Posted by: Mad Ness Monster | 06/30/2009

“The Night They Saved Christmas” review

(12/5/08)

I’d like to dedicate this one to Farrah Fawcett… even though this movie stars a different former Charlie’s Angel.  Oh well.
This is a surprisingly not-terrible (especially in the wake of the trauma-rama in “One Magic Christmas“) made for television movie from 1984, and I’m fairly sure I saw it before. Unusually, however, I don’t remember much from it aside from the arrival in North Pole City.
Three kids and their Charlie’s Angel mom save Santa’s workshop from destruction. The twist is, and this is what a Funny Aneurysm Moment looks like, is that Santa isn’t under threat from an evil wizard or disbelief or anything conventional (for him). His workshop may be harmed by oil drilling in the Arctic. Dude.
Aside from the uncomfortable reality subtext -and the rather… surprising way that the conflict is resolved- I really liked this movie more than I thought I was going to. It is EXTREMELY 80’s though, but that’s part of it’s charm, and Art Carney is a very fun Santa.

The Best Parts:
1 minutes in – Ur Glaciers Asplode!
7 minutes in – Hey, why does every 80’s kid actor playing the youngest character on television ham it up like this? And why am I just noticing this?
10 minutes in – If you’ve entered your office, and this guy is waiting inside to speak with you, you’re in for a long day.
15 minutes in – “Look, sharing a wonderful story that has lasted generations is not lying. It isn’t!!!” (And hoo boy, would I have been smacked for this kid’s response!)
18 minutes in – “After the war”? What war in the Arctic Circle? I know that World War 2 involved exploding bats and proposed aircraft carriers made of ice, so a battle in the Arctic Circle isn’t completely out of the question, but why have I not heard of this?
20 minutes in – Oh, go ahead Kelly! If you don’t, years later you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t go on the Magic Adventure when you had the chance.
24 minutes in – “Hey, you’re not planning on beating us to death with that giant candy cane and burying us in an iceberg, are you Mr. Elf?”
25 minutes in – *Gasp!* And now he’s adding Identity Theft to his list of crime!
27 minutes in – SAY “YAH!” AGAIN! SAY “YAH!” AGAIN!!! 😡
31 minutes in – OK, how long until Kelly’s Somebody Else’s Problem Field / Weirdness Censor cracks under the pressure?
33 minutes in – But if Santa has a transporter thingy in his sleigh to get inside houses with no chimneys, why does he bother with the chimneys at all???
36 minutes in – “Don’t you guys know ‘Fairytale of New York’?”
40 minutes in – SUGAR APOCALYPSE!!! 😦
42 minutes in – Aww. ^_^
47 minutes in – Wait. Wait a damn minute. Santa is totally OK with drilling for oil in the Arctic Circle as long as it’s not in his backyard? BROKEN AESOP!!! 😡
50 minutes in – Aww. *^_^*
51 minutes in – Uh, Kelly, you might want to think up a cover story first.
53 minutes in – “A Tree Star!”
55 minutes in – Dammit, Kelly. This is why I told you to think of a good cover story! For all the times when it’s not OK to lie, this isn’t one of them.
1 hour, 3 minutes in – SANTA EX MACHINA! Also, funky 80’s stop-motion Reindeer!
1 hour, 5 minutes in – You’d think it’d be obvious that Reindeer aren’t horses, but…
1 hour, 8 minutes in – LOL, giant rainbow on the “Masters of the Universe” pillow.
1 hour, 12 minutes in – Okay, I’m betting this boy grew up to be an Emo because God, he uses this Emo Face a lot.
1 hour, 16 minutes in – SUGAR APOCALYPSE ROUND TWO!!! 😦
1 hour, 19 minutes in – Yay oil! Yay giant oil fields that are conveniently far enough away from Santa to not harm him! Yay fossil fuels! Yay non-renewable resources!
Wait, WHAT???!!! AAAAAHHHHH!!!
1 hour, 20 minutes in – “Allright, I’ll listen to you, kid! Just don’t do the Emo Face again!”
1 hour, 21 minutes in – 42.
1 hour, 23 minutes in – OMG, enough with the Emo Face! You’ve won! Be happy!
1 hour, 28 minutes in – Things were bad but now they’re good FOREVER!
1 hour, 30 minutes in – ET Shot!

Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“I’m going to tell you one more time. Sing anything you want. White Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. But no more Jingle Bells!” – Santa Claus
“Dad, listen to me! Listen to me Dad! Why won’t you listen to me? You’ll ruin Christmas forever if you don’t listen to me!” – C.B. the Emo kid

~*~ Poetry Corner ~*~
“Gotta be ready for Christmas Eve! / Gotta be ready for Christmas Eve! / Gotta be ready for Christmas Eve! / And it’s gotta be made with love!” – The Elves’ merry little song

Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Elves: If you have to deal with humans who are threatening your home without knowing it, come up with a cover story. Sad thing is, they won’t believe you if you tell the truth.
* – Being smart and using words that have more than two syllables as a child means you are an asshole. Thanks a lot, movie.
* – Arctic Elves evidently have different gender differences than we do.
* – Oil companies do not care about Christmas People. 😦
* – Santa Claus is sick of “Jingle Bells” too.
* – People who live in very isolated and insular parts of the world are surprisingly polite to strangers.
* – Abercrombie and Fitch used to sell fishing gear.
* – Santa actually named the Reindeer *after* the Clement Moore poem.
And above all else,
* – Do not drill in the Arctic Wildlife reservation. You might hurt Santa.
* – Or go ahead and drill in the Arctic, just don’t do it in Santa’s backyard. Psy-yi-yi... duck?

Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures?
Gender ambiguous Elves! Trippy stop-motion Reindeer!
Good Soundtrack? Groovy sax lines!
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? I really like how Santa’s Workshop looks here. It’s very cool.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? Trippy 80’s CGI and stop-motion!

Drinking Game Potential? Drink when Kelly thinks she’s being played. Chug when her Somebody Else’s Problem Field finally falls.

Head Movie Potential? Not exactly, though the stop-action Reindeer are kind of trippy on their own.

Rating: Donnie rating (4)
Donnie picketing the Exxon headquarters.
Credits
An RHI Entertainment Film made in 1984. Written by Jim Maloney and David Niven Jr. and directed by Jackie Cooper.
Cast
Jaclyn Smith, Art Carney, June Lockhart, Paul Williams (who wrote all the songs too), and R. J. Williams (who might not have grown up to be an Emo -though he’s about as old as I am so it isn’t out of the question- but has provided generic little kid voices in many, many animated series).
Related Links
IMDB entry

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