Christmas Crunch is back!

Before I gush about cereal, a quick note.

I’m on a gig right now, which started small but has grown into something unfathomably huge. In many ways, that is good, but it hasn’t left me with much time to write about nonsense on the Internet. I originally thought we’d be wrapping in December, and we still might, but it may turn out to be December 2018.

So, this will likely be a “lite” Christmas season on Dino Drac. We’ll see how it goes. If push comes to shove, I can just start wearing old Ben Cooper costumes to work until someone fires me.

PS: Yes, I heard about Hostess. We’ll talk about that another day. I already promised this one to Cap’n Crunch.

Christmas Crunch is back! It’s amazing that Quaker still hasn’t succumbed to social pressure and renamed it “Holiday Crunch,” and I’m certain that the only thing keeping them from it is the incredible alliteration in the original title. “Christmas Crunch.” Two c-words that can be spoken aloud as dramatic k-words. If you have a brain, you don’t mess with that.

This year’s box design isn’t a knockout, but it ain’t half bad, either.

Some people believe that “Christmas red” is an umbrella title for several different shades of red, BUT NO, “Christmas red” really refers to one specific type of red. And this box is THAT RED. A sweet spot between brick, vermillion and cranberry. Kudos, mon capitan. You did chicken right.

Love Cap’n Crunch’s casual “yup yup me again” pose at the top of the box, too.

Regrettably, I’m not as fond of the artist’s decision to draw the innards of Cap’n Crunch’s mouth. In this case, I’d prefer that Cap’n Crunch adhere to the standard cartoon rule of having nothing in there but a big black hole.

Ending on a positive, there’s also a gift box filled with nothing but cereal, addressed to someone named “Holiday Shapes.” Truly the start-point for a great novel. Don’t any of you NaNoWriMo fuckers take my idea.

Cap’n Crunch alleges that his Crunchberries come in “four shapes.” True, there may be four shapes, but you can only decipher two of them. The trees and the stars look as they should, but to call the other shapes “snowmen” and “winter hats” goes straight past “a stretch” and into “untruth punishable by law” territory.

But I forgive Cap’n Crunch, because I never got so many Crunchberries in a single box of cereal before. Good God, if judging by sheer mass, the Crunch-to-Crunchberries ratio is pretty close to 1:1. A Christmas miracle, right in my severely chipped cereal bowl.

The back of the box lists several Christmas Crunch crafts projects. (A burgeoning market of intrigue.) The best of them tells us to make a not-really-gingerbread house out of cereal and graham crackers.

My time is short, but only a fool wouldn’t make that Priority 1.

Granted, mine is less of a “house” and more of a “bunker.”  Look a bit like Fred Flintstone’s pad, assuming it rains cupcake frosting and giant cereal in Bedrock.

I decided that this would be Krang’s secret holiday hideaway. Strong emphasis on the “secret,” because Krang definitely wouldn’t want his troops to learn that he’s gaga for Christmas. “Ruling by fear” is much harder when everyone knows that you listen to Wham.

Psst, I found my Christmas Crunch in Walmart. No pressure, but if you consider yourself a “holiday guy” or a “holiday girl,” you kind of have to buy this cereal. To skip it is a sacrilege. Drop the three bucks, people. It’s Christmas.

(Well, no. It’s barely Thanksgiving. But still.)

  • Jugendsehnsucht

    Favorite Christmas drama: Fanny & Alexander. Holy shit—what a beautiful film. Nearly five and a half hours long, but the miniseries version is definitely better than the theatrical cut. Highly moving, but in a more thoughtful sort of way; a perfect antidote to typical schlocky seasonal fare.

    Favorite Christmas comedy: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, with A Christmas Story a close runner up. Both are an annual tradition, and neither will ever get old.

    Least favorite Christmas movie: I honestly can’t think of a specifically horrendous one, as I tend to avoid stuff that looks like it will suck. No doubt it would be one of the myriad woefully sappy made-for-TV Hallmark productions, so I guess I’ll go with The Christmas Card, since it’s the only one of that sort that I can remeber watching in its entirety, as it was filmed in my town. I couldn’t stop laughing while watching it, as they tried to sanatize us into some sort of west-coast forest version of a “feel-good mid-western values” (for lack of a better phrase) town, rather than the weirdo miniature version of Berkeley filled with rednecks and hippies that we actually are.

  • Hoverbored

    Jugendsehnsucht- Funny you should mention that; there’s a Hallmark movie coming next month with Summer Glau. That woman has been in so many things that nobody saw, maybe she figured this was her chance to be seen on TV by more than a handful of people.

    I met a guy on a film shoot in Santa Clarita who told me how they filmed an episode of 24 in his neighborhood. There was a scene with a nuclear bomb being diffused, and another scene where the thing detonates in the distance, but the guy said the two locations were about two blocks apart.

    My favorite Xmas special is probably Garfield. has a great database of reviews and retrospectives of vintage Xmas cartoon specials.

  • Annette

    Favorite Christmas movie? I really like White Christmas. Though it’s not THAT Christmasy…most of the numbers have nothing to do with Christmas at all.

    I also really like Home Alone. It’s really a much better movie than its reputation would suggest. Plus, nostalgia value.

    Would I get shot if I said I didn’t like It’s a Wonderful Life?

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  • Church

    Good grief, Jugs! 5 and a 1/2 hours long?? I think I remember you mentioning this movie at some point in the past…maybe I’ll have to check that out as soon as I figure out how to get 5 1/2 hours free.

    @Hoverboard, thanks for the link, I’ll have to check it out! Love the Garfield special myself.

    @Annette, my wife’s fav Christmas movie is White Christmas. Love the “Count blessings instead of sheep” number. We have started watching that movie while we put up the tree the past couple of years.

    I don’t think anyone would shoot you for not enjoying It’s a Wonderful Life…haha. I got into it later in life.

    Has anyone saw “The Snowman”? It’s an animated short film (approx. 26 min.) and I believe it was made in 1982. It’s not what I would call traditional Christmas fare but it’s very moving and I highly recommend it.

  • JohnV

    Church: I remember “The Snowman”. It used to run on HBO back then. I’m off to YouTube to look for it now.

  • RetroBJ

    Ooh, now we’re talking about favorite Christmas specials/movies. This is something I can definetly put my two cents worth in (or in my case, a good five dollars). Gotta remind you, expect me to post one of my long ramblings.

    Favorite Christmas movie: I can’t help but consider “Gremlins” to be a Christmas movie. I mean, it takes place during Christmas, there’s a lot of Christmas references including a couple songs (this is where I first heard and got addicted to Johnny Mathis’ version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?), so why couldn’t you consider it a Christmas film? It’s definetly more Christmas related than Halloween related (unlike “A Nightmare Before Christmas” which can go either way, and can you believe I still haven’t seen that film).

    Of course I also like all the usual that many people mention like “A Christmas Story” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (I just saw this film last year). Of course, everyone HAS to love “Scrooged.” Bill Murray at his finest here!

    Oh, on a side note, and speaking of “Christmas Story” can you believe they actually came out with a “Christmas Story 2″? I found it at Wal-Mart last week. It’s supposed to take place a few years after the original movie where Ralphie and his pals are learning how to drive and it looks like it has many of the same jokes as in the first one, such as the Leg lamp and everything. God, this is even worse than if they decided to re-make “A Christmas Story.”

    Okay, I’m already rambling so on to the next point:

    Least Favorite Christmas Movie: I can’t really think of one because to be honest, if I know they’re bad, I avoid them all together such as stinkers like “Jingle All The Way” (thank you very much Nostalgia Critic for your review, now I can go to my grave knowing I don’t have to submit two hours of my life to that garbage). I wouldn’t consider “Home Alone” a holiday classic. It’s not a bad film because it does have some tender moments, like the scene with Kevin and the old man in the church while the choir is singing “O Holy Night.” However, most of the film, especially the last act, is all just slapstick comedy with many jokes that get repeated in “Home Alone 2″ (a weaker sequel, but not as bad as “Home Alone 3″).

    Anyway, if I had to choose a bad Christmas movie that I have seen, the only one that comes to my mind is the live-action “Grinch” movie. Sorry if some of you like this, but this is the only one I can think of that I would consider bad and that I have actually seen (unless I can count 1985′s “Santa Claus: The Movie” but I haven’t seen that one in so long and when I actually did see it, it was at a time when I could consider it good).

    Okay, I am going to do you all a favor and put my next part in another post. So I’m apologizing in advance for the double post.

  • RetroBJ

    Okay, here we go. Next part: Favorite Christmas Specials. Oh boy, this one in itself a list.

    Favorite Christmas Specials: Oh boy, I can’t begin to list the many great specials that came out during the Christmas season. Maybe that’s why Christmas is such a great holiday: because of all the specials that came out that gives us all the wonderful memories of our childhood. So, here are the main ones that I immediately think about when it comes to Christmas Television Specials:

    “A Charlie Brown Christmas/Garfield Christmas”: I always include these two together because I feel they are a perfect match. Definetly the highlight of the season (although to be honest, my favorite Peanuts special is “Great Pumpkin” and I consider “Garfield’s Thanksgiving” to be my favorite Garfield Holiday special (I know I’m probably in a minority on that one)) when I watch these two classics.

    “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Frosty the Snowman” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “The Little Drummer Boy”: All great classics, all deserving a viewing every holiday season and all don’t need to be explained any further.

    “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”: Probably the first time I ever heard of Charles Dickens’ classic is with this special. Just hearing the opening theme is enough to get me in the holiday mood, even if it’s August.

    “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”: Also their pilot episode. This is what started twenty four years (and counting) of the longest running animated sitcom that seems to have no end.

    “Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas”: This special came out during the hype of the California Raisins, and although they are only in a brief segment singing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, the whole special in itself is one filled with great joked and wonderful musical numbers (the “We Three Kings” segment is my personal favorite).

    “Muppet Family Christmas”: I can’t help it, I LOVE this special! How often do you see the cast of the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and even Fraggle Rock in one special? The highlight is of course when they’re all caroling at the end. Thankfully there have been uploads on YouTube showing the complete special. If you try to buy a VHS or DVD copy, many songs are cut out due to not getting the licenses for them.

    That’s all I can think of when it comes to Christmas television specials. I won’t list any bad ones because I can’t think of any. Oh, and I have one more post before I’m finished. Didn’t want to post it here because it would become awfully long (longer than what it already is).

  • RetroBJ

    Here’s my final post, I promise. I want to know if anyone can think of a favorite Christmas cartoon short. Is there a favorite Looney Tune, Disney, Popeye or whatever cartoon that you can’t get go without seeing at least once during the holiday season? “Pluto’s Christmas Tree” comes to my mind almost immediately, especially since I mostly remember seeing it before “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” on TV.

    Actually, my favorite Christmas cartoon short came out in the UK in the 1950s. It’s called “The Christmas Visitor” and I saw it on a low-cost public domain videotape that also had a Looney Tunes short starring Sylvester and Tweety. Anyway, the cartoon is a loose re-telling of “The Night Before Christmas.” Santa is a short skinny guy who uses an umbrella to go up and down the chimney. Granted, the middle is all about these toys coming to life and a toy sailor is trying to rescue a toy damsel that was tied on toy train tracks from a villian jack-in-the-box (yep, the usual Snidely Whiplash stereotyped mustached villain). What makes this special so memorable is the faded colors, the animation, and of course the music. The opening music during the title card sequence gets me every time.

    Anyway, it’s uploaded on YouTube and I linked it to my name. So click it and enjoy!

  • Jugendsehnsucht

    “Good grief, Jugs! 5 and a 1/2 hours long?? I think I remember you mentioning this movie at some point in the past…maybe I’ll have to check that out as soon as I figure out how to get 5 1/2 hours free.” —Church
    Yeah, I think I mentioned it in a while back in whatever thread on here turned into confessionals about what movies bring on the waterworks. The 320 runtime is manageable due to Bergman splitting it up into episodes for Swedish television, so you don’t have to watch it all in one go, but all the times I’ve seen it I’ve watched it all at once. There was a heavily-cut theatrical release of it, but you end up missing some of the very best scenes that way, and it doesn’t feel anywhere near as nuanced, so I can definitely see why Bergman preferred his miniseries version of it.

    Mention of Gremlins (another sentimental favorite here) reminded me a bit of the oft-shitty microgenre of Holiday Horror. Amid all the ridiculous ones like Jack Frost and the Silent Night, Deadly Night series, the original 1974 Black Christmas always stands out as a good one. Just the sort of thing for when you’re still missing Halloween a bit, but don’t want to stray too far from the X-mas vibes.

  • Astro Zombie

    I don’t know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I’ve got something to ask: why do people say “Cap’n Crunch cuts the roof of your mouth?” I haven’t eaten it in years, but I never had that problem in the past.

    Jugendsehnsucht: oh yeah, Black Christmas is probably the best holiday horror movie I’ve seen—it’s tied with Gremlins, if we’re counting it. Last year I saw You Better Watch Out and Silent Night Bloody Night, and I’d have to say Black Christmas is better than those.

  • Another Tom

    {Watching the Macy’s parade}
    Happy Thanksgiving all!

  • RudyEats

    Wow. Obscure Ben Cooper reference FTW!

  • Ultraman

    I still haven’t managed to find Christmas Crunch. I’m gonna find some this year, if it hairlips every single billy goat in 14 miles.

  • Sammi Jo Hager

    This just made my week! Thank you, I was at my local grocery store and couldn’t find it. Now I’m heading down to Walmart!