There was nothing explicitly wrong with Buttons: A Christmas Tale, it could have even been a cute Christmas movie, but there were a few things that made it rather painful to watch.
The movie follows a young orphan girl who is picked up by the nuns and brought to a hospital.
When the girl awakes, an elderly lady reads her a fairytale to cheer her up. The movie then flashes between the fairytale and the girl’s reactions.
In the fairytale, Dick van Dyke plays the role of another young girl’s angel as she goes through her many misfortunes, always appearing when she needs a cheering up.
After many misfortunes leaves the young girl almost destitute and nearly drowned, her angel saves her and places her in the path of a wealthy family mourning the loss of their youngest daughter. This family, the Brownings, takes her in and all her troubles are as nought in the Christmas miracle.
Although there was mention of guardian angels protecting at all times and everyone was at church on Christmas Eve, there was no mention of Christmas being the birthday of Christ.
On another note, the story line was not very strong. It would have been much more satisfying if there had been a little more development with the family that took the little girl in and had some sort of vindication with the villains of the story getting their dues.
Instead, as a viewer, I would have liked to get to know the Brownings a little better and would have been happier if the girl’s horrible aunt had somehow been defeated.
The one thing that really took me out of the narrative and actually made this a pretty bad Christmas movie was the transitions. Many fade outs and fade to blacks with color changes before the transition made the editing feel jarring. There was a little singing and dancing, but it felt rather disjointed. As far as the score goes, the music was not bad.
Although, I must say, the kids enjoyed it and didn't notice that there was anything lacking in it.
Miracle on 34th Street follows a young girl and her struggle to believe in Santa Claus. She is certain that he is a fairytale until he shows up and shatters her confidence.
Is he just a “nice old man with white whiskers” or is he truly Santa Claus?
The question is left to a United States judge when Macy’s sues this Kris Kringle for referring people to other stores for Christmas presents while on the job as a Macy’s Santa. The entire town practically turns out to save the spirit of Christmas and the magic of Santa Claus.
This movie has no mention of the birth of Christ as the focus of Christmas but instead portrays only the commercialism of the holy day.