December 19, 2014


Not your typical heartwarming holiday tale, Jingle All the Way is an alternative Christmas classic that pokes fun at that most sacred value of the season: materialism.  Surprisingly cynical for a family film, it’s a skewering of crass consumer culture (thanks to an uncredited rewrite by Home Alone director Chris Columbus) that includes bomb threats, brawling Santas, and a suburban lothario played by the late, great Phil Hartman.  The bug-eyed, grunt-y performance of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a harried dad who’ll do anything to nab the perfect gift for his son is simply icing on the cake.

Jingle All the Way (1996)
Directed by Brian Levant
Produced by Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, and Mark Radcliffe
Written by Randy Kornfield
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, Jim Belushi, and Phil Hartman 

December 12, 2014


What’s Christmas without some stocking stuffers?

We’re so full of the holiday spirit that we created a bonus episode revisiting two our of favorite Yuletide perennials: the 1966 animated TV special Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and the 1983 Disney short film Mickey’s Christmas Carol.

And as an extra-special Christmas treat, our good friend Daren Sprawls - the man behind our incredibly catchy podcast theme song - recorded his own acoustic cover of the holiday standard "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch."

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
Directed by Chuck Jones
Produced by Chuck Jones and Theodore Geisel
Starring Boris Karloff, June Foray, and Thurl Ravenscroft

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
Directed and produced by Burny Mattinson
Starring Alan Young, Wayne Allwine, Hal Smith, Eddie Carroll, Patricia Parris, and Clarence Nash

December 5, 2014


DreamWorks Animation in the pre-Shrek era is a fascinating subject.  Before it became known as the home of the arched eyebrow, the studio aimed to provide a sleeker and slightly more mature alternative to Disney's family fare - think of the neurotic worker drones in Antz and the sly POW parody of Chicken Run.

Against that backdrop, DreamWorks' earnest Biblical epic The Prince of Egypt doesn't seem like the anomaly it appears to be.  It's a sweeping account of the prophet Moses - who, as the film's title cards helpfully point out, is a figure central to three major world religions - from his wicker basket ride down the Nile to his parting of the Red Sea.  And because this is an animated movie in the '90s, it's also a musical.  (Can't leave that soundtrack lucre on the table.)

In this episode, we investigate what The Prince of Egypt brings to the re-telling of this ancient story and how it's placed in a context with everything from The Ten Commandments to Exodus: Gods and Kings.

The Prince of Egypt (1998)
Directed by Simon Wells, Brenda Chapman, and Steve Hickner
Produced by Penney Finkleman Cox, Sandra Rabins, and Jeffrey Katzenberg
Written by Philip LaZebnik and Nicholas Meyer
Starring Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfieffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, and Martin Short