First off, I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. December is in full swing, my daughter’s birthday party is coming up this weekend, and then Christmas celebrations begin! It is always a whirlwind this time of year, but it is fun and such a great few months to spend with friends and family that it is all worth it. How do you feel about this time of year?
Seeing as how my viewership is nearly double that of last year, I thought I would point you all in the direction of my Fantastic Christmas Adventures posts from last year. So today you get not one, but multiple Fantastic Adventures. Best of all, I’ll only charge you for one! Oh wait, I don’t have a tip jar on this blog. Well, lucky you, you get them all for free! Happy Holidays!
The Polar Express
Rankin / Bass TV Specials
All I Want for Christmas
Today’s Fantastic Adventure in family Entertainment brings us to the Neitherworld with the cartoon version of Beeteljuice. In particular, the Halloween episode “Laugh of the Party.”
When snobby Claire Brewster excludes Lydia and her friends from a popular kids’ Halloween party, Lydia decides to have one of her own. But when Delia takes over the planning, it looks like disaster is imminent until Beetlejuice — as Mr. Beetleman — offers his catering service. Armed with party supplies from the Neitherworld, he’s ready for anything…except the discovery that one of his decorations, Party People in a Can, shouldn’t be used during a full moon. He and Lydia must hunt down the missing Party People before they wreak havoc on all of Peaceful Pines.
Why it is a fantastic adventure:
Your kids will obviously love the zany antics of Beetlejuice and will be able to relate to mom taking over the planning of a party (sorry, moms!). As in most children’s cartoons, there is a message to teach the kiddos. In this case, the message is one that
you will enjoy as a parent. You see, Beetlejuice ends up getting on over his head (another good lesson) and Lydia has to help him clean it up (lesson number two). But the big lesson is that it is usually for the best when your bumbling but helpful parents plan your party because they know what they are doing.
Another fun aspect of this show is the animation. There is something very comforting about hand drawn animation from the late 80s and early 90s. Maybe it’s just the overload of horrible CGI in cartoons these days, but seeing hand drawn animation is very inviting. Plus, the animation style of this show is very unique. Your kids will hopefully appreciate the old animation style, as it is creepy, colorful and fun all at the same time.
Jack Frost is a 1998 movie starring Michael Keaton as a talking snowman. Well, okay, it’s more than that. Jack Frost is a singer who’s on the road most of the time so he can’t spend a lot of time with his son Charlie, although they love each other very much. When Jack dies in a car accident, Charlie becomes a very sad young man, until… Jack returns as a snowman! Now they can do all the things they’ve missed when Jack was human.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: The film deals with one major issue, a kid losing his father. If you have kids who have has this happen to them, this film can be a good coping tool, as the end of the movie deals with moving on and making peace with the fact that dad is never coming back.
Moving on to happier topics, this film also deals with what it is like to be a kid in junior high, and all of the alienation and awkwardness that comes along with that. However, this movie adds a very Christmas-y twist, as Charlie gets to spend quality time getting back at the bullies with the help of a giant snowman.
Charlie gets to spend extra time with his dad, who wasn’t there too much when he was alive. This not only leads to fun and adventure, it also provides the film with a lot of heart. This is one film that will tug at your heartstrings and let your kids experience a genuinely emotional experience about parents.
The puppet and CGI work all hold up very well, and the snowman really takes on a likable and believable personality. You may have missed this one, as it did not do too well in 1998, so give it a chance this Christmas and believe in magic once again.
Jack Frost is available to own on DVD or rent from Amazon or Netflix.