Was driving home from hanging out with Liz’s sister today, talking, and the subject of christmas movies came up. The clay animated version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” came up for both of us, along with other classics like Home Alone, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation…etc.
But, there was one that nobody else seems to know of that was a *staple* in my household growing up, and I only knew it as “The Family Who Saved Christmas”…which I could never seem to find. Well, it’s been years since I thought of it, and tried to google it, so I gave it a try tonight and I found it! I knew, now that I’m older, that it was some cheaply-done made-for-TV movie from the 80’s. But even so, there must still be a record of it. This time, the title I’d known it as worked, and brought up a link to what the movie is *actually* called, which is “The Night they Saved Christmas.”
What’s even crazier, is that shit’s on youtube
Yup, that’s the whole movie, in all it’s cheap, low-res, straight from a VHS tape glory…just how I remember it. And, watching it, I remember what I loved about it so much. First, there’s the mortal danger from dynamite that’s threatening Santa. Then, there’s all the gadgets and gizmos, like the scale replica of North Pole City, or the transporter that Santa uses for houses without chimneys, or the time manipulator Santa uses to get to all the kids in large cities. Most of all, though, I think, was the adults being shown that Santa was, in fact, real, and they’d been foolish to lose that belief as they got older. Oh, and the dramatic snow-mobile sequence across a giant ice-sheet that is clearly *actually* up in the North Pole was nail-biting as a child. I mean, they were going to BLOW UP SANTA.
Another layer that was kinda special watching it this time around is that we grew up watching a version recorded off of live TV that parents did, and in true Heinichen Family fashion, they’d started recording the movie late. It was missing the entire first 30 minutes of the movie, in fact, which included an entire sequence of the family getting up to the North Pole. I knew that, as a kid, that their recording of the movie was missing the beginning; that much was obvious. But, as a kid, I’d just kind of filled in what was missing with my imagination. I wish we’d had it though, because I would have *loved* it. The sleigh ride into North Pole city would have been right up my alley.
Beyond that, the movie’s pretty much a crap movie 😛 I can’t really recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have young children. But, if you do, I bet they’ll love it. You don’t care about the script or performances too much when you’re 7 and watching a movie about how Santa is real.
That’s all for tonight. Had a great day. Going to try and get some reading and writing done tomorrow 🙂