|Brian Levant Director||previously directed The Flintstones|
Arnold Schwarzenegger tries, and fails, to buy a toy for his son in this Christmas tale.
The Christmas parade was filmed at the Universal Studios lot during the month of May.2 More Trivia
|Arnold Schwarzenegger||Howard Langston|
|Phil Hartman||Ted Maltin|
|Rita Wilson||Liz Langston|
|Robert Conrad||Officer Hummell|
|Jake Lloyd||Jamie Langston|
|Jim Belushi||Mall Santa|
|E.J. De La Pena||Johnny|
|Laraine Newman||First Lady|
|See Full Credits|
Jingle All the Way stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as workaholic dad Howard Langston, trying to buy his son a Turbo-Man action figure for Christmas. Opposing him are an insane postman , a posse of Mall Santas, and his next-door neighbor, who is constantly upstaging him as a father.
Howard Langston ( Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a workaholic mattress salesman who constantly neglects both his wife Liz ( Rita Wilson), and his son Jamie (Jake Lloyd). After missing Jamie's karate class, Howard promises to make it up to him by buying him a Turbo-Man action figure for Christmas. Unfortunately for him, Howard forgets about the toy completely until the night before Christmas Eve, when his wife asks him if he had picked it up yet. Thinking he can just pick it up the next day, he lies and says that he picked it up weeks ago.
However, Howard doesn't realize that the Turbo-Man doll is the most popular toy of the Holiday season. In order to not disappoint his family, Howard embarks on an epic quest through the Twin Cities, where he meets fellow father and competing shopper Myron Larabee ( Sinbad) who is also desperately trying to obtain the doll for his own son. After several hours of searching, Howard arrives at the Mall of America, where, after a failed attempt to obtain a Turbo-Man via lottery system, he runs into a Mall Santa ( Jim Belushi) who agrees to help him obtain the doll. As it turns out, the Mall Santa actually is the ringleader of a secret toy distributor, who sell overpriced foreign versions of toys to desperate parents. After calling them out as thieves and con-men, a police raid shuts down the facility, as Howard is able to escape by posing as a undercover police detective, accomplishing nothing.
Later, Howard and Myron cross paths once again while trying to break into a Radio Station, where the DJ ( Martin Mull) is holding a contest to receive a voucher to obtain a Turbo-Man doll. However, both fathers believe that there is an actual doll in the studio, hence the reason for the break-in. After confronting the DJ, both men are nearly arrested by the police who were called in, until Myron pulls out a bomb, allowing both of them to escape. Howard then remembers that is super-dad neighbor Ted ( Phil Hartman) bought a Turbo-Man for his son months ago, and that it is now nestled safely under his tree. While breaking in to the house, Howard is subsequently attacked by the Reindeer that Ted bought for his son. While running through the house attempting to escape, he accidentally sets fire to a statue of Balthasar and kicks it out the window, alerting both Howard and Liz, outside of the house listening to carolers, to his presence.
Attempting to make it up to his family Howard drives to the Christmas parade, which he promised his son he would attend. However, while in the parking lot, Howard accidentally drenches Officer Hummel (Robert Conrad) in coffee, the cop who earlier caused him to be late to his son's karate match and who attempted to arrest him at the radio station. In the ensuing chase, Howard escapes into a warehouse where he is mistaken for the stuntman playing Turbo-Man. As Turbo-Man, Howard is allowed to present a doll to one child in the crowd during the parade, which he uses to get the doll to his son. But before Howard can reveal his identity to Jamie, Myron appears dressed as Dementor, Turbo-Man's arch-rival. During the fight between the two, Howard is able to defeat Myron, still trying to obtain the doll, and save Jamie from falling off a building. However, after Howard reveals his identity to his son, Jamie decides to give the doll to Myron, saying that he has the real Turbo-Man at home. At home, Liz is amazed that Howard went through so much trouble to get the doll for his son. She then asks what he had gotten for her, as Howard realizes that he had completely forgotten about getting a present for his wife.
The film is based on the insane and demeaning things that parents would go through to obtain toys, such as Cabbage Patch Kids. The script was written by Randy Kornfield after witnessing his in-laws attempting to get their son a Power Ranger for Christmas. The script was then re-written by Chris Columbus and accepted by 20th Century Fox, with Brian Levant hired to direct. Arnold Schwarzenegger was quickly cast, after leaving the Planet of the Apes re-make.
The film was generally poorly received by critics, who cited the film's materialistic view of Christmas and Schwarzenegger's wooden performance, as well as the fairly nonexistent plot as reason's for the movies mediocrity.