Geekpr0n’s Best, Worst and Weird Christmas Specials
It’s Christmas time! And to any geek that means one thing: Christmas specials.
That’s right. Nothing spells the holidays like the mandatory Christmas special. There isn’t a franchise alive (or long cold and dead) that hasn’t dealt with the season of giving in some televised program. So we at Geekpr0n have assembled our list of the best, the worst (and one that’s so bad it’s amazing) Christmas specials.
To make the list easier this list is limited to productions that were made purely to tell an original Christmas story or retell an existing Christmas story so the likes of how the Grinch stole Christmas and the Muppets Christmas carol are off the list. We mention them here because they are damn good. These are the ones that had their own story lines and established characters dealing with Christmas. Let’s do it.
Good: The Pinky and the Brain Christmas
Simple, strong, and well told the Pinky and the Brain Christmas is as close to the perfect template as you can get. The Brain uses Christmas to try and take over the world only to be so moved by Pinky’s Christmas letter to Santa that he instead uses his one shot to instead wish that everyone have a Merry Christmas. What makes it great is because the entire story is presented in a way to make it genuine to the audience and show the friendship between these two.
Bad: The Ninja Turtles: We Wish You a Turtle Christmas
Look at them. Look at their cold dead lifeless eyes. Those are faces wrought by Satan. Those are the faces of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Christmas Special. This came out in 1994 well after the original trilogy of Turtles films. It, in turn, has a fraction of the budget. The turtles mouths move once in a celestial alignment, Splinter looks like he’s made from recycled Ewoks (and real rats) and it opens with a Rastafarian number. Just give it a pass.
Good: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Oh come on! A Charlie Brown Christmas is timeless! Saying you don’t enjoy it is like saying you enjoy punting a small puppy. It’s just wrong. Despite the simple animation there’s a warm story about the spirit of the season and for some of us this was the first time we ever saw Charlie Brown ever get a happy ending. For others it was our first look at the calm and somber idea of Christmas. It’s great, watch it.
Bad: Power Rangers; Alpha’s Magical Christmas
Now you might expect a Power Rangers Christmas special to involve the Rangers trying to save Santa because Rita Repulsa attempted to steal all the presents. And that totally did happen but there’s another Power Rangers Christmas Special: Alpha’s Magical Christmas. It is twenty minutes of Alpha singing with children. That’s it. No seriously, that’s it. I’m not kidding. Just that. Moving on.
Good: A Muppet Family Christmas
This one gets overshadowed by the Muppets Christmas Carol and it shouldn’t. The special is, I’d argue, better. Crossing Sesame Street, The Muppets and Fraggle Rock; everyone in the legendary Jim Henson stable is here, coming together in a small house to celebrate the holidays like a mad family. The special is only made more perfect (if a bit sad) by the appearance of Jim Henson himself at the end.
Bad: Star Wars Christmas Special
Oh come on. You knew it had to be here. Not just because of the debut of the Force Awakens but because among the many, many bad, disjointed, insane and terrible Christmas Specials this one is the worst. It goes from being so bad it’s good that it boomerangs right back around to being bad. As one of the few entries in the world to have the full original cast it was the grim argument for why the Phantom Menace could be bad… before the Phantom Menace came out.
WTF: He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special
And to close off the year is this little gem. I love this insane little turd. When you ask for a 80s Christmas Special you dare to dream it’s the ragged insanity of the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. It tries to masquerade itself as a normal episode but do not be fooled! Two children are teleported to Eternia via a plot device. This does not go unnoticed by the forces of evil because they can literally detect the good caused by teaching people Christmas.
Isn’t it great?
And in it all Skeletor learns the meaning of Christmas from the children which is like watching a bat teach a fish how to fly. It’s as beautiful as you could wish for in an insane over-marketed Christmas special.
Well that’s our list of the best, the worst and the weird of Christmas specials. Have a safe and happy holiday season and remember: if you spoil the Force Awakens for someone Santa will come and steal your nipples.