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Tag Archives: Vancouver

The 50th Anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

December 18, 2016 will mark the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! television special that first aired on CBS and instantly became a Christmas classic.

The Grinch Anniversary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The narrator with the signature baritone voice, Boris Karloff, was an honourary Canadian. In the early 1900s Karloff was acting in Saskatchewan and British Columbia before heading to Hollywood, where he found fame as Frankenstein’s Monster and the voice of the Grinch.

To celebrate The 50th Anniversary of  Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, here are our Top Five Grinchy moments:

Max The Dog
Dog’s are a man’s best friend but Max proves they can be a Grinch’s best friend too! He is loyal to the end, and always good for a laugh!

The Grinch Song
We love the montage of the Grinch taking all of the pop guns, pampoonas, pantookas and drums in Whoville throughout Youre a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.  How many times can one Grinch get stuck in a chimney?

Whoville Musical Instruments
Even though they make a lot of noise, noise, noise, noise, you’ve got to admit that their Floo-Floobers, Tah-Tinkers, Who-Hoobers, Gah-Ginkers, Trum-Tookers, Sloo-Slonkers, Blum-Blookers, and Who-Wonkers look pretty darn cool!

The Grinch Anniversary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whoville Feast
After the Grinch rode into Whoville to give bring back the toys to the Who girls and boys, they all sat down to a feast. And he himself, The Grinch, carved the roast beast. We always thought the Whoville Christmas feast looked very neat with their windy table, tall candelabras and corn on the cob.

The Great Grinchy Smile!
Words cannot explain, so here is a GIF! Look if you dare!

Retro Festive  offers lots of Grinchy products such as ornaments, mugs, stockings, and plush toys for every Who in Whoville.

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Home Alone – Where Are They Now?

On November 16, 1990 a new Christmas movie, which would go on to spawn four sequels, was released to massive success. Written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus, Home Alone told the story of young Kevin McCallister who had to defend his home from blundering thieves after a family feud left him home alone at Christmas.

Kevin McCallister hat - Home Alone
Kevin McCallister grocery shopping in his reindeer hat

After 25 years, Home Alone is still considered one of the best Christmas movies of all time. But what are the stars of Home Alone up to now?

Macaulay Culkin was a very successful child actor with many notable movie credits including the role of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Uncle Buck and My Girl until he retired from acting at age 14. In 2014 he founded The Pizza Underground, a New York-based band who re-work Velvet Underground songs into odes about pizza. The Pizza Underground toured North America that year, with two stops in Toronto at NXNE and Atomic Lollipop at the Ontario Science Centre.

Kevin Mcallister Home Alone with cheese pizza

Catherine O’Hara, who played Culkin’s mother in the Home Alone franchise, is currently starring in CBC’s hit show Schitt’s Creek. O’Hara also voiced Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas, solidifying her spot in the Christmas Movie Hall of Fame, you know, in addition to Canada’s Walk of Fame.

The late, great John Candy had a small but crucial part in Home Alone as Gus Polinski, the Polka King of the Midwest, who gives Catherine O’Hara’s character a ride home. John Candy’s legacy lives on in our hearts and on our screens, but also in the newly opened John Candy Box Theatre at the Second City Training Centre in Toronto.

The Wet Bandits - Home Alone
The Wet Bandits (Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci)

The Wet Bandits, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, were a not-so-dynamic duo who were outsmarted and overwhelmed by Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Joe Pesci has not been acting in recent years – when you take a paint can to the face you deserve a break! – but he recently voiced Mosquito in the animated feature Savva, Heart of the Warrior. Daniel Stern, who played Marv, has had numerous roles on television in recent years, and in 2012 played The Old Man in A Christmas Story 2, which was filmed in Vancouver.

Thankfully, we can relive the hilarity of Home Alone on Netflix, Shomi, or the original VHS that’s still kicking around!

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Born in Canada: The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

It’s hard to say who invented the garment affectionately known as the Ugly Christmas Sweater. Moms, school teachers and Bill Cosby have been sporting festive knitwear for decades. But when did Christmas Sweaters as a fashion choice make the jump from sincere to ironic?

You might be surprised to learn that the worldwide phenomenon began with two friends from Vancouver, Canada. Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch claim to have invented the concept of an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party back in 2002, when they held their first-annual tongue-in-cheek holiday party in their living room for a handful of their pals.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Guests
Ugly Christmas Sweater party guests at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.

The pair enlisted another friend, Scott Lindsay, to help plan the ultimate Christmas party, complete with candy canes, eggnog, Christmas carols, decorations and – you guessed it – tacky holiday sweaters!

By 2005, the party had outgrown their Coquitlam B.C. living room and was moved to a larger venue, attracting more than 400 people. Finally, in 2006 the celebration made its final move to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. It has remained there ever since, becoming an annual tradition for sell-out crowds. In fact, the original Ugly Sweater Party is widely considered the city’s hottest holiday event.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Founders
Chris Boyd (left) and Jordan Birch (right) in a 2012 photo by Metro News.

Best of all, the Party and spin-off initiatives have raised a ton of money for non-profit organizations such as The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Birch and Boyd are proud of their legacy and what worldwide phenomenon they helped create.  They promote the motto: Be Ugly. Do Good. Connect. Give. Reconnect and Be Kind.

The ugly friends have even launched a National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day (the Friday before Christmas) and an Ugly Sweater 5K/10K run in both Vancouver and Toronto.

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Grumpy Cat Films Christmas Movie in Canada

Internet sensation Grumpy Cat, aka Tardar Sauce will star in her own Lifetime Movie this Christmas, entitled Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. The film shot in Vancouver Aug. 16 through Sept. 9 and will receive its World Premiere on Lifetime Network, November 29 at 8/7c.

Worst Christmas Ever Grumpy Cat Canada
I don’t always make Christmas movies, but when I do, I film them in Canada.

Andrea Ford is a Grumpy Cat superfan from Vancouver who was excited about the feline filming in her city.

“She is a beautiful cat. She’s also imperfect. I think that’s what’s really nice about her. Everybody has stresses and negativity, and when you see this cat, you can’t help but be happy. Everybody needs to lighten up a little bit. And when you poke fun at the negativity, you’re just going to smile.”

The frowning feline has been immortalized in hundreds of consumer products, from Grumpy Cat puzzles to Grumpy Cat Christmas ornaments.

Grumpy Cat Christmas Mug
Oh Ho the MistleNO! Grumpy Cat Mug, available at RetroFestive.ca

In the movie, the curmudgeonly cat (voiced by Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza) plays a lonely pet shop captive who is never adopted because of her sourpuss face. One day, 12-year-old Chyrstal discovers she can communicate with Grumpy Cat and falls in love with the disgruntled feline. Together, they may or may not discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Pet Shop Reject
Grumpy Cat (aka Tardar Sauce) plays a pet shop inmate nobody wants due to her forlorn face.

The film has been described as a little bit Home Alone and a little bit Die Hard, and also features cameos from other famous Internet memes.

Grumpy Cat is a busy cat. In the past year she has released her first album, visited Disneyland to meet Grumpy the Dwarf, and signed with Friskies to be their ‘spokescat’.

Grumpy Cat meets Grumpy dwarf
Grumpy Cat meets Grumpy dwarf

She also wrote a book, The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat, which she promoted on a book tour this past summer, making a stop in Toronto.

Grumpy Cat Toronto
The Toronto Star caught Grumpy Cat posing with fans at Indigo Eaton Centre in Toronto.

Grumpy rose to Internet stardom in September 2012 when her photo was posted on social media website Reddit. According to her owner, her grumpy-looking face is likely due to the cat being born with feline dwarfism. Her signature phrase? “I had fun once…it was awful”.

Grumpy Cats Worst Christmas Ever
Grumpy Cat, the action star?!

“In the middle of the holiday rush, Grumpy reluctantly thwarts the kidnapping of an expensive exotic dog she can’t stand and rescues Chyrstal after the mall closes on Christmas Eve. Will Grumpy Cat learn the true meaning of Christmas, or will it be in Grumpy’s words, ‘Worst. Christmas. Ever?’”

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