So you think you know Christmas movies? Then brace yourself against the yule log, because things are about to get mind-blowing!
Crossover 1: The Grinch is from Monsters Inc.
This is a no-brainer. Where do the monsters go when they’re banished? A frozen wasteland, right? Well, actually, it’s not quite a wasteland…
My theory is that the ‘banishment zone’ is really the mountains just north of Whoville, a thriving arctic community in the middle of nowhere. It follows that the Grinch used to live in Monstropolis, but was banished and sent to Whoville as punishment, where he lived alone in a cave, like the abominable snowman.
It wasn’t before long that the Grinch realized a startling truth: the citizens of Whoville were nothing if not resilient, and his normal scare tactics weren’t going to cut it. No wonder the abominable snowman comments, “wait until you see the local village, cutest thing in the world.” The Grinch decided to hatch an elaborate plan to really scare the townspeople… well, you know the rest. My guess is that, having been rehabilitated by the whole incident, he was allowed back into Monstropolis, which is why he didn’t run into Mike and Sully. Pretty neat, huh?
Crossovers 2 and 3: A Christmas Story is the origin story for The Ref
What are the first movies that come to mind when you think of a satirical take on Christmas? Did you think of The Ref or A Christmas Story? Would it surprise you then if these two movies were somehow connected? Hold on to your mistletoe, because things are about to get crazy!
In A Christmas Story, we see a ‘traditional’ family experiencing a chaotic, uncomfortable Christmas season, told from the perspective of oldest son Ralphie. If we fast-forward forty years, would we not expect grown-up Ralphie’s family life to be chaotic and uncomfortable too? If you haven’t guessed by now, my theory is that Ralphie is none other than Lloyd from The Ref – a husband and father who experiences yet another unconventional Christmas.
Take this photo as proof – notice the two icons pulled straight from Ralphie’s childhood: the lamp, and the pink suit. A subtle reminder that nothing changes as he gets older, much as he might like it to.
Or how about this parallel? As a child, Ralphie was gagged for using profanity. Now, his own child (who blackmailed a military officer) is being gagged – like father, like son I suppose.
Even the antagonists are remarkably similar, yet we realize that the true enemy is not the bully. No, the true enemy is anyone who says Christmas must follow a certain pattern, that it must conform to certain traditions. If Ralphie’s saga has taught us anything, it’s that Christmas is at its best when it’s unpredictable and even a little dangerous. Now if only they each had an anti-Santa. Oh wait…
Crossover 4: A Charlie Brown Christmas will eventually become Friends
I know, I know, call me crazy, but did you ever notice how similar the Peanuts gang is to the characters on Friends? Get out the eggnog, because after you hear this theory, you’ll be begging for mercy. That’s right, Friends is actually Charlie Brown but twenty years in the future!
Let’s start with Monica and Ross. Brother and sister. Monica is assertive, proud, and enjoys cooking. Sort of like a certain lemonade vendor… And her brother Ross may seem to have a one-track mind, but deep down, he knows what’s most important in life. He knows the true meaning of things, just like Linus…
Next up are the comic relief characters: Phoebe, a mischievous blonde with a penchant for the quirky; and Joey, the fun-loving, easy-going guy. Notice any similar partners in the Peanuts world, a certain yellow bird and a dog perhaps? (Even funnier is the name Woodstock, given Phoebe’s character!)
We can’t forget Rachel either, the self-confident fashionista who always puts her best foot forward, and can’t risk looking foolish. Enter Frieda, a bubbly girl who is always concerned about her hair, and always dresses to impress.
And lastly, we have the twin CB’s: Charlie Brown and Chandler Bing, both of them the blockhead of the group, both of them awkwardly romantic, both attached to a best friend (Snoopy and Joey respectively), and both pursued by a comically obnoxious lover.
Still not convinced that Friends is just the Peanuts gang in twenty years? Maybe this last picture will change your mind. I rest my case.
Crossover 5: Elf is the sequel to Midnight Cowboy
Are you ready to have your stockings knocked off? Because this last one is a doozy. I can’t believe I never noticed this – I’ll bet you can’t either. It was so obvious when I spotted a similar scene in both movies, a character nearly getting hit by a taxi while in New York City. Then I realized, both movies are about an outsider exploring the big city for the first time.
I decided to dig around some more. Midnight Cowboy was released in 1969, which means Joe Buck (Jon Voight) would have been 31. Elf was released in 2003, so Joe’s character would have been 65. Now… who in the movie Elf is about 65 years old? You guessed it – Walter Hobbs, Buddy the elf’s father. Walter was played by James Caan, who was 63 at the time. Coincidence? I think not!
We know that Buddy’s father was a romantic in his earlier adult years – which is how Buddy entered the world. I think it’s safe to say that Joe Buck and Walter Hobbs are the same character. Joe must have returned to New York, toned back on the cowboy vibe, changed his name, had a few flings, and then settled down.
Still don’t think the two are connected? Both Walter and Joe have a connection with a shorter, unconventional yet influential man, Miles and Ratso. And like I said, both movies are about naive, optimistic men in funny costumes, who get a harsh reality check when they leave their close-knit hometown and try to navigate New York City all on their own. What other explanation can there be except that Buddy is Joe’s son? You can call me insane, you wouldn’t be the first, but these are clearly part of the same cinematic universe.
That’s all for now – I hope your holly and tinsel are still intact after all these epiphanies!