One of the great things about the holiday season is the plethora of fantastic holiday movies that come with it. Everybody has their favorites: some go for the classics like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story,” while others are interested in twists on the genre such as in “Die Hard,” and still others are more inclined for modern holiday fare like “Four Christmases” and “Elf.”
But for me, it’s always about Jim Henson’s “The Christmas Toy.”
The 1986 straight-to-television movie has a plot that is rather similar to “Toy Story,” although that computer-animated film came some years later and had no Christmas cheer to speak of. Henson’s film, less than an hour in length, focuses on young Jamie and Jesse and their communal playroom, which is filled to the brim with amazing toys.
But Jamie and Jesse have no idea just how amazing their toys are — when they leave the room, the various toys, dolls and stuffed animals come to life with uproarious song and plenty of attitude. The most notable of the pack is Rugby the Tiger, whose arrogance is cultivated by the fact that he’s Jamie’s favorite toy from last Christmas, though that could easily change with Christmas only mere hours away once again.
Nervous that he’s going to be overshadowed by whatever toy comes next, Rugby embarks on a mission to hide in a box under the tree and once again become the new favorite toy. But Apple (a previous favorite of Jamie’s) and the other toys realize the grave danger that Rugby could face should any of the people in the household catch him in motion — toys that are spotted while still active instantly and permanently freeze in place — so they themselves embark on a rescue mission to not only save Rugby’s life, but remind him that it’s okay not to be the favorite.
Sure, “Toy Story” mastered the same basic premise of “The Christmas Toy,” but the addition of Henson’s voice as Kermit the Frog takes things up a notch or two. The original music by Jeff Moss adds yet another excellent layer. Plus, the shortened runtime means that you’re not committing too much of your holiday to watching television.
Of course, there’s also Meteora, Queen of the Asteroids. It pretty much doesn’t get any better than that.
Tell us some of your favorite Sick Day Stash movies — not to mention your favorite holiday movies — in the comments section or on Twitter!