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Tag Archives: Christmas Movies

The Flintstones Christmas Specials

It is very hard to choose a favourite Christmas movie or television special – there are so many to cherish! It is even harder to choose a favourite of the three Flintstones Christmas specials: Christmas Flintstone, A Flintstone Family Christmas, and A Flintstones Christmas Carol.

Flintstone Christmas

 

In Christmas Flintstone aka How The Flintstones Saved Christmas, Fred takes a job as a mall Santa to help pay for holiday festivities. He ends up being one of the best mall Santa’s the store has ever had, and is recruited by elves Twinky and Blinky to deliver presents around the world after the real Santa becomes ill.

Throughout the special Fred sings the song Christmas is My fav’rite Time of Year:
Christmas is a lot of fun this year because
I’m sittin’ in for dear old Santa Claus
Here I go with his big red sleigh
Sailing merrily on my way
Being Santa is such fun
Bringing cheer and joy to everyone

One of our favourite moments from A Flintstone Family Christmas is between Fred and Barney Rubble:
Fred: You know those guys in the red suits aren’t the real Santa Claus.
Barney: I wouldn’t say that Fred, he’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere.



There have been hundreds of versions and parodies of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but A Flintstones Christmas Carol is pretty darn good. Fred Flintstone plays Ebonezer Scrooge and Barney Rubble plays Bob Cragit.

We love Fred in this role because it reminds us that even those with the biggest hearts can get grumpy at Christmas, it is a wonderful season to reconcile with friends and family.

Flintstone Christmas

 

Do you have someone on your list who loves The Flintstones? Well, here are some gift ideas for yabba dabba you!

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Rankin Bass Holiday Specials

By Desiree D’Lima

For me Christmas always begins when Rankin Bass holiday specials begin airing on television. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,  Frosty The Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, The Little Drummer Boy and of course The Year Without a Santa Claus (Snow Miser and Heat Miser!), they are Christmas. I love the magic of the cartoons and stop motion animation. I used to think it could only be used at Christmas time, that was it’s magic.

I’m of the age where you anxiously waited for holiday specials to come on TV. Or when there were VCR’s it felt weird to record Christmas specials but if you did you taped over them with Days of Our Lives after the holidays.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas if I don’t see at least one of these beauties.

I love introducing my friend’s kids, my munchkins, to these shows now. I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes as Rudolph’s nose glows so bright, or Frosty runs here and there and everywhere, or Kris Kringle becoming Santa.

The smile on my face was from ear to ear when I first saw Rankin Bass ornaments and costumes and hat and lights at Retro Festive. I know that bringing in these iconic images into your home is just as special as being 8 years old sitting on the floor in front of the TV with a mug of hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows.

Here are some of my favourite picks!

Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer airs on CBC on December 13, 2016 at 8pm and December  23, 2016 at 7pm and on YTV on December 20, 2016 at 6pm

 

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa Claus is Coming to Town will air on CBC on December 18, 2016 at 8pm and December 22, 2016 at 7pm; and on YTV on December 22, 2016 at 6pm

 

Frosty the Snowman

Frosty The Snowman airs on CBC on December 20, 2016 at 7pm and December 25, 2016 at 1pm

 

The Year Without Santa Claus

The Year Without Santa Claus airs on YTV December 6, 2016 at 6pm

 

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70th Anniversary of It’s a Wonderful Life

When I was growing up I thought I would dislike all black and white movies because I assumed they were boring or about old timey things I wouldn’t understand. Eventually my mind was changed because each year CTV would play It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve.

It’s a Wonderful Life will celebrate it’s 70th Anniversary this Christmas, having been originally released on December 20, 1946. Despite being a black and white movie, it is now my #1 favourite film of all time.

After watching it year after year I can almost recite the film from memory. In honour of this anniversary, here are some of my favourite things about It’s a Wonderful Life:

1) Violet Bick

I am sure Violet Bick would be considered a real floozy in 1946, I have always considered her a real role model.

George Bailey: Hello, Violet. Hey, you look good, that’s some dress you got on there. 

 

2) The Honeymoon

After giving away all of the money they saved in order to save Bailey Building and Loan, George and Mary are forced to have a honeymoon at home. Their friends Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver work hard to make it romantic, even singing I Love You Truly outside the window of the Old Granville House.

3) When Clarence orders a drink

As I previously wrote in this Mulled Wine recipe post, one of my favourite moments is when George Bailey brings his guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody to Nick’s. Clarence orders a flaming rum punch, but quickly changes his mind to mulled wine with very specific ingredients. This is when Nick loses his patience:

Nick: Hey look, mister. We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don’t need any characters around to give the joint “atmosphere”.

4) George Freaks Out

This is one of the hardest scenes in the film to watch because it is when all of George Bailey’s responsibilities and stresses catch up to him. He comes home to his family, who unintentionally press his buttons until he snaps. HOWEVER, throughout this tense scene, George says something that makes me laugh every time:

Mary: George, what’s wrong?
George: Wrong? Everything. Why, you call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?

5) Clarence Gets His Wings

After Clarence gives George a glimpse into what the world would be like if he had never been born, George sees he really does have a wonderful life. This earns Clarence his angel wings! George discovers this through an inscription Clarence leaves him in a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. When his daughter Zuzu hears a Christmas bell ornament on the tree chime, she says:
Zuzu: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.
George: That’s right, that’s right.
(He looks up toward the ceiling and winks.)
Attaboy, Clarence.

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I Heart XMAS with Kristian Noel Pedersen

Welcome to the I Heart XMAS Q&A, where Retro Festive asks notable Canadians about their own Christmas traditions and what they would like to find under the tree!

Kristian Noel Pedersen
A Kristian Kinda Christmas
Musician

Kristian Noel Pedersen (his real name!) started recording Christmas music seven years ago, after joking about how his name would be perfect for it.  He writes and records original indie folk songs, with weird synthesizers and drum machines, about Christmas traditions, shopping, and the winter blues.

Kristian Noel PedersenWhat is your favourite holiday movie or TV special?
I’m a sucker for 90’s sit-com Christmas specials. My favourites are Boy Meets World’s called “Santa’s Little Helpers” or Family Matters’ “Miracle on Elm Street“.  In terms of film, The Santa Clause will always be a favourite of mine, and a seasonal must-must watch.

 Does your family have a special or quirky holiday tradition?
The only thing that is quirky is how much we see each-other. My extended family used to have a Christmas brunch that ended around three hours before Christmas dinner. We’d literally all go from one house to another. Only to meet up the next day for boxing day dinner, and New Years day dinner. Lots of dinners.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
“Christmas In A Room” by Sufjan Stevens. A song about finding the magic of Christmas in the ones you love. It gets me every time.

Also, I have to give an honourable mention to “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney. Its probably the most avant-garde song to get played in malls and grocery stores. That takes talent.

Which do you prefer: to give or receive?
Absolutely give.

 Ugly Christmas Sweaters?
Not a chance. Christmas sweaters I have a special place for, but I’m not a fan of intentionally ugly ones. Classic knitted patterns for me.

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
There is a Christmas themed wrestling t-shirt I’ve been really wanting, but haven’t bought it for myself yet. Fingers crossed Santa delivers it.

~

Kristian Noel Pedersen’s Christmas seventh record will be released this week! Check it out at http://www.kristiankindachristmas.ca

 

 

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New Christmas Specials – Classics in the Making

December is a wonderful time of year because that’s when we can all gather around the TV to watch classic Christmas specials and movies like Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Home Alone, or The Year Without a Santa Claus.

Movie and TV studios hope for a Christmas miracle when they produce new specials around the holidays. Sometimes they are smashing successes like Elf, and sometimes they are a little forgettable like Frosty Returns.

New Christmas Specials

 

We have been trying to keep up the new Christmas specials that have been released this year. Before you watch them, here are our reviews!

Warning: Spoiler Alerts, probably
Reviews by Damien Nelson and Danielle LaSage

A Very Murray Christmas

Netflix has been creating amazing original work for years, so it was inevitable that they would make a new Christmas special too. But who knew they would recruit the likes of Bill Murray?

This Christmas special follows Bill Murray as he is about to begin a holiday show at The Carlyle, on live television, during the biggest snowstorm of the season. When the weather keeps Bill’s celebrity friends away, Bill is forced to cancel his show and create a party with the other guests trapped in the hotel.

This is where the storyline ends. Although A Very Murray Christmas begins like a movie, it is essentially a classic celebrity variety show. It features comedy sketches, dozens of surprise cameos, and lots of lovely songs.

It is a hilarious Christmas special, and I think it will age well in the coming years because Bill Murray’s humour is timeless and much loved. The cameos alone are worth the watch! Honestly, do not stop watching until you see Clooney.

I give it 10 Celebrity Cameos out of 12.
The bottom line:
Miley Cyrus cannot lip sync. This is actually a good thing!

 

The Peanuts Movie

I have to admit I was nervous about The Peanuts Movie. After all these years, why mess with a good thing? But I was pleasantly surprised.

The Peanuts Movie is not technically a Christmas special. The film actually follows the Peanuts gang over the course of a school year, so it features many holidays including Christmas.

The script is simple and sweet, and revisits many classic characters without being tedious. The animation is pleasing to the eye, and the voice work is lovely. The only bone I have to pick with this film is that it relied on old one-liners and storylines from other Peanuts specials, instead of creating new adventures for the Gang.

I give it 6 Red Barons out of 10.
The bottom line: It is a joyful little film that die-hard Peanuts fans will enjoy no matter what.

 

Krampus

For those in search of a new type of Christmas story…look no further! It seems that the once obscure holiday knowledge of Krampus is becoming more and more commonplace.

When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

Well, if that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will.

Krampus was co-written and directed by Michael Dougherty, which fits perfectly, as he is probably best known for the film Trick R Treat. Dougherty accomplishes a film that is effectively frightening, and comically amusing when it needs to be. And with a cast featuring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Allison Tolman and David Koechner, you’re bound for nothing short of entertaining. The whole cast dances the line of comedy and drama so gracefully; it makes for a very enjoyable flick.

I would not recommend this movie for children … unless you really want to keep them in line; in which case, make it a family holiday tradition!

I give it 5 Candy Canes out of 8.
The bottom line: This is a seriously fun flick. If you enjoy horror and enjoy the holiday season – this is not one to miss!

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