|“||PUT THAT COOKIE DOWN! NOW!!||”|
— Howard delivering the film's most famous line
Jingle All The Way is a Christmas comedy movie released in 1996, directed by Brian Levant and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad, with Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, James Belushi and Robert Conrad. Inspired by real-life Christmas toy sell-outs for products such as the Cabbage Patch Kids and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the film was written by Randy Kornfield. Producer Chris Columbus of Home Alone fame rewrote the script, adding in elements of satire about the commercialization of Christmas, and the project was picked up by 20th Century Fox. Delays on Fox's remake of Planet of the Apes allowed Schwarzenegger to come on board the film, while Columbus opted to cast Sinbad ahead of Joe Pesci as Myron. The movie was set and filmed in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul at a variety of locations, including the Mall of America. After five weeks filming, production moved to California where scenes such as the end parade were shot. The film's swift production meant merchandising was limited to a replica of the Turbo-Man action figure used in the film.
Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a hard working employee at a mattress company, and is stuck doing extra work on the day his son, Jamie (Jake Lloyd), is earning a new belt in karate. Despite his promise to make it, he runs into trouble with a traffic jam and Officer Alexander Hummel (Robert Conrad), a sadistic cop from hell who forces Howard to do a sobriety test after catching him speeding. Because of all this, Howard ends up missing the karate class. In order to make it up to Jamie, he promises to get him anything he wants for Christmas. What Jamie wants is the immensely popular "Turbo Man" action figure, based on the Saturday-morning live action TV show of the same name. Unfortunately, Howard had promised to buy the action figure earlier in the year and, as is the habit with him, promptly forgotten about it. To add further salt to the wound, his wife Liz (Rita Wilson) informs him that since the action figures are the must-have gifts of the season, they are virtually impossible to find especially this close to Christmas.
Desperate to not disappoint his family again, Howard sets off on a wild goose chase all over Minneapolis-St.Paul to find the doll. At the first store he gets to, he meets Myron Larabee (Sinbad), a post office worker who's looking for the doll too. It is eventually revealed that this is going to be a "no holds barred" scavenger hunt, with lots of shoving, fighting, arguing, and worse. Throughout Howard's quest, the many stores he hits and the chaos that ensues at each one ultimately results in nothing, and at one point he has another run in with Officer Hummell when he accidentally knocks over his police bike. During a stopover at the Mall of America, Howard is lured into buying a doll from a con Santa (Jim Belushi), who is the leader of a large counterfeit toy-making operation. Unsurprisingly, he pays $500 for a Spanish speaking Turbo Man doll that falls apart the moment he opens the package. Angered at being ripped off, Howard accuses the Santas of undermining the values of Christmas and ends up in a brawl with the entire gang. The police show up to bust the ring, and Howard manages to get out of trouble by posing as an undercover cop using a toy badge.
Later, Howard arrives at Mickey's Diner and use's their phone to call home. Jamie answers, and Howard unintentionally scolds him over Turbo Man when he tries to get him to hand the phone to Liz. In turn, Jamie rebukes his father for never keeping his promises and hangs up. Liz overhears the conversation and becomes disappointed in her husband. Howard encounters Myron at the diner, and they attempt to patch things up by sharing their woe stories; Myron explains that when he was young, his father was unable to buy him a Johnny Seven OMA action figure on Christmas. Their conversation is interrupted when they hear on the KQRS radio station that the DJ is holding a Turbo Man competition, and whoever can name all of Santa's reindeer wins the prize! Resuming their rivalry, Howard and Myron barge into the studio (prompting the freaked-out DJ to phone the police) and give the correct answer, only to discover that the prize is just a gift certificate. Enraged, Myron threatens the DJ with a small package which he claims is a mail bomb, but it turns out to be a fake. The cops soon arrive (along with Officer Hummell), and Myron bluffs them into backing off by pulling out a much bigger package and claiming it to be a bomb (unaware that it actually is one). Officer Hummell inspects the package and declares that it is harmless, only for it to explode in his face when he tries to open it.
After returning to the diner to find that his car has been stripped and spray-painted by thieves, Howard decides to give up the search and returns home to explain everything to Liz, only to discover his neighbor Ted (Phil Hartman)(who always seems to be homing in on Liz when he is not around) in HIS house putting HIS star on HIS tree! His blood boiling with anger, Howard exacts revenge by breaking into Ted's house and stealing the Turbo Man doll he bought for his son Johnny. However, he has a change of heart at the last minute as he could not see himself stealing from a child. Before Howard has a chance to replace the doll and escape, he is confronted by Ted's pet reindeer and he unintentionally sets some stuff on fire in the ensuing chaos. This causes Howard to be caught by Ted and a distraught Liz, and they both leave to attend the Holiday Wintertainment Parade with Jamie and Johnny.
Broken, Howard decides to to keep the one promise he can, by making his way to the parade to be with his family. Meanwhile, Ted attempts to make a pass at Liz, only to be hit with a thermos of eggnog after the latter sees who he really is. Upon arriving at the parade, Howard runs into a bandaged Officer Hummell and accidentally drenches him with hot coffee. In the ensuing chase, Howard escapes into a preparations room for the parade where he is mistaken for a replacement for the actor who will play Turbo Man on a parade float. And best of all, he gets the opportunity to pick a child to present a coveted limited-edition Turbo Man doll! Who else does he pick but his own son! But before Jamie recognizes his father, Myron appears dressed as Turbo Man's arch nemesis Dementor (having tied and gagged the real actor) and chases Jamie all around the parade, with the crowd thinking that this is part of the act. Howard does his best to keep up, but has little skill in controlling the Turbo Man suit. In the end, Howard/Turbo Man defeats his nemesis and saves both Jamie and the doll. Jamie is sad that his dad wasn't there to see it...until Howard removes his helmet to reveal his true identity!
Meanwhile, Myron is being hauled off by the police, dismayed by his ultimate failure to retrieve the doll and not giving his son the toy for Christmas. Touched by his words, Jamie gives the doll to Myron and says that he no longer needs it since his father is the REAL Turbo Man! Myron and Howard apologise and become friends, and Howard apologises to a shocked Officer Hummell for everything. Howard is declared a hero and is crowd-surfed away.
At home, Christmas Eve is finally spent right, as the star is mounted on the tree, and everyone's happy. Liz is so happy that Howard was willing to do so much to get a present for Jamie, that it has her wondering what he got for her. The shocked expression on Howard's face tells the whole story. Uh oh!
- The costumed characters seen in the parade include Barbie, a Cabbage Patch Kid, the Cat in the Hat, Ernie and Bert, Gumby, Hello Kitty, Leonardo, Madeline, Paddington Bear, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Sonic the Hedgehog, Snoopy, and the Tick.
TVT Records released the film's soundtrack album on audio CD on November 26, 1996. It features only two of composer David Newman's pieces from Jingle All the Way, but features many of the songs by other artists that are included in the film, as well as other Christmas songs and new tracks by the Brian Setzer Orchestra. The track listing for the soundtrack is as follows:
|1||Jingle Bells||The Brian Setzer Orchestra||2:18|
|2||So They Say It's Christmas||Lou Rawls, The Brian Setzer Orchestra||4:05|
|3||Sleigh Ride||Darlene Love, The Brian Setzer Orchestra||2:36|
|4||Run Rudolph Run||Chuck Berry||2:44|
|5||It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year||Johnny Mathis||2:47|
|6||Merry Christmas Baby||Charles Brown||4:47|
|7||Back Door Santa||Clarence Carter||2:09|
|8||The Christmas Song||Nat King Cole||3:10|
|9||Jingle Bell Rock||Bobby Helms||2:12|
|10||Father and Son||David Newman||3:00|
|12||Deep in the Heart of Xmas||The Brian Setzer Orchestra and Darlene Love||2:52|
On November 3, 2008, Intrada Records released the full score of Jingle All the Way on audio CD as the 80th volume of the Intrada Special Collection album series. The CD was a limited edition of 10,000 units.
|3||Howard & Hummel||1:34|
|4||Turbo Man Commercial||0:32|
|5||Howard & Jamie||3:07|
|6||Abusing the Help||2:08|
|9||Riot in the Workshop||5:27|
|10||Here's To You Dad||2:53|
|11||Music Box Bomb||2:01|
|13||Breaking & Entering||2:57|
|14||Drinking With Reindeer||1:48|
|15||Howard in the Taxi||1:40|
|17||Turbo Tom Marching Band #1||2:05|
|18||Turbo Tom Marching Band #2||2:10|
|20||Howard Saves the Day||5:01|
|21||Rescue Jamie and Finale [Original Version]||4:01|
|22||Turbo Tom Marching Band #1 [With Guitar]||2:05|
|23||Rescue Jamie and Finale [Revised]||3:59|
- Jingle All the Way at the Internet Movie Database
- Jingle All the Way at TV Tropes
- Satirical video review of the film by the Nostalgia Critic (WARNING: Contains foul language.)
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