Thursday, November 15, 2007

Elmo Saves Christmas Philosophical Implications

Wow! Apparently my "Elmo Saves Christmas" edit I put up years ago on Wikipedia is still up. I'm surprised - I thought that the Wiki Fun Police would have chopped up the article by now.

I'm posting my favorite bits here in case it goes down (it's all true, by the way):

Elmo Saves Christmas is a children's home video that was released in 1996. In the story, Elmo learns that Christmas cannot occur every day.

Throughout the story, Elmo and the other characters also indirectly learn the value of a healthy disdain for the media. In this film, all of the characters in Sesame Street begin their daily celebration of Christmas solely at the word of the news media, led by Kermit the Frog who announce the new daily celebration of Christmas.

Elmo's wish of a daily Christmas leads to a fascinating dystopian future wherein sickness and the ravages of a complete collapse of capitalism due to constant vacation from work have reduced the people to miserable shells of their former selves. This is a direct result of their dependence on the media: were it not for their trust in the media and its infallibility they could simply have stopped celebrating Christmas any moment they wished.

Paradoxes Within the Film

  • The time-travel aspects of the film mirror similar thematic elements from the Superman films as well as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home wherein rapid travel orbiting the planet Earth results in a time shift. However, Elmo Saves Christmas chooses not to treat this as Science Fiction; neglecting, as it does, the issue of a reindeer and Muppet flying in an oxygen-free environment. It is stated in the film that Lightning the Reindeer has magical abilities, which may extend to near-infinite lung capacity, which may explain this plot hole. Nevertheless, while Jim Henson never stated whether or not Muppets require oxygen, Elmo would require air to speak in the many space-based scenes in the movie, as he does. All of these plot problems (except the time travel) would be solved if the movie made it clear Elmo and Lightning were flying within the ionosphere at a sufficient level for respiration.
  • Though the spiritual aspect of Christmas is ignored in the film, Elmo Saves Christmas does not take into account the effect of daily Christmas celebration upon those who do not celebrate Christmas. Presumably Jews, Muslims, and others who do not normally celebrate Christmas would be free to celebrate their respective seasonal holidays and move on. Had the effects of Elmo's wish been allowed to continue, it is doubtless that viewers would witness a complete destruction of all Christian society.

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