Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Maxine's Christmas Carol: Review by William Mortensen Vaughan

TitleMaxine's Christmas Carol

My Rating*****

Adaptation:  Featuring the voice of Tress MacNeille as Maxine

Year of Release:  2000

Format:  VHS, animated, feature-length comedy

Is this adaptatation reverent?  No, this adaptation in not particularly reverent!

What does my wife think of it?  She thinks it's odd but funny.

How closely does this adaptation follow the original novel, by Charles Dickens?  This adaptation does not follow the original novel very closely.  A boy named Billy invites Maxine to Christmas dinner and a party at his house, but Maxine, a crabby, elderly lady declines the invitation.  After Christmas shopping and pulling a few pranks, she settles down in her home to watch television on Christmas Eve, and to eat microwaved burritos on stick with her dog Floyd.  She doses off, but is awakened by the ghost of Marlene, an office manager she used to work with.  Then she is visited by Tiffani, a valley girl, who plays the role of Christmas Past; a new age guru on a magic carpet; and, finally, three extraterrestrials in a spaceship/time machine who take her to 2025, to show her how much Billy will hate Christmas if she doesn't go to his Christmas party.  They drop her off at Billy's in time for his Christmas party, where she and the boy exchange gifts.  Then Maxine leaves, promising viewers she will be crabby the rest of the year, right before she throws a snowball at the "camera"!

When and where does this adaptation take place?  A small town in 1999.

Is this version a prequel or a sequel?  No.

Is this adaptation supernatural?  Yes, it shows ghosts and spirits, as well as extraterrrestrials who travel through time.

Is this adaptation "framed"?  No.

How many original musical numbers and/or dance routines are included?  Music does not seem to be the focus of this adaptation, although the opening scene is accompanied by a vocal version of "Jingle Bell Rock"; a monster truck is featured with a set of horns that plays an instrumental version of "Deck the Halls"; several elderly ladies sing "Deck the Halls" in exchange for donations; and the final credits roll through an instrumental version of "Good King Wenceslas."

How attractive is the visual art?  The art is adequate.

How creative and instense are the transitions?  The transitions are adequate. 

What is the most remarkable thing about this adaptation?  This is perhaps the funniest and most sarcastic adaptation of A Christmas Carol I've ever seen.

If on DVD, what extras are included?  My copy of this adaptation is on VHS, but it has a behind the scenes featurette after the feature, starring Maxine creator John Wagner and his mother, upon whom he based the comic strip character, Maxine.

Test your knowledge of this film by taking this quiz!   

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