Posted in Books, Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

christmas115Haven’t seen this special? Guess you’re deliberately avoiding it and that’s your choice.
This cartoon and the book of the same name are a Christmas tradition for many.

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS quirky bits:

Done on a small budget, there are quirks, continuity issues, choppy animation and some quite scantily mixed sound moments. I think it adds to the love.

A Charlie Brown Christmas aired Thursday, December 9, 1965. Followed the Gilligan’s Island, “Don’t Bug the Mosquitoes” and pre-empted The Munsters (nooooooo!!!).

Charles M. Sculz insisted ABC not have a laugh track. I like that. I hate laugh tracks. I’ll laugh when I feel like laughing, I don’t need to be cued.

Lucy refers to Charlie Brown as Charlie, first, last and only time he’s referred to by his first name only. He’s been called Chuck and Charles.

It has been rumoured that the negative publicity aluminum Christmas trees received in the special caused their demise. Hugely popular between 1958-1965, just two years after the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas these trees ceased regular manufacturing.christmas116

Kathy Steinberg (Sally) and some of the other children couldn’t read yet so the lines were fed to them, sometimes only one or two words at a time. Most obvious in the line, “All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share”. I think it gives an appealing authenticity.

The original broadcasts of A Charlie Brown Christmas includes references to their sponsor, Coca-Cola.

christmas113“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
~Charlie Brown

I guess Christmas or any part of life is about what you make it.christmas112

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Posted in Christmas, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

GREMLINS

christmas123When you think of Christmas movies, Gremlins probably doesn’t spring to mind. Yet this 1984 horror comedy is a Christmas movie.
Despite the fact that Gizmo was cute and the movie had massive marketing of toys, video games, etc. this is not a cuddly Christmas movie; not for children or those disturbed by violence and graphic scenes.

GREMLINS bits and pieces:

Howie Mandel did the voice of Gizmo, the Mogwai.

Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) 1943 book, The Gremlins influenced the director, Joe Dante.

During World War II, aircraft mechanical failures were jokingly blamed on gremlins or small creatures.

A WWII era Bugs Bunny cartoon had Bugs harassed and battling a gremlin on an airplane.

In Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, a 1963 William Shatner Twilight Zone episode he sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane trying to destroy it. There’s…something…on…the…wing!!!twilightzone6John Lithgow re-enacted it in Twilight Zone: The Movie then he and Shatner referenced the scenes when they were together as Father and Son on 3rd Rock From The Sun.

In The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror IV, Terror at 5 1/2 Feet, a gremlin attacks the school bus…

Look at the set for Kingston Falls closely, it’s the same one they used as Hill Valley in the Back to the Future movies.

There was never supposed to be a Mogwai named StripeGizmo was to turned into Stripe, but Gizmo was so cute they’d keep him around for the whole film.christmas117Gremlins and Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom were so violent the ratings were changed, on the suggestion of Steven Spielberg, and the PG-13 rating was created.

Howie Mandel learned to say “Bright light!” in several languages so he could dub the movie in various countries and do appearances and promos.

When Billy is walking by the movie marquee we see the titles A Boy’s Life which was the original title for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Watch the Skies which was the working title for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Spielberg loves to put this stuff for movie buffs.

Steven Spielberg did a rare cameo as the man with the broken leg riding recumbent bicycle. His suitcase says SS Enterprises.

Merry Christmas and remember, if you get a Mogwai as a gift:
1. Never expose it to bright light;
2. Never get it wet;
3. Never, ever feed it after midnight.christmas120