The Vintage Tempest’s Picks for a Streaming Video Holiday Season

10 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Getting into the yuletide spirit is not tough. As the days count down to the holidays, some folks include video content to include making merry with. As for what’s new, Anna and the Apocalypse sounds like fun and this Zombie Christmas movie is finally getting theatrical distribution. I saw it listed for the Whistler Film Festival, but to attend for just this one film made me reconsider, especially when funds are low.

At home, many television classics can be enjoyed instead of rented. These days, that means putting in the queue to watch off of Netflix or iTunes. At least with YTV, I can have them playing in the background. This Canadian station is showing fond classics dating as far back as the ’90s. Elsewhere, I’m sure a local television network is doing the same. For something different, I’m tackling the difficult choice of wading through what’s available for streaming.

Online services offer a mix of old and new shows to enjoy. This list includes both and these are programs which made an impression on me. These shows are or will soon be easily accessible on services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Crave, iTunes or Hulu.

Image result for angela's christmas netflixAngela’s Christmas

This delightful short shows innocence at its best. A young girl feels the baby doll of Jesus will get cold and plans a little heist (of sorts) so he gets the comfort needed to last the night. She comes from a poor family, and it never chilled her spirit. All she wants to do is offer a lot of heart.

Blackadder’s Christmas Carol

In the category of classics, this one-off special premiered back in 1988 and has become a de facto standard for many an Anglophile. Rowan Atkinson gives the retelling of a beloved classic a twist, and the riffraff of character will leave many a gaggle.

Image result for Bob's Broken Sleigh

Bob’s Broken Sleigh

Bob is an elf who loves to invent! His magical ability sucks but in what’s he’s lacking, his tenacity is noteworthy. When he offers to modify Santa’s sleigh, mishaps are bound to happen and he is sent out to retrieve it. The people he meets are just as unusual, but together, they make for an interesting team trying to make it home.

As Santa would say, “Today’s failure is the first step toward tomorrow’s triumph” and “Sometimes thinking and being different is its own kind of magic … your magic.”

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale

Covens celebrate the holidays differently. Traditionally, they are recognizing solstice, December 20th, as the longest night and in this special, Sabrina’s family will be celebrating this evening and everything it represents in a non-secular sense. This horror drama suggests all will be dark and chilly; some may wonder if a Wendigo is in the midst.

Image result for doctor who christmas special

Doctor Who Holiday Special

Okay, this list is for nerds. No season has gone without the Doctor going up against some formidable foe during the season. The tradition started in 2005. Whether the episode takes place before Christmas or before New Year’s (when the upcoming broadcast will air) the threats always try to ruin the season.

In terms of past favourites, “Voyage of the Damned,” “Voyage of the Damned,” and “Twice Upon a Time” are the most notable. Voyage is important because it explains how The Doctor got a new regeneration cycle. A time lord normally can change forms twelve times.

DreamWorks Shrek the Halls

Shrek is having trouble with understanding what the holidays mean. He’s never celebrated it before, but after the films, he has a family. All he wants is peace and quiet. Togetherness with friends is still foreign to him, and in what makes this DreamWorks special stand out above other works (Merry Madagascar, Penguin’s Christmas, etc.) is in how relatable this work is.

Yeah, some gatherings can get chaotic, but that is part of the fun. Disputes are put to the past, and to make merry is all one needs.

Image result for gremlins movie poster


When all these tiny tricksters find their way to a television every season, the threat is real. New gadgets are bound to malfunction.

The scene with the green monsters caroling is memorable. Just why must they be featured? Director Joe Dante gives new meaning to what it means to stay together in a tough season. Both films are fun watches when in the mood for a mix of black comedy and raw chaos.

Neo Yokio: Christmas Special

Fans of mixed-anime (the series is developed as a co-production between several Japanese and American Animation houses) can take delight to this holiday special featuring Kaz Kaan (Jaden Smith). He is feeling miserable due to a cold, and orders his robot butler to tell him tales akin to Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. Without knowing the series and its aristocratic flavour, this bonus work will be confusing. Tip: watch the series first.

When Jude Law is the voice of Charles the robot, the juxtaposition is humourous, and he carries the show. The tales within a tale he tries to put Kaz to sleep with is oddball if not borderline surreal with the Christmas themed trappings. The tales get different, perhaps whimsical, as the team discovers the meaning of the holidays.

Image result for sonic christmas blast

Sonic Christmas Blast

Nearly every cartoon character has a holiday special attached to it. This range includes Fred Flintstone to Yogi Bear from generations ago. In decade’s prior there’s also Sonic, and more recently, The Penguins of Madagascar stole the spotlight. However, even they have to retire too. In what makes Sonic stand out is with an upcoming movie and he’s a video game character! This work can be found on iTunes alongside Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas. Additionally, it’s on Crave!

White Fang

Remakes or re-imaginings of classic novels into another form of media can be tough. While a lot of the violence and tougher elements from Jack London’s book are removed, audiences will find this animated take a marvel to look at than to understand. When the story is about the titular half canine half wolf as he changes masters, to know what he went through is just as important.

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