Christmas Claymation: The Five Best Stop-Motion Holiday Movies

Christmas Claymation: The Five Best Stop-Motion Holiday Movies

Christmas in South Florida doesn't quite have the same pizazz as other places in the country. Endless sunshine almost always beats the overcast gloom that our northern neighbors suffer through every holiday season, but still, a snowy Christmas must be nice.

Since the weather wasn't enough to satiate our wintertime needs, most Miami childhoods were spent watching snowfalls on television, and singing along to holiday favorites. While most people can't wait to watch the yearly airing of It's A Wonderful Life, or the all-day A Christmas Story marathon on TBS, there is nothing quite like the joy of claymation and stop-motion animation holiday films. There is something unnaturally endearing about seeing Rudolph's nose glowing red and making off-key recorder sounds.

So in honor of the dead animation medium that brightened our long-gone '80s childhoods, here's our list of the top five claymation and stop-motion holiday specials.

5. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970)

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Long

before there was Batman Begins, there was Santa Claus is Comin' to

Town.  The veritable origin story of Santa Claus features an immaculate,

blonde-haired, blue-eyed Kris Kringle saving Sombertown from the tyranny

of fat German Mayor Burgermeister Meisterberger.  Take that Josef

Mengele!  In another world, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town could be remade

by Steven Spielberg or even Christopher Nolan into a dark and dramatic

story of overthrowing tyranny in the style of Schindler's List or

Uprising. Nothing would be cooler than watching Kris Kringle don a long

beard to disguise himself, transforming into Santa Claus, then sneaking

up on Meisterberger, pulling out a Maschinenpistole 40, and emptying a

whole clip in his fat ass.

4. William S. Burroughs' Junky's Christmas (1993)

In

1993, beatnik author William S. Burroughs wrote and narrated this

little-known, Francis Ford Coppola-produced film. This short claymation gem is yet one more example of Burroughs' obsession with guys doing

heroin and endlessly going on about being dope sick.  Not to pound on

the literary legend, but talk about having only one note. Yes, Mr.

Burroughs, you were once a heroin addict and you must have liked it

enough to make a huge chunk of your career about it, but at some point

you gotta move on.

 

3. Will Vinton's A Claymation Christmas Celebration (1987)

Who -- or what--

were the California Raisins? It's obvious that they were singing raisins, but how were they as popular as they were? They had albums,

songs, commercials, appearances, and were even made into little figurines that our moms still keep in their kitchens. There are so many mystifying things about the

80s that became amazingly popular, and the California Raisins are right

on the top of that list. Could anything like the California Raisins

ever become that huge in the aughts? We seriously doubt it.

2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Of all of the hokey '60s, '70s, and '80s claymation and stop-action films,

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is by far the most punk rock. Not only

is there an entire island dedicated to The Misfits, but there is

definitely some look of perverse pleasure on Rudolph's face after he

saves the day and proves his father to be a jackass. This movie has

everything: abominable Snowmen, a Canadian trapper with an amazing

beard, dentist elves, and some hot, hot reindeer love. Not to mention,

what's up with the skinny Santa Claus?

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Yes,

there was a time when Tim Burton made movies that weren't awful ripoffs

of better movies. Who knew that Halloween and Christmas would be so

good together in a movie? Burton totally captured the tone of 90's

darkness, with Jack Skellington playing the perfect anti-hero hero,

accompanied by the smoking hot Sally. It's hard to rag on this movie

because it's so damn good, so instead we'll focus on the fact that Tim

Burton is a hack and should have been hung for his remake of Planet of

the Apes.

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