With all the negative audience reaction towards that scrooge of a “””Christmas””” show SANTA, INC., I thought I’d post a few of my favorite, obscurer Christmas shows/books/games that my husband and I enjoy. Nothing edgy here, but these shows/books have a more adult sensibility to them than some other Christmas specials.
If you’ve enjoyed any of these specials, games, or books before, feel free to reminisce in the comments section!
OLIVE, THE OTHER REINDEER
Executive-produced by Simpsons-legend Matt Groening, this TV special (based on the children’s picture book) about a dog who thinks Santa wants her to fill in for an injured reindeer is full of dry and witty jokes that fly fast and furious. Also, it has a bar brawl.
Drew Barrymore’s endearing here as upbeat and optimistic Olive. And if you like FUTURAMA you’ll hear a lot of familiar voices in the supporting cast. I’m partial to worldly con-artist Martini the Penguin, however!
Purchasable through Amazon.
PREP AND LANDING
My family watches this EVERY Christmas! It’s a Pixelvania tradition!
With 2 half-hour specials, an even shorter short film, there’s plenty to enjoy from this world of high-tech elves on Christmas night. (Think of the beginning of ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, but zoomed in to just the elves’ point of view.)
Like so many things made during the golden age of Pixar, it addresses adult concerns (feeling tired of Christmas, feeling unappreciated) in an entertaining way and is chock full of great jokes and sight gags that reward repeat viewing.
Currently streaming on Disney Plus.
While not perfect, as a 2D animation nut, I adore what they’ve done with the art form. And watching cynical Jesper change his ways is oh-so-satisfying. I seem to recall the townsfolk having a little bit of a Tim Burton vibe, too (I don’t have Netflix)
Currently streaming on Netflix.
DRACULA CHA CHA and SKEAL
Playing these two short, ridiculous, off-the-wall indie Christmas games is another Pixelvania Christmas tradition!
Here’s a touch more info on the winter-wonderland catchy-music single-button platformer(?!) that is DRACULA CHA CHA here on Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
But I refuse to tell you anything about SKEAL because it is so short and the gag is so amazing.
Game page and browser version here.
A GINGERSNAP CAT CHRISTMAS
I wrote a Christian Christmas book that’s basically HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN with kitties as the angels. While the focus is on the kitties winning over the kids, the kids themselves are dealing with a family member permanently altered from an accident, and their mom has housing and job worries during Christmas.
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!