Jingle All the Way (no relations to the Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy of the same name) is a Stop Motion animated Hallmark Channel Christmas special made in 2011. The special tells the story of a stray husky pup, Jingle, who bonded with a boy named Andrew, and how the miracle of Christmas brought them together permanently.
It was initially released as a book that accompanies a voice-recognition enabled toy. Newer versions of the toy will respond to certain phrases said by key characters on screen. So yes, this movie is Merchandise-Driven.
A sequel, Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star was released in 2012, and is canonically set one year later. In this special, city girl Sofia and her husky pup Bell moves from Palm City to Pineville. Can she fit in, especially after a freak snowstorm destroys her family's plan to return to Palm City for a Christmas visit?
Tropes present in both specials:
- Animated Adaptation: An adaptation of the book that shipped with the Jingle Interactive Story Buddy plush.
- Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star is adapted from the book of the same name, with a bit of Bell's Big Movenote added in to flesh out Bell and Sofia's back story.
- Merchandise-Driven: All this to tug your heartstrings really hard so you'll end up buying more Jingle and Bell stuff from Hallmark. Not to mention that the special will require you to own a version 2 Jingle Interactive Story Buddy for the full experience since the toy responds to the special (already have version 1? It may still partially work, just that not all the phrases will be recognized).
- The sequel requires you own both a version 2 Jingle and a version 2 Bell for the full experience. See, not only does the toys respond to the special, they also respond to each others' response to the special.
- Pastiche: The animation style is reminiscent of the 70s Rankin/Bass Stop Motion specials. The producers of the specials have gone on record saying that the animation style is a love letter to the claymation Christmas specials produced by the said company.
- Precious Puppies: You'll never look at husky pups the same way again after watching these.
- The Power of Friendship: The underlying premise of the movies.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The special takes place in Pineville. Which Pineville? According to The Other Wiki, there's at least 7 Pinevilles in the United States alone. The sequel, Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star, also has Palm City, which is less ambiguous but still baffling since there are two in the US (one's a neighborhood in San Diego, CA. The other's a city in FL).
Tropes present in Jingle All the Way:
- Adaptation Expansion: The special improves on the book by fleshing out Jingle's back story, and adding a Harmless Villain (or so it seems).
- Harmless Villain: The dog catcher, at least to Jingle.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: In the climax, the dog catcher turns out to be this - he truly just wants to give Jingle shelter and find a home for him. Furthermore, he was just doing his job.
- Pet the Dog: The dog catcher heals the wounded red cardinal in the climax and is revealed to be not as nasty as the narrator implied earlier (see Not Evil, Just Misunderstood above).
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The dog catcher. Extremely brash, but that doesn't mean he really wants to hurt them.
Tropes present in Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star:
- Compressed Adaptation: The special combines both the books Bell's Big Move and Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star, but a whole lot of the former book and minor parts of the latter book were gutted out to ensure that the special will fit into a 24-minute slot.
- Lighter and Softer: Clearly, Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star is this to Jingle All The Way with a complete absence of villains, the only troublemakers here are an ineffectual school bully and a snowstorm.
- Patchwork Story: Combines Jingle and Bell's Christmas Star and the first third of Bell's Big Move.
- Race Against the Clock: After running off to pick up Sofia, the pups and kids have to race back to the town square by 6PM. They make it with barely a second to spare
- Slice of Life