12 Reviews of Christmas – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

DadisthenewMom and TheSpouse review the holiday movies and shows our daughter forces us to repeatedly suffer through.

If you haven’t seen this classic holiday cartoon, then let me be the first to say, “Welcome to Earth, conquering alien insectoids. You’re likely here to enslave the human race to mine zinc on your slave colony planet Xebu. It’s a shame you never saw How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Do you guys even have Christmas? No? (Here’s another question for you – What has two thumbs and will gladly root out pockets of human resistance in exchange for being spared a gruesome death (points to self with thumbs)? This guy.)

I digress. The Grinch is a brilliant piece of work. This would be less of a review and more of a never-ending praise if it wasn’t for one little problem I have with the story. Now, I hate to be pedantic and point out exceedingly tiny plot holes just to tear down the fame and renown of a work of art that I’ve been enjoying pretty much for free all my life, but this is the internet after all. It’s required by blaw (blog law). So this plot hole… You may not have caught it, but thanks to my daughter I’m on my 12th viewing. That is the 12th time, TODAY. Allow me to illustrate:


“Da Who Doh Rehs, Ba Who Boh Rehs…

Bertie Croux Who:
“Jasper! JASPER! I got robbed last night! Presents, food, furniture – taken, all taken! What the Who am I going to tell my kids when we’re all done singing?”

 

Jasper Mew Who:
“Who-ly Shit, Bertie, me too! My whole house is a mess of wires and crumbs! Not big crumbs either, Bertie. That pantookler cost me a fortune and now its just gone! Wait, Da Who Dores? Whats that nonsense you’re singing?”

 

Bertie Croux Who:
“I don’t know! I’ve been making up words for 10 minutes, Jasper, because as soon as this song ends my kid is going expect to unwrap that game of Zoozipa Kahzeh that HE WATCHED ME WRAP!”

 


(the Grinch Returns the presents)

Bertie Croux Who:
“So now my kid thinks this frog faced grouch gave him the all the gifts I worked so hard to buy?

 

 

Jasper Mew Who:
“I’m going to shove that pantookler so far up his ass…”

 

 

Rating: 4 out of 4 Roast Beasts

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12 Reviews of Christmas – A Claymation Christmas Celebration

DadisthenewMom and TheSpouse review the holiday movies and shows our daughter forces us to repeatedly suffer through.

Will Vinton’s A Claymation Christmas Celebration is a collection of beloved holiday carols acted out by a cast of plasticine camels, bells, elves, walruses, sand and raisins, each song introduced by a pair of mincing closeted homosexual dinosaurs arguing about the lyrics to Here We Come a Wassailing which is resolved by a horde of drunken Irish midgets driving an antique fire truck.

See? This guy GETS Christmas.

We Three Kings features three stuffy middle eastern stereotypes solemnly chanting their nonsense and are periodically interrupted by a trio of hip high-top wearing mo-town camels. How these smooth camels got passed over as spokesmen for tobacco products I don’t know, but I would rush out to purchase this ‘guiding light’ they’re crooning about if I knew where to get it. Man, they’re so damn cool…

The Carol of the Bells is a high-class symphony of anthropomorphic bells conducted by Quasimodo. I love this one. It was on TV a total of one time in my childhood yet I recall it with photographic vividness and can point to it as one of a handful of cartoons that made me pursue a career in animation. There is so much expression and character packed into each wad of lifeless clay that it must have been accomplished with the darkest of forbidden magic – a foul voodoo employed in zombie resurrections and unspeakable curses that opens a portal to the neither realm upon its utterance. That or Christmas Spirit.

The show closes with Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer performed by the California Raisins. I never knew what to make of those guys. Of all of Will Vinton’s claymation creations I much preferred the Noid, although he is to be avoided.

Sounds a lot like I’m a fan of this one, doesn’t it? I was. I went to great lengths to track it down and share it with my daughter.  The Child loved it and I was warmed by the joy she had in watching it. Then she asked to see it again. And again. And again and again and againandagainandagain. I get it, camels are hip, the goofy bell is a bad musician, the raisins… sing I guess… The real magic in this one was in its scarcity. Back in the pre-internet era (P.I.E.) something like this would creep into your life and re arrange your worldview. I recommend you watch it once, then destroy your TV. Failure to do so might result in unnecessarily thinking about the California Raisins.

What was the deal with those guys…?

Rating: 12 out of 15 Snowflakes

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12 Reviews of Christmas – He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special

DadisthenewMom and TheSpouse review the holiday movies and shows our daughter forces us to repeatedly suffer through.

He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special is the classic holiday tale of a bumbling wizard monster from a medieval future planet who inadvertently kidnaps two Earth children, repeatedly places them in mortal peril and unwittingly delivers them to a pair of skeleton monsters who work for a gas monster who is defeated by a race of robot monsters. He-Man and She-Ra fight yet another different group of robot monsters in a brief break from giving each other almost non-stop “good hustle” ass slaps. Skeletor learns about the meaning of Christmas just before murdering two Earth children but ultimately spares their lives, then pets a robot dog.

I cannot stress enough how brilliant this cartoon is.

I watched the He-Man cartoons in my youth and I’m happy to report to fans of the original series that the 1.4 seconds of animation where He-Man runs from the middle of the frame to the lower left is still as glorious as ever. No joking, that was a solid 20 or so frames of good fluid animation. The creators of the holiday special must agree with me since this is what he does every time he is on screen. We didn’t get She-Ra in my home town so I’m not well-versed in her back story and mythology but if her super powers are mounting/unmounting her horse/pegasus and not using a sword then she is just as magical as ever. At one point she turns her sword into rope in order to trip a monster. I thought this odd until He-Man threw his sword on the ground and punched a robot. I chalked this behavior up to “Christmas Spirit.”

Not only did I learn about space monsters and the Christmas Spirit, but I learned that He-man and She-Ra were twins! Not dating, just twins. It was the “not using a sword” aspect of both He-Man and She-Ra that really convinces you that they’re just twins, and trust me, you will need a lot of convincing. The two hold each other in a passionate embrace under the mistletoe and just before they kiss He-Man jovially shouts, “THIS IS MY SISTER!” in his echoing ‘power of Greyskull’ voice. She-Ra smacks his ass not once but twice before he runs to the lower left and she doesn’t use her sword. Whoever wrote this animated monstrosity either consumes or pens a fair amount of very specific poorly xeroxed newsletters. Still, ’tis the season, so I let it go. Christmas Spirit again.

All in all, He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special is bad, but not “unwatchable” bad. The lackluster writing, the nonsensical plot and the badly reused animation should combine to take this pile of crap all the way to steaming pile of crap but it ends up being kinda fun. Between kind-hearted skeleton aliens and all the plot holes I was glossing over, there was a lot of Christmas Spirit flying around. Mission accomplished, Christmas Special. Give it a watch. Space freaks that discover Christmas? I don’t care how poorly executed it is, that’s a ride you want to ride.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Candy Canes

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Magic – The Gathering

We’re getting together this week with family for my brother-in-law’s wedding. I’m not entirely sure what is going on in this photo but The Child proclaimed, “I will now read the words,” and then I took this picture.

Captions please.

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The 900lb Gorilla

My family moved to a new city. Someday soon I hope to chronicle the misadventures of a cross-country relocation but for now I only have the strength and time to offer periodical glimpses into our new existence. Part of the reason for my lack of time and energy is the city itself. Los Angeles is a place where there are lots of things to do and we have started to do them. Lots of them.

When you move here (that’s WHEN, not IF – you know who you are) you could do far worse than to follow our lead and pick a weekly farmers market to attend with church-esque regularity. The Spouse discovered one in Santa Monica that is a delight. There are tasty foodables galore, friendly folk, fresh squeezed orange juice aplenty* and the most climbingest jungle gym you ever saw.

On one such pilgrimage the shopping was done and The Spouse was taking The Child to play with a swarm of friendly children (Catelin, Kaytlin and Kate Lynn most likely) so I decided to unburden myself of our backpack stuffed with root crops. I opened the trunk of Fivel, our microvan, and moved the gorilla suit to one side to make room for our food.

“Excuse me, son, but is that a gorilla suit in your vehicle?” some tan and kindly octogenarian asked me. I told him that such was the case and he smiled, put his hand on my shoulder and leaned in to let me in on a secret… Wait…

…You’ll want some back story here. You see, The Spouse and I bought the gorilla suit for our wedding to be used during the pinata smashing. It was that kind of wedding. For some reason it didn’t get packed with our moving truck so we just threw it in the back of Fivel and, while that was a little over a month ago, unpacking is a slow process. So, yes, we were driving around with a gorilla suit in our vehicle.

The old man continued – “You live your live as best you can hoping that what you do is the right thing but you seldom get confirmation that what you’re doing IS the right thing.” He pointed at the gorilla suit. “I’ve lived a long time and I can tell you that you’re doing a lot of things right.”

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(slideshow captions: artichokes the size of E’s head, fall festival rides, baby pumpkin bliss, sand angels on venice beach)

*Los Angeles has so much fresh squeezed orange juice you’d think it grew on trees. Which, after seeing the orange tree in my back yard, I discovered it does!

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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Broadcast…

I’ve had a long day chauffeuring and playing and running errands. During the drive to bring The Spouse home from work, The Child is singing about making sure “all the singing ladies,” “have a ring on it,” as loud as she can. The entirety of the ride home is spent with her trying to get one of us to answer to the name “baby cheetah.” This turns out to be somehow louder than the inappropriate song-singing. Zero productive communication is happening between The Spouse and I the whole time and not two minutes after the arrival at our home The Spouse and I are interrupted by a naked child shouting “dad dad dad DAD DAD DAD DAD DAAAAAAAAAA”

“HEY! Your mother and I are talking! It is rude to interrupt us like that. You say ‘excuse me’ and wait for us to acknowledge you. Now sit on my lap quietly and wait for us to finish.”

And it works! The business of the family is discussed by the two leading heads of family and The Child sits quietly though it all. My kid listened! I’m like a horse whisperer but for children, the child-horse-whisperer, plus I shouted a bit, so child-horse-shouter if you will. Oh man, a 3-year-old listened to me, I’m gonna gloat about this. Where is that blog of mine?

“Thank you for being so patient, good girl, what is it you wanted to tell me?”

“Dad I pooped and made a mess and didn’t wipe” said the naked child sitting on my lap.

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I’m Sale-ing Away

We’re moving. All the way from this part of the country here to that part of the country waaaaaay over there – all the way to the coast. I want to write a post about how I’ll miss all the people in my life here, but I’m in the process of selling our house. That means fixing/cleaning/packing around the clock. As the saying goes, ‘All work and no play angrys up DadisthenewMom’s blood,’ so I’ll write that post another time. I’ve been craftsmanning on our house nonstop since we made the decision. Have I thanked all the people who are watching The Child and feeding us? If I neglected that nicety I apologize – expect the blogging version of a slap on the butt and a ‘good hustle’ soon. I love you all and I’m honestly fond of this city (most of the time). Today, though, this place gets a hearty ‘smell ya later’ from DadisthenewMom.

Dear City I Live In, your summers are Arakis hot and your winters are Hoth cold. Your politics are skewing further away from me by the minute. You tear down historic homes to build dollar stores and you look down on me because we had a homebirth. You have poor public transportation. City I Live In, you so fat when you go the movies you sit next to everybody. You nasty, City I Live In, you nasty.

I’d shake this city’s dust from my feet and proclaim something along the lines of “this place can’t hold me” but, nerd that I am, I would have to take umbrage with my own speech. As far as dust is concerned it’s safe to say I’m more on the production side rather than the receiving end so any shaking will just add to the problem*. As far as not being able to contain me, well let’s be reasonable Me. I barely hit ‘average’ height-wise and to market myself as some sort of Godzilla-esque City Crushing Super Dad is just pure falsehood.

In reality, the second I have this house on the market I will walk around this town and just start hugging trees and dogs and people and stores and even the gray, gray sky. This has been my home. I have family here. I have friends here. This is where I built a support network with some of the finest humans alive to help raise my daughter. I’m excited to move but first I have to go through the sadness of missing the place where I am.

Actually, no. The first thing on my to do list  is paint those fucking stairs, wait, pour new concrete, wait, switch all our furniture around? Fuck it. Sadness and nostalgia cancelled. Back to angry house repair.

* DadisthenewMom was a boy scout and our motto was ‘Leave a place better than you found it, even cities that can’t contain you.’**
** If that isn’t really the boy scout motto then it’s a rule or a law or something. I was the pioneering/camping/wilderness survival kind of boy scout. If you instantly spotted this flaw in my footnote, then I hope your ‘memorizing mottos’ merit badge is your only friend.
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