6 Geese a Laying
Ferdinand, the rooster goose with the gangster twang from Babe, was the front-runner for slot six, before our Blue Planet search engine kicked in and told us that he was actually a duck.
For your geese-a-laying you have to look towards the The Magic Kingdom, where you’ll find the rather hilarious Mr. Goose from Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella. However, if you look further back in the Disney catalogue you’ll find a more seasonal entry with The Aristocats Uncle Waldo. Not only has he been basted in preparation for becoming a hearty pub meal, but also it has resulted in him being that holiday prerequisite; absolutely stinking drunk.
5 Gold Rings
There was only one choice to rule them all when it came to the next category in our cinematic sing-song, The Lord of the Rings. Where it becomes tricky is in narrowing it down to just five gold rings. Anyone schooled in the law of Tolkien knows that there was the one ring, three were made for the Eleven Kings, the Dwarf-Lords got their hands on seven of them, and nine were dished out to mortal men in a bulk deal discount.
We only need five of them though, so what we’re counting on is that we can send out twenty invites via giant eagle to our Middle-earth party, and hope that as is the way at this time of year, only a few people can make it. Gimli and Gloin are visiting the folks, a couple of the men have used their rings as same-sex wedding bands and are honeymooning in Iceland, and Sauron sounds like a real buzzkill, so fingers crossed he doesn’t RSVP.
4 Calling Birds
Ah! What springs to mind when we think of birds at Christmas? The plump little Robin, sat against a bleak canvas of snow at the bottom of your garden, always on edge at the prospect of the neighbours cat stalking them for no other reason than their own evil instincts? Or the dry old turkey that you’ll inevitably overcook and spend consuming in various sandwiches and curries over the dying December days?
Nope. What this rundown needs are simply birds. Lots of them. Waiting on climbing frames, telegraph poles, and window ledges, not for the opportunity to pluck a fresh juicy worm from the earth, but potentially peck your eye out. Merry Christmas, it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.
3 French Hens
We continue to focus on our feathered friends for the next entry, looking no further than a film primed for that post Queen’s Speech, 3:10pm, it should be Back to the Future every year slot on Christmas Day, Aardman Animations Chicken Run.
The last thing you want to see having just stuffed poultry into your face for an hour is a guilt trip parable about the fate of a coop load of chickens led to safety by Mel Gibson’s saviour. But honestly, where else are Hens prominent in the history of cinema? Answers in the comments section please.
2 Turtle Doves
We’ve been rather tenuous with this 12 Days of Cinematic Christmas, so there was a temptation for one final chance to promote 2017’s best animated film, The Red Turtle, or to somehow incorporate Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael.
On this occasion, it’s time to put out serious hat on, and pull it down over our ears, Kevin McAllister style, because our two turtledoves can be found in Home Alone 2.
Amongst the hilarity wrung from the kind of brutal torture you might find in an Eli Roth film, the Home Alone sequel managed to find time to replicate the same emotion it had originally earned with the Old Man Marley plot thread. This time it’s Brenda Fricker’s Pigeon Lady, who Kevin befriends in Central Park, before helping him escape from the wet bandits later in the film. Kevin cements their friendship by giving her one of a pair of turtledoves, promising that they’ll be friends forever. What? No, there’s something in my eye.
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree
So here we are, that point in the song in which everyone is sick to the back teeth of hearing the elongated melody of “fiiiiiiiive goooooooooold riiiiiiiings” blurted out by the local choir, and there was really only ever on choice wasn’t there? A-ha!
The holidays give you the perfect opportunity to impress your friends with “I’ve pierced my foot on a spike”, “catch the train to London; stopping at rejection, disappointment, backstabbing central, and shattered dreams parkway” or how about “which is the worst monger?’ And when they’ve all stopped listening, too busy eating their “smell my cheese” and crackers, then you can always put Knowing Me, Knowing Yule on.
Seasons Greetings from Flickering Myth!