As the 1940s were the decade of Christmas movies, the 1960s brought a slew of holiday cartoons. Some were more than fine — Charles M. Schulz’s A Charlie Brown Christmas and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas — but others were distinguished neither in their storytelling nor in their animation style. The most reliable purveyors of mediocrity were Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. They began with Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1964, a wan fable whose only redeeming aspect was a decent sheaf of songs by Rudolph creator Johnny Marks. Over the next four decades, Rankin and Bass perpetrated nearly a score of Christmas not-so-specials that brought virtually every pop-song holiday icon to stilted life, from Frosty to the Little Drummer Boy, bottoming out with their final production, Santa Baby!, in 2001. To those of middle age who remember Frosty fondly, we offer this warning: Look again, and yawn.
OMG!! HAVE TO DISAGREE ON 2 OF THE MOVIES!! ONE OF MY FAVORITES IS BELLS OF ST MARY'S!! SO SAD NOT SHOWN THIS YEAR.. AND I DID LIKE MIRACLE ON 34TH ST..THE OTHER HAVE TO AGREE..
I'd have to agree with this one - "Frosty" is putrid. It's mindless drivel that I never enjoyed, even as a child. On the other hand, "Rudolph" is in an entirely different class and shouldn't be grouped with this rubbish, even if it is by the same producers. "Rudolph" makes use of very clever and artistic clay-mation style animation, as opposed to the crude cartooning of "Frosty," the plot is much more clever, and the character's lines are actually witty: "Let's be independent, together." Let's not group the awful together with the "well-done."
The movie may be a little overly optimistic, but I love it anyways. There probably aren't many mother superiors as pretty as Ingred Bergman and millionaire industrialists don't generally give away brand-new buildings. On the other hand, so what! It's a great movie about people who actually care. To bad the real world can't be a little more like it.
And then, to sum up his anger with his boss for assigning him this onerous task, the author has to throw in "...Also, no question, the left could stand some puncturing of its pomposity..." That pretty much explains the whole article. As if conservatives aren't pompous. EVERYONE is pompous on occasion. No one owns it, and no one escapes it either. You could have 'left' that out and I could have forgiven you for writing such a bad article.
MMM... the Grinch just wasn't very good. I was sorry about that, but the original, with Boris Karloff narrating was sublime. Frosty the Snowman was pretty unwatchable, too. As far as the others go, I'd say the writer was assigned the task of creating this article and decided that if HE didn't like a movie, then it was a bad movie. A Christmas Tale was great. The author has some anger issues about past Christmas presents not given, I suppose.
I quit reading when I saw Miracle on 34th Street on the list. Great movie! So I scan the pages and see the Grinch and Fred Clause on the list as well. The author is either an art snob or a moron...anyone who reads the article can decide for themselves.
Any "worst" list of Christmas movies that doesn't have The Christmas Story on it is worthless drivel.
I think someone doth protest too much - you, Mr. Corliss sound like a bit of a grinch. While entitled to your opinion, there is NO way that I would put either The Bells of St. Mary's or Miracle on 34th Street on my 'worst list'. For shame....
This article represents the sort of idiotic crap hack writers do when they need to fill space. I'd expect this type of lazy writing from the CRACKED website, not TIME. Let me just address a few points I have a problem with
Frosty The Snowman is not a movie, as a movie is commonly defined. It is a twenty-five minute television special. Does the writer of this piece know the difference between a movie and a TV special? Rankin and Bass specials are played year after year and are enjoyed by generations of people. You'd have to be dead inside not to find enjoyment in Frosty, which apparently is a requirement for entertainment writers for TIME.
The 1947 Miracle on 34th Street is a classic that won Edmund Gwenn the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, as wells as Best Adapted Screenplay for George Seaton at the 20th Academy Awards in 1948. Yet the writer of this piece thinks the horrendous 1994 remake is a better movie. That says more about the writer's bad taste and shallowness than about a holiday classic people have loved for decades.
The Santa Claus Conquers the Martians entry just quotes the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. There is no real original writing there. I think the byline should be shared with the MST3K writers of that particular episode. If you're going to put a movie on a list, have the integrity come up with something creative. Don't just copy someone else's jokes.
I don't hate snobby elitist critics who mock anything that is charming and beloved by millions. I pity them. They have no sense of fun or joy, and never will.
I must have terrible taste. I love almost all of these films, including Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Ernest Saves Christmas. I think nostalgia is more important when judging these types of films.
@serfbaja The Christmas Story is on your 'worst' list? I guess you are a fan of maudlin sentimentality.