The world was underwhelmed with Mariah Carey’s breathless announcement this week that she is turning her 1994 Christmas tune – All I Want for Christmas Is You – into the next animated Christmas movie.
This clearly isn’t the Christmas movie we are waiting for. What we’re waiting for is the Christmas movie they will never make.
The reason the world is underwhelmed is because we’ve seen this before. White Christmas the movie wouldn’t be anything without White Christmas the song.
Grinch the movie is not the classic that Grinch the TV show proved itself to be. (Oh, and they’re making it again as an animated feature with the deep-throated Benedict Cumberbatch as you-know-who but they pushed the project back a full year to 2018 because…it sucks).
The water-downed recycling of a once-fresh Christmas idea is just the way the world of merchandising creative works operates.
And besides, what’s an aging Pop Diva to do with her time anyway?
You’d think All I want for Christmas is You is the only song that Mariah Carey has ever recorded. (Here’s the sad memo to Mariah: it’s the only song of yours that people remember).
Christmas is suffering from the worst drought ever in terms of an original Christmas idea.
There hasn’t been a new movie, a new song or a new production that has captured the public’s attention for well over a decade.
Nothing since Elf, fans. That was 2003, by the way.
What we have instead had is a steady stream of lousy Christmas offerings.
Almost Christmas – last year’s big Christmas release – just went to video to be watched now by all those who flocked to theaters last fall to see it. Oh, wait. You didn’t see it? Could it be because the previews were worse in two minutes than Christmas with the Kranks was over two hours?
Same with 2016’s Office Christmas Party – a movie so bad it is coming out now in April on video.
April! You know what April is in the Christmas business? It is bar none, the worst month of the year for selling anything Christmas.
Remember The Night Before? Yeah, nobody else does either. Or Bad Santa 2?
How about the collection of Krampus movies released in recent years?
Losers — one and all.
The one Christmas movie they need to make they will never make.
And that is because it is an original idea that espouses nothing of what Hollywood values.
It is the story of St. Nicholas.
A true story of a man made famous for his anonymous giving.
Think about that.
To Hollywood, that is no hero.
Hollywood is home to people who champion phony ideas about political issues they know nothing about and they make movies about people who have never been real.
They can’t merchandise a real person who accomplished good works.
Look what they did to Lincoln. They couldn’t tell his story without reducing him to a foul mouthed head case.
They will never take on the story of St. Nicholas – the man, the myth or the legend. To them, Santa doesn’t sell unless he pees in public, swears at kids and chain smokes worse than Humphrey Bogart.
Nicholas believed in God. He defended the divinity of Jesus Christ. He was saved by angels. Who do you get to pull off a character like that?
Nicholas saved a major city from starvation, resurrected murdered children who had been pickled in a barrel, and was the patron saint of women, children and sailors. How do you make money from such stuff?
Christmas lovers want this story on film because it is the natural extension of the Christmas story. It contains all the elements of Christmas love.
But Hollywood sees no way to turn that into a movie franchise. It doesn’t get the conflict and there’s too much God in the story.
What they want is the Santa they have been giving us for decades. The one from A Christmas Story who sticks his boot in a kid’s face. They want the Santa of Miracle on 34th Street, who gets put on trial for lunacy. They want the Santa-looking character in Home Alone who just might be the Shovel Slayer.
Yes, they want any kind of Santa they can get – except for the real character all Santas are based on.