Film Advent Calendar – Day 9: Jingle All The Way (1996)

Apologies for the administrative error – we flamingoed up yesterday so we’re going to bring you 9 and 10 today and will be back on track with 11 tomorrow. WGN.


It’s safe to say the no matter the age or sex, everyone wants a TURBOMAN figure. It’s just a shame they are so hard to come by at this time of year. For some parents, though it’s more than a toy and it is a requirement for their child. This is the story of Jingle All The Way. In one of the Arnold Schwarzenegger’s family films produced while he was the ultimate movie star, Jingle All The Way strives to provide a good festive time and some great fun for all.

I think it’s safe to say the film is a guilty pleasure and that many probably don’t like it, but I really do. It’s just so much fun. The plot is relatable about that one you everyone wants and the fear of letting your child down. Arnie plays it perfectly and is so watchable. It’s also amusing seeing a pre-Star Wars Jake Lloyd take on the role of the child desperate for a Turboman doll.

There’s also undertones of relationship breakdown and the will to stay together as can be seen with the relationship between Arnie’s Howard and his wife Liz. Their neighbour Ted seems to be trying to move in on Liz and is presented as the ‘perfect man’ but of course, Arnie wins out. Its layers like this that add more depth than expected and help elevate the film from the others in the crowded genre.

The film isn’t without silliness, especially during the final act and fight. But it all kind of works. We go on a journey with the two desperate father’s and see them reach the edge of how far you can go. It’s just how they handle it. Both Sinbad and Arnie play off each other perfectly and create an almost anti-buddy movie where they need each other while also hating each other.

As a family Christmas film, it just works. It’s fun, has a feel-good vibe and really gets across the festive vibe. It’s a film I can happily watch any time of the year.

Here’s hoping that Santa brings us all Turboman dolls this year.


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