30 Feminist Christmas Movies, Ranked

16 of 31

Jingle All The Way, Screencap via 20th Century Fox

Jingle All The Way

In this 90’s classic, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Howard, a working dad who spends more time at his mattress shop than he does with his son Jamie. When Howard misses an important event for Jamie, he decides to make up for it by getting Jamie the one thing he really wants for Christmas, a Turbo-Man action figure. The only problem is that Turbo-Man is virtually unavailable, as it is incredibly popular that year. Howard strikes up a rivalry with Myron, another dad trying to get the same gift, and Ted, the super-dad who lives next door. After Howard dukes it out with every other American parent, his son ends up helping him understand the true meaning of Christmas.

The Good

  • Jamie, the little boy, shows compassion and emotional understanding at the end of the movie when, instead of copying his dad’s selfish and Machiavellian antics, he gives up the toy he desperately wanted for another kid. It’s a brief departure from the caveman cage-fighting stuff that the rest of the movie is made of. But that’s the best I could come up with.

The Bad

  • Poor Rita Wilson. As the single delegate from the female gender, Liz is very…Jamie’s mother. That’s her whole purpose. So I can’t give any points to this movie for characterization.
  • Also, there’s huge stereotype of dads/men being thoughtless and forgetful. After the whole ordeal with Turbo-Man, post credits, there’s a Christmas morning scene in which – gasp! – Howard forgot to buy his wife a gift! Literally. He forgot his son and his wife. Who is this joker?
  • Commercialism.

The Ugly

  • The toxic masculinity is straight up overwhelming. First, you have Turbo-Man, the GI Joe-esque figurine who exudes toxic masculinity. Then, you have Howard physically overwhelming and overpowering people to get his hands on this toy. You have the rivalry between Howard and Marlon, in which two dudes try to prove their worth as dads/men. Finally, to tie it all together, you have Howard ending up dressed as Turbo-Man, physically fighting Marlon, dressed as his arch nemesis Dementor. Like, a literal superhero battle. Um. Gross.