Friday, December 21, 2007

lions and reindeer and bunnies, oh my!

By this time next week, the christmas spirit will have given up the ghost. soon, new years festivities will take priority as thank you notes are written and resolutions are contemplated. until then, i'll enjoy the season and indulge in all my favorite christmas movies while snacking on fruitcake and sipping on a mug of cocoa. just in case you're in the mood to join me, here's what i have queued up for this weekend's festive film festival fete.

my holiday viewing season was kicked off with the classic grinch that stole x-mas. nothing says "merry christmas! let's slice the roast beast" like boris karloff. but, long before the grinch came on the scene, the holy trinity of children's christmas programing in chicago was the stop-motion classics "suzy snowflake" and "hardrock, coco and joe" and the "frosty the snow man." these short animated music videos of juanty christmas tunes may have been the inspiration for many an animator today. but i can't help wondering if the dwarfs in hardrock, coco and joe are not so distant relations to last years winner of the npr ornament contest "colbert elf"

my holiday viewing menu always includes "olive the other reindeer" based on the delightful book by vivian walsh and j. otto seibold, this animated treat is chock-full-o humor and toe-tapping tunes. drew barrymore's portrayal of our doggie hero-ette is sweet and sincere. i must say, i am a serious fan of the book and was not prepared to like the film. while the plot is different from the book, they have somehow managed to keep the distinctive look of the characters while breathing life into them.

when my kitty friends drop by, i always break out the turkey treats and pop in "bell, book and candle" kim novac and jimmy stuarts holiday romp with a charming siamese kitty.

now, i know everyone loves rudolph the rednose reindeer. i have to be honest, as much as i admire the craftsmanship of the production, the elf that wants to be a dentist and beryl ives as a singing snowman are just too creepy for me. for my dose of holiday stopmotiony goodness, i turn to nightmare before christmas. what chistmas would be complete with out something by tim burton? certainly not mine! if i'm still hungry for a bit-o-burton, i'll dip into a bit of edward scissorhands as a midnight snack.

after all the gifts are wrapped, the cookies baked, and the small electrical fires extinguished, i like to settle down on christmas eve with beverage in hand and a crown on my head to do my best katherine hepburn imitation while watching the lion in winter. what other christmas movie fits in the memorable lines "I know. You know I know. I know you know I know. We know Henry knows, and Henry knows we know it. We're a knowledgeable family.", "they'll be pork in the tree-tops come morning" and "shall we hang the holly or each other?"

after a flurry of christmas morning gift opening, i like to calm down with a plate of cookies cookies, a cup of tea and my vintage vhs tape of the rabbit ears radio's retelling of "the velveteen rabbit." the film is not flashy, just david jergennsen's beautiful illustration with meryl streep reading margery williams original 1922 story of how one little bunny becomes real through the power of love. if that's not a christmas story, i don't know what is.


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