Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry Christmas Godzilla Style!

25 Dec

Noh-Noh-NohWe at Otaku no Culture wish everyone Merry Christmas. We will be taking a break to re-energize and will return in the New Year with looks at series that’ve debuted in December. This will include Dragons: The Nine Realms and Star Trek: Prodigy before new episodes air.

Also included will be Ed’s top picks in what to see in 2022 at the movies (and streaming) as we continue to ride through the pandemic with shifted schedules and what not.

Be well and let’s ring in next year with a bang!

It’s A DreamWorks Christmas Watch List!

23 Dec

The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (Short 2005) - IMDbI have to admit, every Holiday season, I’ll either have an Ancient Aliens or DreamWorks Animation Holiday Marathon.

The standard rinse and repeat of particular Christmas classics can get stale, and I thought it’s time to take a look at what’s been added to this studio’s collection of holiday themed shows. This catalogue hasn’t been updated for years, and I’d welcome a new home video release of the past twenty years of animated programming they’ve developed. 

The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005)

There’s actually two episodes featuring these penguins–Private, Rico, Skipper and Kowalski–attempting to spread holiday cheer. 

With Caper, Private goes on a search in New York to find a present for Ted, a polar bear. But he gets found by a human and the rest of the team has to rescue him. It’s a fairly fun episode, but my preference is with the season two episode “The All Nighter Before Christmas.”

As the zoo prepares for Kidsmas, things go awry when King Julien interferes and Skipper has trouble being Santa. Typical for the series, things get chaotic and it’s up to someone to fix things up.

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Ghost Stories for the Holiday Season (Part One)

15 Dec
Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past fly over the town.

Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past fly over the town.

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

In a 2017 article on Smithsonianmag.com, the plea was made to bring back the ghost story for the Christmas season. Colin Dickey wrote, “Telling ghost stories during winter is a hallowed tradition, a folk custom stretches back centuries, when families would wile away the winter nights with tales of spooks and monsters.”

Another character said, “A sad tale’s best for winter,” Mamilius proclaims in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. He added, “I have one. Of sprites and goblins.”

And the titular Jew of Malta in Christopher Marlowe’s play at one point mused, “Now I remember those old women’s words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter’s tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts by night.”

It’s a tradition I’m honouring cinematically. It’s too easy to always include Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and instead of this titular classic, I’m choosing which of the many adaptations I consider worth revisiting. This list is divided into two parts. One which mentions the holiday in the film and perhaps takes place during. The other is broader, using Winter as a metaphor. The movie has to be good. No rotten tomatoes are going to be mentioned here. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is mentioned far too many times and I’m going for the lesser known works.

The Curse of the Cat People - Wikipedia

Thanks go to Bloody Disgusting for the original list, to which I pruned. I tightened the criteria because a ghost has to be crucial to the tale:

The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

This tale set during the holidays is a sequel to the original, and it’s described by Bleeding Cool as a feel-good tale rather than of pure horror. It’s a sweet coming of age tale which stars Anne Carter as Amy Reed, who befriends the ghost of her father’s first wife whom she’s never been told about.

This work is more fantasy than anything else, but it still contains the essential elements that define a ghost story.

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How to Celebrate the Holidays with The NFB!

13 Dec

holidaysThe NFB Ho Ho Holidays channel is back with more goodies than ever: seasonal classics, recent works and family favourites. It’s a good mix of live-action and animated material. There’s 53 films in all that you can watch for free!

This year, this company is offering up a few pieces of line art for anyone to colour up! I encourage folks to to print out the drawings and once painted up with your favourite markers, take a quick picture on a smartphone and post it online on Facebook or Twitter to share (with the hashtag #NFB.)

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Counting Down the 12 Days to a Comic Book Style Christmas

11 Dec

Harvey Kurtzman's Marley's Ghost (comiXology Originals) by [Harvey Kurtzman, Josh O'Neill, Shannon Wheeler, Gideon Kendall]By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Counting down the twelve days to Christmas is easy. Deciding on what to read on each day is tougher. In what I present is a list of what I’m excited about getting under the tree–should Santa be reading. This catalog is varied, as I have a lot of interests and a few are upgrades from the digital copy I have already.

I also have a few seasonal bits to get me into the spirit of the holiday, and the rest are not just for encyclopaedic reference.  

Most are are available to order on Amazon USA for those interested in obtaining for the fussy nerd on their gift giving list. Disclaimer: sales made through the links provided go into maintaining this blog.

Harvey Kurtzman’s Marley’s Ghost
ComiXology

This Eisner Award winner of 2018 is simply described as holiday magic, according to New York Magazine, and I’m inclined to agree. It’s a posthumous completion of legendary creator Harvey Kurtzman’s adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens’ novel. The idea took more than a half century to realise, and the reason is perhaps lost to time. The reason why this work matters is that this creator of MAD Magazine is considered one of the most influential creators of the sequential art format, and no list can be complete without some work referencing this seminal classic for the season. Plus, it appeases the paranormal enthusiast in me!

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