Before I begin, I must admit a bias. It is so easy for anyone, of any age, to become partial to the things they have grown up with. To me, the best toys in the world are the Skip-It and the Talk Boy voice recorder. Older generations remember the yo-yo or the sit-and-spin.
Treasured memories are subjective to the era you grow up in. It’s just how things work. So in 20 years, when people are gathering around to watch “Arthur Christmas” during the holiday season and search an old Paducah Sun archive and this story comes up, don’t hate me.
Christmas movies, in the past 10 years, have lost their touch. There, I said it. With the exception of “Elf,” which was released in 2003, there have not been any movies worthy of joining the beloved list of Christmas movies I settle in to watch.
If, for some reason, your holiday movie memory is not up to date, let me give you a small look into the beauties that have been theatrically released since 2001. Along with two ridiculous sequels to the “Santa Clause,” we have had to endure such atrocities as “Christmas with the Cranks,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Fred Claus.” There has also been little progress made in children’s holiday movies.
Where is the creativity? There is nothing funnier than watching Macaulay Culkin do everything a child would do if he didn’t have supervision, then tire himself out in just one day. There is no more memorable moment, for me at least, than watching Clark Griswold string up 250 strands of lights, and then plug them in to no avail.
It was great to watch Tim Allen struggle with becoming Santa Claus. I am even going to give a nod to Arnold Schwarzenegger for jogging down the street and chanting the names of all eight reindeer.
There is no magic equation that gives you the perfect Christmas movie. Some of my favorites are funny, some are sentimental. Some of the best movies have big stars, and others create them. It’s not like you can just do something right and make an instant classic, but it feels like creators are not trying anymore. We need out of the box thinking, and not the kind that makes “Bad Santa.”
For now, I will make a cup of hot chocolate, sit back, and watch claymation “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” and lament the days when Herbie the elf wanted to be a dentist. I will giggle at Jim Carrey’s representation of the Grinch. And I may even pull out an the classic “Babes in Toyland” for old times sake.
But I want to make it clear, Hollywood people, that if you don’t get serious about making new classics, ABC Family is going to have to cut down its “Days of Christmas,” because there simply will not be enough material to fill them all.
Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652.