut Up’s idea of denouement

Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – People with purple lips are evil.
* – People who are completely motionless except for their purple lips are even more evil.
* – People in Canada can just walk right up to the North Pole.
* – Canada is stuck in the Ice Age.
* – Santa Claus runs on electricity.
* – Pine Trees = Angels.

Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures?
No.
Good Soundtrack? No.
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? No.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? Gonna take a lot of Chuck Jones to wash this off.

Drinking Game Potential? Drink when the characters do more than talk, blink, or move their heads a little.

Head Movie Potential? I doubt it.

Rating: Jon rating (sucks)
Jon. Jon, Jon, Jon. “Ohhhh, Tanenbaum, you’ve got a Jon, because this movie blo-ows.”
Credits
A lot of people who should be very, very ashamed.
Seriously, Alice Entertainment present a Flamarion Ferreia Film released on DVD by GoodTimes in 2003. Written by Nels Christianson and directed by Flamarion Ferreira.
Cast
Starring William Griffin as the Narrator Who Won’t Shut Up and also some other characters.
Related Links
Wikipedia Page on Goodtimes home video


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