What’s the message, you ask? An Anti-Consumerism message! I LOVE (certain) Christmas movies and there are certain movies that we watch each and every year, including several versions of A Christmas Carol (Alistair Simms, of course, the Muppet version and Scrooged, with Bill Murray are our faves.)
But as I’ve been thinking about the pressure everyone always feels at this time of year to spend, spend, spend, I thought I’d highlight a few movies that get away from the consumerism message – just a fun way to think about what it means to give rather than to consume.
Jingle all the Way
Full disclosure – I haven’t actually seen this whole movie, only part of it when it was on TV and I happened to be passing by the room. My son recently purchased a VHS copy at a thrift shop and sang its praises: “Mom, you get to see Arnold Schwarzenegger as Turbo Man. It’s everything you want in a Christmas movie.” How does one argue with such a glowing review? Arnold plays a dad who is too busy for his family. Feeling bad about that, he decides to make it up to his son by getting him the one thing he really wants for Christmas: the Turbo Man superhero toy. Of course, it’s impossible to get (shades of the Cabbage Patch and Tickle-me-Elmo real-life chaos). In the end, Arnold redeems himself as a dad, learning the lesson that a toy cannot take the place of a relationship.
From the Veggie-tales world, this little gem is pretty blunt in its message: the real meaning of Christmas is NOT getting more presents. Buzzsaw Louie is the latest and greatest toy from the Nezzer Toy Factory but one of the toys goes rogue and searches for the true meaning of Christmas. I won’t spoil the ending for you.
This is an annual classic at our house and I’m always surprised by its continued popularity, given its overt Christian message. The animation is horrible, the story is even a little disjointed (it feels like a bunch of comic strips joined together, doesn’t it?) but the soundtrack is fantastic and I love the simplicity of it. When Linus hits the stage to tell the Christmas story from Luke 2, I get tears in my eyes every time.
What’s your favourite anti-consumer-message Christmas movie?