Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving - Movies I Love

Thanksgiving - Movies I Love

Man! I thought I knew movies. I thought, "Thanksgiving Day is coming. My favorite holiday. Good food, good company, an attitude of gratitude. Time to see the movies I always see this time of year."

Then, I tried to list them, but I couldn't.
Because there aren't any.

You may have already noticed this horrifying revelation yourself. There are no great Thanksgiving movies. It's true.

Christmas movies, we got. Every year, there is at least one brand-new studio movie meant to dilute and world-ize and cheapen the beautiful Christmas story. Happens every year.

New Year's Day, Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, those holidays have movies, but not Thanksgiving Day.

Growing up, I remember the Rankin-Bass Christmas animations, and Charlie Brown Christmas, and "The Homecoming" for Christmas, and "It's a Wonderful Life" covered both Christmas and New Year. And the Dolly Madison snack cake Arbor Day special of course, everybody remembers those, but there was nothing for Thanksgiving, and that was my favorite holiday.

No guilt, no straining of one's finances, no responsibility for somebody else's Christmas joy. Nothing was expected of you at Thanksgiving, just sit down and eat. And to capacity! And beyond! A capacity unimagined at other times of the year. A creaking, groaning, falling-down packed stuffed fullness that seriously threatened to take you out, some terrifying excessive November. 

So I guess I really didn't need a Thanksgiving movie, just food.

So I roasted a turkey, and had WILD SIDE Theatre Actor friends over for Thanksgiving Dinner, several times. It was fun, and we weren't just a bunch of Hollywood refugees, stuck in Hollywood, away from friends and family. We were all alone, together.

Another John Hughes road-buddy movie set at Thanksgiving,

is 1991's "Dutch." Not as good a cast, and the story seems...familiar, about two guys who really want to get home, go through great difficulty getting there, and learn a the way.

Here's an odd Thanksgiving selection, but it has Thanksgiving significance for me.

I remember
Thanksgiving 1989. A bunch of us pale NW Evergreen animation people, at my pal Craig Bartlett's Hollywood place for a nice dinner.

I helped Craig with his 2x4 16mm animation stand, and our friend Matt Groening told us about his new animated segment for the "Tracey Ullman Show," a funny cartoon about Matt's family, growing up. 

A lot happened over the next 365 days. 


Directed by Jodie Foster, who always has a special place in my heart, this movie is called "Home For The Holidays," with a great cast. Some favorite Actors, all in the same story. A little sordid, as modern holiday stories made by Hollywood refugees tend to be, but it is very funny.

After that, I need something for dessert - pumpkin pie would be nice. Here's a little home-made Thanksgiving pumpkin pie stop-motion video.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are warm and dry, and thankful to be home with your loved ones, for a lovely meal.

Broadway Danny Rose
Planes, Trains And Automobiles
The Simpsons MovieHome For The Holidays
Pieces of April
Happy Thanksgiving Stop-Motion Video