“So they make it back and when everybody hears their story, they start to realize… maybe they were a little hard on the misfits. Maybe misfits have a place, too.”
My mother loves Christmas. Not for any religious reasons – my family has pretty much always been a bunch of godless heathens. But because it’s a family holiday. Because it means time spent together, and the opportunity to express how much you care about those you love. I’ve always had a loving family, for which I count myself lucky. And one memory I always associate with Christmas is that old stop-motion Rudolph movie, where Rudolph meets an elf who wants to be a dentist and goes on all sorts of strange adventures.
The movie’s pretty great, actually – it’s whimsical and endearing and clearly made with a great deal of heart. But at the center of a movie that with every fiber of its existence wants to stress the importance of being together with those you love, the main characters find themselves visiting a strange place that threatens the exact opposite – the Island of Misfit Toys. On this frozen, forbidding rock, toys gather that have been rejected by the world – toys that don’t fit into the roles they’ve been assigned, toys that fail to live up to their owners’ expectations. Though strange and laden with melancholy, these toys end up gathering together in the wilderness, making a family of their own and awaiting the day the world will accept them once again.