Anyone piqued, appalled, or otherwise puzzled by the offbeat Christmas tune that elbows its way onto the airwaves each year will be pleased to know there's now a movie-length explanation for the tale of gratuitous granny-bashing. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
, an animated feature produced for video, puts everything straight: Grandma Spankenheimer, a universally adored shopkeeper in the bustling town of Cityville, is the victim of a Christmastime conspiracy masterminded by Cousin Mel, her money-grubbing granddaughter. When Grandma refuses to sell her store to Austin Bucks, the local fat cat, Mel, determined to make a fortune, poisons a batch of the silver-haired do-gooder's famous fruitcakes with reindeer nip, thus causing Rudolph and company to crash into her while making their Christmas Eve rounds. Soon there's an APB out on Santa, named the culprit of a hit-and-run and possible kidnapping (Grandma, nowhere to be found, is sidelined with a nasty case of amnesia in the North Pole). For kids 6 and older, this video's smirkiness isn't likely to overshadow its somewhat convoluted message about the holiday spirit, but in grownups what resounds is not the anti-greed and goodwill sentiments but the degree to which society has slunk into cynicism since the Grinch's heyday. Gary Chase serves up a spirited rendition of the title tune plus a handful of other nifty, off-the-wall Yuletide nuggets. --Tammy La Gorce
Based on the hit song that became a worldwide holiday phenomenon, GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER is a wild and wacky episode the will knock you off your fee! When his beloved Grandma appears to be missin on Christmas Eve, young Jake Spankenheimer goes on a misadventure of a lifetime to try to prove that Santa is indeed real. With his spirit, smarts and determination, Jake must outmaneuver his greedy cousin Mel and the powerful businessman Austin Bucks to the disbelief of this doting parents, rebellious sister and goofy Grandpa. All the while, it is up to Jake to save Santa from a fretful fate.