The Christmas Tree (1991)

christmastreeBy: Henry J. Fromage & Oberst Von Berauscht (Six Pack) –

Many thanks to The Nostalgia Critic for clueing us into “The Room” of Christmas Specials.  On the strength of his review, Movieboozer staff members Oberst Von Berauscht and Henry J. Fromage sat down to view the film together. The result was the kind of euphoric experience only felt on a cold night by a homeless inebriate in his last few moments of consciousness just before the icy hand of death closes upon him.  Later that morning, the police would surely find the body frozen to the floor, one hand on a bottle of gin, the other down his pants.

The Christmas Tree tells the story of an Orphanage run by the evil Mrs. Mavilda, who spends donations on poker games rather than clothes for the Children.  The Children of the Orphanage have no friends other than the pine tree out back, which they for some reason call “Mrs. Hopewell”.  Upon finding that Mrs. Mavilda has once again gambled their Christmas money away, the children set out into the wilderness looking for the Mayor’s house to tell him all about Mavilda’s cruelty.

A Toast

HJF:  Ummm…

OVB: The movie has a Christmas tree in it… so there is that…

Beer Two

HJF: Every element of this production is as cut-rate as humanly imaginable.  It even uses the same exact animation in various sequences, effectively shortening a 45 minute film into 35 (?) minutes of animation.  I’d call this a cash-grab, but there’s no way anybody made any money off this shit.  So… why???

OVB: It is worth noting that this film was made for the Public Broadcasting Corporation, and without financial support from viewers like you, quality programming would not be possible…


Beer Three

HJF:  Again, why is the tree even in the goddam movie?  What kind of children play with a tree?  It has to be shoehorned into every conversation and scene as an aside… there’s no instance in which it organically belongs there.

OVB: I can answer this one: “Mrs. Hopewell” The Christmas Tree is in the movie in a desperate bid to tie the story into an overall Christmassy theme.  If Christmas wasn’t used for the backdrop this story would be far more depressing than it already is.

Beer Four

HJF:  I probably should have toasted this: it is hands down my favorite part of the movie.  The little girl voice actress is clearly drunk.  Daddy coming home and breaking the furniture again drunk.  Every time you hear her slurring voice is a clear fuck you to the producers of the film.  “I’m six, and even I’m too good for this shit.  Make me put down the mouthwash.  I dare you.”

OVB: It was as if they were trying to emulate the success of Charlie Brown by casting young children in voice roles.  Unfortunately these children appear to have been given a series of Quaaludes and hallucinogens before their performance.

Beer Five

HJF: Mom’s a Quaker?  Dad has the lifeless eyes and vacant voice of a reanimated shambleman?  Santa, what?  Santa, nooo!!!!


OVB: I have a feeling that the nameless Cambodian children who were employed in production were in the midst of a hunger strike, and not one that ended well…

Beer Six

HJF: The one thing I can say about the ending, is that it is the most convincing case for electroshock therapy I’ve ever seen.  Santa Claus tries to straight up murder Mrs. Mavilda with lightning (via the fucking Christmas Tree… because it hadn’t been onscreen for a few minutes, I guess), and that stringy old broad walks it off, but with a complete 180 degree character adjustment.  Maybe Nurse Ratched was on to something after all…

OVB:  The closing narration states that Mrs. Mavilda was allowed to return to work in the Orphanage, so I’m guessing this group home is run according to strict Catholic doctrine.



Just… watch it.

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time you see the distinctly testicular moneybags

Take a Drink:  whenever “Mrs. Hopewell” The Christmas Tree is mentioned for no damn reason

Take a Drink: every time Mrs. Mavilda cackles

Do a Shot: for nightmare face  Do a Double: Santa, Noooo!!!

Do a Shot: “Santa Claus is everybody’s Grandpa!”

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they're confused about something) at least a few times a week. I've gotten way off track here... The point is, Oberst is one of the website's founders, so... yeah

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