Cartoon Review: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Posted: December 16, 2009 in Cartoon Review, Holiday, Reviews
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This is going to be mean, nasty, not nice, honest and truthful. So pretty much it’s just another post like normal. Let’s get going with a review of… ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974 Dir. Jules Bass & Arthur Rankin Jr.)


Evidently there is only one Trundle in Junctionville, they don’t even have numbers or street names.

This has got to be the ultimate “Santa is just a cockbite” tale out of all the stories that ever emerged from the maw of Rankin & Bass. Santa cancels Christmas for a whole town because of one editorial letter in a local rag. Not because of snow, or fog, or even because he hates the color red, but because of 27 words in a stupid newspaper letters column. Yeah, one stupid letter. We’re also going to get a very strong attack on intellectuals and anyone who doesn’t blindly follow the groupthink. One geeky looking, obviously educated kid is going to be blamed by a town of nitwits for destroying Christmas. Seriously, it’s like every Fox News December broadcast rolled into one neat package. I think this must be where Bill O’Reilly got the idea for the whole thing. The problem is, as if often the problem when really stupid people try to attack smart people, they just make complete asses of themselves. It’s amazingly stupid, badly thought out and full of logical inconsistencies. But let me begin at the beginning…


Yeah, so, what are you wearing?

We start on Christmas Eve, a humble Arian clock maker named Trundle is sitting up thinking about the problems he’s having. I think part of what’s worrying him is how creepy his kids look. They don’t look wholesome, they look like the sort of thing that could inspire a J-Horror flick. The mouse that lives in his house is also sitting up worrying. It seems that they don’t know if Santa Claus is coming, because of the already stated dickness of the fat cookie-eating child-molesting freak. The story actually seems to begin in October or possibly early November. The people of this town don’t fuck around when it comes to writing letters to Santa. The big day is 2 months off and their letters are not only sent, they’re being returned! Returned, you say? Oh yes!


And then a great comet will come and crash down upon us!

Everyone writes letters to Santa. Adults, kids, mice, I must assume that the mold growing on what’s left of thanksgiving dinner is also writing letters which are being returned to the fridge. So, Santa is a real person. Everyone got that? Not only real, but he receives and returns letters. His number, as we’ll see in a moment, is in the phonebook. You have to remember this because it makes some of the later statements made extraordinarily stupid. Exactly the kind of dumb idea an idiot would come up with to say how those so-called smart people really aren’t that bright. You have to be really stupid to think this is clever.


Here it is… SW Bi-curious female seeks couple for experimentation!

Father mouse decides he’s not going to just take this laying down so he calls the North Pole and asks what’s up with Santa. Allow me to scream for a moment. YOU CAN CALL SANTA ON THE PHONE! The reason I’m hammering away at this will become clear in about two paragraphs. The mouse on the phone answers that Santa didn’t like that letter in the Junctionville register. Evidently, one letter can turn Santa against you, so watch your fuckin’ ass kids! So… Santa is a real person who receives and returns letters, and has people to screen his calls. As another author once (sort of) said, this must be distinctly understood, or nothing insulting to your intelligence can come from the story I am about to relate.


I think there is a girl mouse just out of frame, we’re about to see Albert’s O face.

The action switches to the town hall, where the pillars of government are also shown to be idiots. Lazy, stupid, saying things like “citizens aren’t allowed in here, this is public property” and using long streams of big words until they get confused with what it was they were saying. Also, they’re clearly supposed to be Democrats because none of them have a wide stance or interest in young boys. So anyway, Josh Trundle, the clock maker has an idea to make Santa not be mad at them. It seems Santa’s whims might be turned by a new clock tower that plays a recording of a song begging Santa not to abandon them. Texting him “I ❤ U” or e-mailing him an mp3 won’t do it, got to be a huge clock. Evidently there will be no gifts for anyone if Santa doesn't show on the scene. I never thought I'd say this, but if ever there was a town in need of a frickin' Wal-Mart, it's this one!


For one brief moment, Trundle shows his true face!

While that bullshit is going on… the mice find the letter in the newspaper and it’s a bunch of big words stating that Santa is fraudulent myth and that the reindeer are fake too. Only… you know…. THEY CLEARLY AREN’T! They answer the fucking phone and send your letters back! With horror the mice realize that it’s Albert who did it. Albert wears glasses, uses big words, reads books, and is clearly evil! Damn educated liberal bastards! The father starts to admonish Albert, saying he only thinks with his head and there fore has trouble believing in things he can’t see. But you can see Santa in this! He exists! You can call him on the phone and have your letter from him returned. A really horrible song, encouraging us to try and think with our hearts. He also suddenly turns into a fuckin’ leprechaun for some reason that has never really been clear to me. We’re being actively encouraged to believing in things that don’t exist. Except they do exist in this cartoon’s world! The argument about faith is meaningless because in this world it would be as stupid as saying China doesn’t exist! I might as well claim Gordon Ramsay doesn’t exist. Actually since Ramsay’s people won’t even send me a return letter and have a court order saying I’m not allowed to call anymore it’s less sensible. Santa will at least take your calls and doesn’t get a the courts involved. Albert isn’t an atheist, he’s a lunatic. He’s claiming people who clearly exist don’t and their only answer is to tell him to accept Jesus or pay the consequences.


I’m just going to bury this thing and pretend none of this ever happened.

Anyway, they go right on attacking the damn educated liberal and smacking him with a stick until he falls into the groupthink. They even come right out and say “Here is how you ruined everyone’s Christmas with your opinions.” Hey, fuck you papa mouse and fuck your Gestapo! If your stupid holiday couldn’t stand up to questioning then I say it’s time Santa’s regime of terror was challenged! Poor Albert is being blamed for everything, even though it’s clearly Santa who’s being the passive aggressive cunt here. A little kid drew a picture of Santa when he thought Santa cared about him, when it was proved that Santa couldn’t give two shits about him he threw his picture into the sea. Is Santa the douche blamed? NOPE! Way to team kill there papa mouse, you want a flame thrower so you can take everyone out? Albert is blamed because they’re too afraid to say boo to Santa. I’ll say it. SANTA! You listening? You’re a cockbite!


We’re not just creepy, we’re recreating Nazi propaganda posters!

So Father mouse shows Albert the clock that Josh is making and when Albert starts asking how the clock works the father can’t even understand the words. He’s been around a clock maker his whole life, he even works with him, but father doesn’t know how a clock works? Can’t even keep up with some very basic clock making terms. And yet Albert is the dumb one, right? Yeah, because knowing how things work just makes you dumb. I say again, in this world Santa clearly exists, so the argument that you need faith is stupid. You might as well have someone in this story not believe in toast and then demand that they have faith in the toast. If these people weren’t so stupid they might have been able to make their point without leaving these huge idiotic gaps in the story, but they started with a dumb shit idea and just went with it. Stupid, fucking, idiots.


That’s right, your clock is broxorz! Where’s your Santa now?

So anyway, the big day comes and they’ve built the clock in about an hour and a half. I dunno, after paying attention to politics as I have for the last ten years, the fact that the governing body could commission a clock and have it built as quickly as they did shows some can do spirit. Junctionville’s Mayor for President! You know, in 2016 when Obama’s all done with it. Do they get a thimble full of credit though? No, they’re just political hacks, so screw them in this special’s eyes. Josh tries to start the clock, but it goes haywire. Trundle is disgraced and for a brief and shining moment the blame for all the world’s ills are shifted from Albert to Josh. A stupid song is then sung about miracles happening, but only if you hope and pray really hard. Josh sings with his freakish children, and the mailman who brings past due notices at like 10 at night… on Christmas fucking Eve! Even the mailman is out to screw with them. DAMN! You know what? These people look freaky. Rankin & Bass pioneered the idea of getting the Japanese to animate for them, and as a result you can really see the Anime influences in the badly drawn people.


If everyone else in this town weren’t so stupid I might be able to ask some of them for help.

The story is quickly turned towards Albert again. We are once again shown that all the wrongs in the world are truly the fault of smart people with glasses. He sings the last couple of words of Trundles annoying song and breaks down crying. It seems Albert wanted to look at the clock and accidentally broke it. Father Mouse thinks about killing him for a moment, and spouts about how talking mice are proof that evolution is just a hoax and that we need to believe in a great creator who loves us but toys with us out of boredom or some shit. I don’t know, I started a drinking game half way through this and I had to break for a week because of the alcohol poisoning so things are a little fuzzy. Albert says that he doesn’t know if he believes, and then claims that Copernicus knew how to fix clocks, but grabs a book on Astronomy. Clearly, now that he’s been brought into the fold he’s become as willfully stupid as the rest of them. Now, I know Copernicus was an Astronomer, but I can’t help but feel one of his astronomy books are probably more about… you know… astronomy. You know, instead of how to fix clocks. I’m just throwing it out there.


Children get excited for the great taste of smack.

Father Mouse then goes and talks to Josh and tells him the whole story. When they discuss how sorry he is, they even use words like “He has repented” to express his sorrow. Not, he’s sorry, or is trying to make amends, but repented. Like all you damn lefty liberal hippy liberal lefty commie liberal educated liberal egghead lefty’s will have to repent when the day of JUDGEMENT IS UPON YOU! Believe in the power of cheese no, JEBUS! no, SANTA! Things don’t have to be “consistent” or “logical” or even “not fucktarded” because the all powerful Santa will come and he will smite you down with his fiery breath! Praise Santa!
Ia ia Santa f’thagn!!!!!!!!!


Mice? He’s being drawn by mice?

Now here is the thing, Albert fixes the clock! He manages to save the day, he fixes the clock, because he was smarter than the rest of this dumb fuck town put together. I’m sure having all his fingers because he never held an M-80 just to see what would happen probably helps, making him a rarity in this town. What credit is he given? NONE! Not the mouse, he did nothing. It’s a mirable! PWAISE JEBUS! It’s not a guy trying to fix things because he has to repent for having an opinion that went against the rest of this tiny minded community. Anyway the song plays and the entire community starts to jump up and down excitedly, because the clock works. These people are a little too invested in Santa if you ask me. This town needs an intervention, because they are seriously pushing the co-dependent angle if you ask me. Santa hears the music and since this jackass’s moods turn on a dime, he comes to the town.


Look at that exhaust tail. Santa is a major polluter.

It’s now that the rest of the poem is spoken by Trundle. When we see the sleigh, it becomes clear to me that the first artist thought Santa’s sleigh was lead by mice. Not joking here, someone clearly added antlers at the last moment. No one, on the entire staff ever once bothered to look at the model sheets until the cartoon was already in production and then suddenly realized that the Korean company that their Japanese counterpart hired hadn’t actually been briefed on the whole Santa myth. I mean… how do you even begin to not hate these people?


Seriously, he’s dropping like… nuke dust on the entire town! That can’t be healthy.

Albert comes in just as Santa comes down the chimney. Now if Albert were anything like the mouse of science and research this story presented him as, he would have investigated this question a long time ago and would have seen Santa. However, such thought wouldn’t serve the tiny minds that wrote this hugely anti-intellectual garbage. They know nothing about how the scientific method works, so they just made him look dumb and then screamed “SHUT UP HIPPIE!” at him. This is one of the worst straw man argument I’ve ever seen constructed.


I’m quite happy to report that when the spring melts came the river rose and this town was flooded out of existence, only Albert survived because he was the only one who didn’t believe bricks could float.

Santa delivers the loot to the Trundle house and then vanishes into the night. Evidently he only forgave the one house that made the clock for him. I can’t think of any other reason why he suddenly showed up, filled two stockings and then left. Clearly he still hates the rest of the town because they put no effort into wooing him like Josh did. While he leaves, he sprays some sort of chemical, or possibly radioactive waste on the town. Something sparkly falls from the back of that sled and seeps into their water supply. How else do you explain the way the children look? Santa is a dick. I wish there really was a war on Christmas, then I could join and shoot Santa.

Official Score:
-87 Degrees on the Graffiti Bridge Scale.

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