It’s that time of the year again. Families are getting together and celebrating the joy and the magic of the holiday season. Presents are being wrapped, hot chocolate is being brewed, and Christmas movies are being watch by children of all ages. But do you ever wonder if these films are getting a free pass? That just because they’re Christmas movies they don’t have to worry about plot holes? Actually, you’re probably not reading this anyway. Also, props to the Cracked article that kept me from pitching this to Cracked. On with the list!
4: Prancer: Prancer is in Exile
The 1989 classic Prancer is about a little girl named Jessica who obsesses over Christmas because she thinks it’ll make her sad, grieving, alcoholic father remember that he has children. Her obsession with Christmas is so frightening that she doesn’t have any friends, and her own family has all but abandoned her.
And then, one day, a wooden reindeer decoration falls from a wire and breaks. Jessica, alone and grieving and isolated from human contact, illogically believes that the real Prancer, the flying reindeer, has just been killed by a ten foot fall.
But then it turns out to be true! The real Prancer, who was inexplicably a wooden decoration belonging to a small town’s City Hall stockpile, is now crippled and unable to help santa. So Jessica nurses Prancer to full health, and then sends Santa’s little helper back to the North Pole.
THE IMPLICATION: One has to wonder: Why was Prancer trapped in a wood decoration? You could argue that Santa placed Prancer there in order to help the little girl save her father, but then you’d have to realize that Santa also put this girl, several times, in serious emotional and physical danger.
No, the easier explanation is also a disturbing one. Prancer was exiled there. One day, after breaking from his cage and eating thirteen elves alive in the workshop, Prancer was caught by Santa chewing on a tiny arm bone. Prancer was tired of being kept in the North Pole to fly only one day a year for a clairvoyant, terminally obese magician who breaks into people’s homes every year to distract them from their own sad, mortal lives.
Prancer wanted revenge. But Santa, being clairvoyant, knew what was happening. In order to keep his elves safe from further massacres, Santa decided to exile Prancer into the body of a lifeless decoration in a small, cold, rural town that does everything in its power to make a little girl’s love of Christmas die like an airless flame.
When Prancer fell and broke, it was because he knew the girl would save him. He knew that, in a few months, he could fly back to the North Pole and finish the job. Just like Zod.
3: Jingle All The Way: Parades Have Better Technology Than NASA
In Jingle All The Way, young Darth Vader’s narcissism forces Conan the Barbarian to shop all day with a sociopathic mailman. During this journey, several disturbing implications are made, such as the bomb that was on its way to a child’s house, or the elderly cop who spends Christmas Eve being slowly murdered, or the mailman who risks his government job to buy a single toy for his son, who sill presumably soon no longer have a home thanks to his irresponsible father.
Of course, Jingle All the Way is no masterpiece. We all know that. But listen to the scariest implication.
THE IMPLICATION: In the film’s climax, Conan ends up in a parade with the sociopathic mailman and the two utilize technology that is decades more advanced than anything at NASA. In a movie about consumerism and fame and greed, this implication is actually quite warranted.
In America, fame is more important than progress. This is why NASA has had its funding cut, but there are over 20 television shows about dwarves that bake.
For a brilliant inventor and innovator, there is more incentive to develop for a parade than for NASA because the prospect of fame is more exciting than the prospect of health benefits. So, in the world of this movie, the greatest military scientist of our generationhas taken a job with Macy’s to development completely realistic and mobile prosthetic hands than can shoot toward something and get sucked back magnetically for a super punch.
Also, this scientist has created a fully-functioning jetpack that can be instantly used by anybody in the world.
Jingle All the Way is a commentary on the material desires of children, but it might also be a devastating attack on the pursuit of fame.
2: Ernest Saves Christmas: Santa Has Late-Stage Alzheimer’s / Allows Ernest To Save Christmas
It’s true that people get forgetful as they age, and that sometimes we just make mistakes, but in the third theatrical “Ernest” movie, Santa Claus isn’t just forgetful. He has full-blown Alzheimer’s.
THE IMPLICATION: Because Santa is a selfish workaholic who can’t stand leaving his throne, he is single-handedly destroying Christmas (and making everybody he meets lose their job).
Santa first meets Ernest in a taxi that Ernest is paid to drive. Santa gives Ernest what is clearly fake money, but Ernest drives the old man anyway, because Ernest is pretty far down the Autism spectrum and doesn’t know any better.
Ernest is fired, Santa leaves his magic bag in the taxicab, and so begins Santa’s devastating, Sherman-like tour of Orlanda, leaving nothing but lost jobs, abandonment, betrayal, deceit, and destruction. All because Santa, in his infinite wisdom, didn’t acknowledge the early stages of a debilitating disease.
However, the most disturbing part of Santa’s illness is that he needs Ernest to save him from it. Ernest.
1: A Muppet Christmas Carol: Gonzo is Charles Dickens / Charles Dickens Lived in the Muppet Universe
I know what you’re thinking. It’s an innocent joke used as a device to better frame the narrative of a Muppet movie. But remember, all of these movies exist in the same universe, even though the timeline is a bit fuzzy. I know this because the muppets remember events from previous movies, such as Miss Piggy’s recollection of Kermit’s proposal in Muppet Treasure Island, or Rizzo’s remarks about being warmer in an ocean climate in this film. The chronology might be hazy, but these are the same characters, in the same world, and this means that the isolated, clumsy, oft-ridiculed alien named Gonzo is revealed, in this film, to be none other than Charles Dickens, one of the greatest, most respected novelists of all time.
THE IMPLICATION: Not only does this imply that Charles Dickens is a lonely alien who spends all of his time with an obese rat, but it also implies that Charles Dickens was on the boat in Treasure Island, involved in a diamond heist in the early eighties in New York City, traveled the country with a frog, and broke into top secret military facilities to steal records on extra-terrestrials discovered in New Mexico.
While writing his serialized bestsellers about crime, poverty, class warfare, hunger, and hope, Charles Dickens was also trying to come to terms with a world where humans live in harmony with large, anthropomorphic animals that often sing about what they’re doing. If this is true, then this might explain why Dickens’ writing is so influential. Because when Dickens wrote about classism in nineteenth-century England, he was really writing about the struggle between human beings and muppets. This is why it was so clear to him. He could literally see the classes in front of him.
Whenever he had trouble finding the theme of what he was seeing, the people would sing the exposition necessary for him to find it.
You might wonder why this is disturbing, and not just interesting. If you’re wondering this, I want you to remember something. If Charles Dickens is Gonzo, and Gonzo is a Muppet from space who knew Long John Silver, why didn’t he write about that? What else did he keep from us?