#3. The Year Without a Santa Claus
The Year Without a Santa Claus is a claymation movie about a crew of elves and children trying to convince a sick Santa to get off his lazy ass and work instead of just canceling Christmas because he's got the sniffles. The only way to do this is to convince the quarreling Miser brothers, who control the world's weather, to put aside their feud and allow it to snow in the South. They very reluctantly agree to work together for one day, it's a Christmas miracle, Santa is cured and the credits roll while good feelings and eggnog whiskey pour into your soul and mouth, respectively.
Freebase a mince pie; save a fat child.
The Miser brothers are, between them, the complete masters of the entire planet's weather. The Snow Miser controls the North and supplies it with cold, while his brother, the Heat Miser, controls the South and the warmth. But they're not benevolent forces: Santa and Mrs. Claus are terrified of anyone entering the Miser brothers' realm. When two of their elves may have done just that, Santa hurries out the door to find them before "the Snow Miser freezes them just for the fun of it or the Heat Miser puts the heat on them." These murderous, gleefully torturous monsters literally control the air you breathe, and they hate each other. Living in this world would be like living in a house with Crips on one side and Bloods on the other, but only if both gangs suddenly harnessed Storm-like mutant weather-control powers.
Sure, Mrs. Claus eventually intervenes and ends the hostilities, but she only got involved because it was close to Christmas and the whole holiday was on the line. The other 11 months of that year, and apparently all of every year before that, these two unhinged Elemental Gods were left unchecked to wage their war across the face of the Earth.
"I only got 364 days of holiday a year and I'm not gonna waste them on you brats."
So what happens when the magical Mrs. Claus isn't there to stand in their way? What if one of them eventually destroys the other? Or worse, what if they don't annihilate each other and the rest of eternity is just a constant power struggle between the two, with our home as their battleground? Temperatures would swing wildly, entirely on the whim of their cruel masters. You'd get frostbite and heatstroke on the same day, freak blizzards canceled out by lasting droughts, global warming and ice ages accompanying every temper tantrum.
But hey, maybe we're blowing this out of proportion. Surely neither of these children's movie villains could be so powerful as to destroy an entire plane --
Hope you enjoy city-killing tidal waves for Christmas.
#2. Home Alone
Our yuletide hero, Kevin, is accidentally left home alone while his family visits France for Christmas. A pair of would-be burglars attempt, re-attempt and re-re-attempt wacky forced entries, until you just have to wonder if they're in this for the crime or the shenanigans. But in the end, Kevin's makeshift booby traps save the day, the robbers are thwarted and his family returns to find him safe and sound. It's the spirit of Christmas, encapsulated: A time of love, family and appreciating what you already have.
And then bashing a bald man's head in with a paint can.
Watch a little closer the next time Home Alone comes on TBS (it's always TBS). Notice anything strange about Kevin's situation? Let us give you a tiny hint: Where the hell are the people in charge?
No, we're not talking about Kevin's family abandoning him. We're talking about the fact that the McCallisters seem to live in a nightmarish version of Chicago where the cops are incompetent, evil or flat out nonexistent. You'll remember that the first thing Kevin's mom does when she gets off the plane is call the police to report that her 8-year-old son is home alone (heeeyyy, that's the title!). After being bounced around by two highly dismissive officers, the police begrudgingly agree to send someone to the house, presumably while rolling their eyes so hard that they actually physically leave their heads and go bouncing around the precinct.
"Maybe try those fake police officers. They do good work."
A police officer is sent over to check on Kevin, but after knocking a grand total of three times, he leaves the house, and the reportedly abandoned child, behind. Later, Kevin uses an old mobster movie to convince a delivery boy that he's being shot at by a psychopath, in order to get free pizza. The delivery boy quite understandably runs for his life, leaving the pizza behind.
So ... does attempted murder not warrant a call to the authorities anymore?
Kevin even flat out admits to a fake Santa that he's unattended and he wants his family back. Instead of, you know, trying to help a frightened child, alone on Christmas and begging for assistance, Home Alone's Santa Claus gives the kid some candy and sends him on his way.
"You're cutting into my tequila and suicide time. No, I didn't misspeak."
But don't worry! A cop does finally intervene in Kevin's affairs -- when he accidentally steals a toothbrush. Then it's on: The Chicago PD is on the scene, folks, and they are going to chase this son of a bitching child down for wanting healthy teeth.
"He's running. TAKE THE SHOT!"
Elf follows Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human orphan who was found in Santa's bag of toys after a night of deliveries. Santa and his elves raise the boy as one of Santa's helpers until the day he leaves for New York City to seek out his biological father. After finding love and saving Christmas, Buddy heads back home to the North Pole, where he truly belongs.
Aw ... Christmas, everybody!
You're going to need wider eyes than that to get anywhere in this business, Ms. Deschanel!
So wait, Santa finds a baby on Christmas Eve and decides to just ... take him?
Then he raises the kid specifically to work for him, for no pay, forever? Santa makes no effort to return the child to the orphanage from whence he came. But wait, why not? Doesn't he know everything? When you're sleeping, when you're awake, whether you've been bad or good? So shouldn't he know where he accidentally abducted this child from? It's even revealed that Santa knows who Buddy's real father is -- giving him the option to at least try to reunite a broken family -- but for some reason, Santa instead opts to raise the child in a hostile environment populated by, for all intents and purposes, aliens. In the movie, the North Pole is the exclusive realm of the elves -- mystical creatures whose biological makeup is considerably different from a human being's. Aside from the fact that Buddy grows twice as fast and large as his coworkers and literally nothing in his world is built to accommodate him, we're also, at one point, shown a diagram of the elf food groups.
Yes, they all have scurvy.
We really hope the medical clinic at the North Pole has insulin shots, because we're pretty sure that Buddy has hyper-diabetes, not to mention malnourishment and rotten teeth. Raising a human child in this environment is like finding a baby bird in your yard and opting to raise it in the toilet because you don't feel like getting the ladder out of the garage.
Even if you are maladjusted enough to think that keeping random children like lucky pennies is fine as long as they're orphans, remember: The day after Christmas, that orphanage is going to have to report a missing child. A child who is now at the North Pole, thus assuring he will never be found.
"So after a few years of litigation they closed the orphanage and I got lost in the syste --" "SNOW IS AWESOME."
That's right: An innocent social worker is going to prison because Santa had already changed into his comfy pants and didn't feel like going back out.
For more terrifying undertones, check out 6 Horrifying Implications of Awesome Fantasy Movie Universes and The 5 Most Depraved Sex Scenes Implied by 'Harry Potter'.