10 Deliciously Bad Holiday TV Specials and Movies

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Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

I’ll admit it, there’s a special place in my heart for Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. Sure, it might have a plot that ruins the continuity of the original movie in degrees you never thought possible. And yeah, it has a token Jewish character (an enchanted axe) for no real reason that advances the plot, along with really lackluster songs…but I still kind of love it, in that awful fan fiction kind of way.

The story takes place mostly in flashback, focusing on the time after Belle’s wolf chase but before the Something There” sequence. After a lot of angsty discussions, we discover that Christmas is also the same day that the Prince was cursed into his beastly form – a fact that the super fabulous (composer now turned pipe organ) Forte (Tim Curry) loves to remind the Beast about 24/7. So what is Belle going to do? Prove to the Beast that Christmas is awesome – even if a traumatic, trigger-filled event happened on the same day. Obviously, this movie only exists to be a poor excuse to make Mickey more dolla-dolla bills. Yeah, it might have decent vocal performances by Paige O’Hara and Robby Benson as the lead characters, but Enchanted Christmas can’t escape from being a low-budget, direct-to-video sort-of-sequel to a bonafide classic.

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The Swan Princess Christmas

Let’s talk about The Swan Princess. Though it doesn’t have quite the nostalgic fan base that Disney properties do for many people, this is one of the few ’90s “trying to cash in on the Princess Musical trend” flicks that holds up fairly well. The music is catchy, the dialogue is hilarious, and the animation even has some beauty to it. But did those bits of lukewarm success mean multiple sequels should be made? No. But director Richard Rich seemed to think so, and thus the world now has seven Swan Princess films to enjoy. And with each and every one of them the quality seems to sink even lower into the pits of movie hell. That’s where The Swan Princess Christmas comes in.

Rather than continuing on with their traditional 2D style, the franchise eventually turned to CGI, which made the series’ generally cute character designs take a step into the uncanny valley. But awful visuals aside, the story for this Christmas fairy tale is even worse and makes Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas look like a work of Shakespeare. For example, did you know that the villain in this movie is the ghost of the original film’s villain, Rothbart, and he has a cat sidekick who is named Number 9? Get it, nine lives!? What a knee slapper!

Couple this with another cheap excuse to get Odette to turn into a Swan again for 3 minutes, along with some other bizarre character choices, plus a stupid marketing tie-in to America’s Got Talent (seriously, look at the sticker on the DVD packaging) The Swan Princess Christmas is just plain lazy. This movie exists to be thrown into the $5 DVD bin at Walmart.

Christina MILIAN, Ashley BENSON

Christmas Cupid

Around 2007, ABC Family declared that Christina Milian was going to be the champion of 20-something women across the world. And not only does she make two appearances on this list, but she’s stared in several Christmas movies where she plays almost the exact same character… and each one has a weirder plot than the last. One of the strangest is Christmas Cupid, which tells the story of a Sloan (Milian), a super successful but vain PR agent, whose alcoholic client dies one night while choking on a olive. Caitlin (Ashley Benson) then comes back from the dead, not to haunt Sloan, but to change her into a nice human who loves people and stuff.

Now I’m not saying I’m expecting a lot from an ABC Family movie, but with a plot this out there and un-PC (wow, a young actress dying from behavior related to her alcoholism is hilarious) this is a concept that deserved a more clever touch. Instead, the whole affair is utterly by-the-book and too vanilla. for its own good. I mean, they cast Chad Michael Murray as Milian’s love interest for crying out loud! Christina, honey, you could do so much better. Even if you’re trusting your dating advice from the spirit of a dead actress, there’s plenty more interesting ABC Family/Free Form or even Hallmark regulars to choose from.

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The Christmas Tree

Once in a blue moon, there comes an animated film that sends shivers down your spine. Not because it is actually scary, mind you, but because the images it produces are so truly insulting to the human eye that your body just reacts in strange, unnerving away towards it. Exhibit A: The Christmas Tree. The plot revolves around a group of orphans who believe in a magical pine tree outside (though the logistics behind that fact is questionable at best), a chain smoking head of the orphanage that steals the town’s money to fuel her gambling problem, and a family (…that might be Mormon?…) that moves into the town and works at the orphanage until they get an actual house.

Though the animation lacks any understanding of fluidity, The Christmas Tree’s  worst crime comes in the form of its voice acting. Characters make little to no audible sense, the audio is clearly chopped up into little bits, and probably was recorded in the circumference of every tin can know to man. Couple that with a terrible story, demonic looking children and awful characters, and you got the makes of a cinematic trashy holiday masterpiece.

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Snowglobe 

Deep in the darkest parts of ABC Family’s Christmas movie catalog lies another movie that somehow tops the utterly ridiculous nature of Christmas Cupid. In fact, if it were a drinker, it likely would ask for you to hold its beer. Let me introduce you to Snowglobe, a bizarre fantasy romance that doesn’t quite grasp at all how chemistry works.

This movie tells the story of Angela, a girl who changes her accent more than she does her assortment of red and white clothing items. She lives in the same apartment and works for her cartoonishly awful family, who constantly nag her about being a single woman and don’t understand her love of Christmas. One day, Angela finds a magical snowglobe that actually warps her inside of its world. There, she meets a fake-looking bunch of individuals, who have more of a resemblance to the mannequin cast of The Fuccons than a group of human beings. And much like Cupid, this movie tries to set Christina Milian up with not one, but two toothpaste commercial looking dudes that she falls head over mistletoe in love with. Who will she choose?! The answer? Who cares!

Between the inconsistent acting, dollar store set pieces, and awful coconut shaving snow, there isn’t much that can save Snowglobe from it being a disaster. Luckily, there’s enough drinking game worthy moments to keep your anger levels down, and the holiday cheer going!

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