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  • The Spirit of Christmas (short film)


    Spirit of Christmas is the name of two different animated short films made by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They are precursors to the animated series South Park. To differentiate the two, they are often referred to as Jesus vs. Frosty (1992) and Jesus vs. Santa (1995). 1. Jesus vs. Frosty ------------------- Jesus vs. Frosty begins with four boys building a snowman and, in the vein of Frosty the Snowman, putting a magic hat on it to make it come to life. Unfortunately, Frosty turns out to be evil and deranged, sprouting huge tentacles and killing Kenny (who resembles Cartman from South Park) by throwing him. This leads one of the boys to utter the first version of a line which recurs in countless South Park episodes: "Oh my God! Frosty killed Kenny!" The boys go to Santa Claus for help, but he turns out merely to be Frosty in disguise. This time he kills the unnamed hooded boy (who resembles Kenny from South Park) by throwing him. The two remaining boys run away, and come across a nativity scene with a baby Jesus, who flies over to the evil snowman and defeats it by slicing off the magic hat with a hurl of his halo. One of the boys says another recurring line from the South Park series: "You know, I learned something today", and he and his friend realize the purported "true" meaning of Christmas: that is, presents. As a deer nibbles on Kenny's corpse they go to their homes to find presents hidden by their parents. 1.1. Production --------------- In 1992, Parker and Stone made The Spirit of Christmas (aka Jesus vs. Frosty) while they were students at the University of Colorado under the "Avenging Conscience Films" moniker. They animated the film using only construction paper, glue and a very old 8 mm film camera, and premiered it at the December 1992 student film screening. The film features four children very similar in appearance to three of the four main characters of South Park, including a character resembling Eric Cartman but called "Kenny", a hooded boy resembling Kenny McCormick (who remains unnamed) and two other boys similar in appearance and voice to Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski. This film is later referenced in a season six South Park episode entitled "Simpsons Already Did It". In this episode, Stan, Kyle, and Tweek are building a snowman, and Tweek is reluctant to put the nose on the snowman and says that this is because he thinks it will come to life and kill him, to which Stan replies, "Dude, when has that ever happened except for that one time?" 2. Jesus vs. Santa ------------------ Jesus vs. Santa opens with the four boys singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", when suddenly Stan stops to tell Kyle he should sing Hanukkah songs instead, since "Jewish people don't celebrate Christmas!" Cartman insults the song ("I Have a Little Dreidel") that Kyle begins singing, and they start to argue. They are interrupted, however, when Jesus appears, asking them to take him to the mall, where they find Santa Claus. Jesus is angry with "Kringle" because, in his opinion, he diminishes the memory of Jesus's birthday with his presents. Santa, insistent that Christmas is a time for giving, and not merely remembering Jesus's birthday, claims that "this time" they will "finish it", and that "there can be only one". They fight in a style reminiscent of such games as Mortal Kombat, accidentally killing various bystanders, including Kenny (thus eliciting Stan and Kyle's catchphrase), in the process. Jesus pins Santa down, and each of them asks the boys to help him. Stan hesitates: "What would Brian Boitano do?" (this joke is referenced in the 1999 feature film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut via the song "What Would Brian Boitano Do?"). The figure skater miraculously appears and delivers a speech about how Christmas should be about being good to one another. The boys, enlightened, transmit the message to the fighters, who apologize to each other in shame. They thank the boys for helping and decide to bury the hatchet over an orange smoothie. The boys then marvel that they got to meet Brian Boitano (as opposed to either Jesus or Santa) As in Jesus vs. Frosty, the boys come to realize the "true" meaning of Christmas: that is, presents. Kyle remarks that, if one is Jewish, one receives presents for eight days rather than on only one. The others decide as a result to become Jewish, too, and, while rats gnaw on Kenny's corpse, leave the scene singing the "Dreidel Song". 2.1. Production --------------- In 1995, after seeing the Jesus vs. Frosty film, Fox executive Brian Graden paid Stone and Parker $1,000 to make another animated short as a video Christmas card that he could send to friends. In turn, the duo created Jesus vs. Santa. Graden initially distributed the video to eighty friends in December 1995. After months' being passed around on bootleg video, the film caught the attention of cable network Comedy Central, which hired the pair to develop the South Park series, which premiered in the United States with "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" on August 13, 1997. This version of The Spirit of Christmas features an animation style very similar to that of the eventual South Park series, as well as more developed versions of Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny (each of whom are referred to by name) living in South Park. Wendy Testaburger appears unnamed in a non-speaking role as a child sitting on Santa's lap. The film largely establishes the characters as they are used in South Park and contains elements that recur in the series, such as Kyle being a Jew and rats eating Kenny's corpse. The film reportedly had a budget of $750, with Parker and Stone keeping the remainder of their commission. Clips from Jesus vs. Santa are shown in a fourth season episode of South Park. In the episode, "A Very Crappy Christmas", the boys try to create a short animated film to bring back the spirit of Christmas to South Park. During the episode a few parts of "The Spirit of Christmas" are used as the film the boys are making. 2.2. Release and reception -------------------------- Jesus vs. Santa received a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for best animation. The film can be found on the South Park The Hits: Volume 1 DVD. A short clip is visible in a drive-in movie screen in some openers of South Park. It was also included in AVI format on Tiger Woods '99 for PlayStation. It is accessible from the game disc by PC. This was unauthorized and because of this, the game was recalled in January 1999 by Electronic Arts.

  • Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas


    Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas is a 1999 direct-to-video animated Christmas anthology film produced by Walt Disney Video Premieres and won the Award for Best Animated Feature Film at the 5th Kecskemét Animation Film Festival in 1999. The video features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Pete, Goofy, Max, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Scrooge McDuck, Mortimer Mouse, Figaro the Kitten and Chip 'n' Dale with cameos by Owl, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and a Beagle Boy. The film comprises three separate segments, with narration by Kelsey Grammer. A sequel, titled Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, was released in 2004.

  • E-card


    An E-card is similar to a postcard or greeting card, with the primary difference being that it is created using digital media instead of paper or other traditional materials. E-cards are made available by publishers usually on various Internet sites, where they can be sent to a recipient, usually via e-mail. It is also considered more environmentally friendly compared to traditional paper cards. E-card businesses are considered environmentally friendly because their carbon footprint is generally much lower compared to paper card companies because paper is not used in the end product. E-cards are digital "content", which makes them much more versatile than traditional greeting cards. For example, unlike traditional greetings, E-cards can be easily sent to many people at once or extensively personalized by the sender. Conceivably they could be saved to any computer or electronic device or even viewed on a television set, and digital video E-cards have begun emerging. Typically an E-card sender chooses from an on-line catalog of E-cards made available on a publisher's web site.

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