29. Jingle All the Way
Release Year: 1996
Directed By: Brian Levant
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, Robert Conrad, Martin Mull, Jim Belushi, E.J. De La Pena, Laraine Newman, Harvey, Korman, Richard Moll, Paul Wright
Every Christmas season, there’s that one popular toy that’s the hottest item on the market. It’s the object of every child’s desire, and the bane of every parent’s existence. It goes on sale on Black Friday, quickly sells out, and it’s only to be found again in very limited qualities leading up to the big day. The 1996 film Jingle All the Way brings that cat and mouse chase to life, and it’s still a relevant comment on the commercialization of the holiday today.
Based on the real-life accounts of to sell-outs of Cabbage Patch Kids and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, merch Jingle All the Way stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as as Howard Langston, a workaholic father who promises to get his son Jamie the all-important Turbo-Man toy. However, it’s Christmas Eve and the toy is all but sold out. While searching for Turbo-Man, Howard encounters Myron (Sinbad), a fellow father in search of the popular toy, and they will do whatever it takes to grab the last one.
Jingle All the Way boasts a script co-written by Home Alone director Chris Columbus, which tied the humor together with satire about consumerism. Weirdly enough, the film released during the Tickle Me Elmo craze, which would continue to be a huge craze for many Christmases to come. The film wasn’t the most critically acclaimed holiday film ever, but for kids who grew up watching it, it’s still a nostalgic favorite.