In 1996, M&M's created a commercial that answered the age old question of what would happen if Santa Claus met sentient chocolate. Apparently, he would swoon faster than a Victorian lady accidentally opening the bathroom door on an exposed gentleman. Doubtless many of us would react in the same way if our snacks started talking to us.
The now classic advert was only brief, but still left viewers with a host of pressing questions. Do M&Ms celebrate Christmas? Where were the owners of the house? Do the M&Ms own the house? Can chocolate own property? Key questions and plot points such as these have gone unanswered for over 20 years. Until now.
Armed with a new team of writers, a hugely inflated budget and a greater grasp of computer animation, the powers that be at M&M HQ have finally green lit a sequel. Fans can now get the answers that they have been craving for two decades.
To summarize, the yellow M&M finds himself the sole survivor of the fainting fit that afflicted both round red characters in commercial one. The realisation dawns that it is up to him to deliver the remaining presents to the neighborhood. Dutifully, he sleigh-jacks Santa, and proceeds to fling gifts with reckless abandon into neighboring houses and gardens.
Of course, in an operation as airtight as Santa's, such behaviour does not go unnoticed. Back in the North Pole, a particularly observant elf notes the distinctly un-Clausian appearance of the sleigh's new pilot, before discovering to his horror, that the presents have been delivered to the wrong recipients.
Doing what any good office drone would do, he calls his supervisor to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, Santa is still passed out after suffering from chocolate shock, and does not pick up until it is too late.
As baffled locals wake up to a slew of confusing gifts, the M&M's join Santa on the roof to survey the carnage. People emerge from their homes, wondering around like lost lambs, bewildered and no doubt very angry. Santa turns to Yellow, berating him for the shambles that has unfolded, presumably getting ready to eat him as punishment. The audience holds their breath in anticipation of the peanutty bloodbath to follow.
Unfortunately, it seems as though Yellow's clumsy bumblings have inadvertently helped the neighbors discover the true meaning of Christmas, as they gaily exchange gifts before embracing in a huge onscreen orgy of schmaltz. People hug. People laugh. No M&Ms are eaten alive. After such promise, the ad finishes in crushing disappointment.
Whether "Faint 2" will join the ranks of Christmas advert Hall of Famers like the Coca-Cola Company's "Holidays are Coming" classic, or Sainsbury's more recent World War I centennial tribute, remains to be seen.
Given the lack of snacky violence or answer to the question the original commercial posed about property law and chocolate, it seems highly unlikely. However, for those who like their Christmas ads derivative and bloodless, this sequel could be for you. Very much "Daddy's Home 2", rather than "The Empire Strikes Back". Two stars.