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Anthony Michael Hall,
This was almost a decade before my time. When I did catch this, I would watch it rarely. In fact, the only one I vividly remember seeing well is Jirimpimbira: An African Folk Tale. I couldn't even recall the first part of that special's title, but I knew it began with a "j" and I had to look for it. I don't even remember any of the specials ever being released individually on VHS, but evidently they really were from the pictures of the VHS covers to some of them displayed on this site. How did I or could I have missed those? My now defunct, local Blockbuster probably had them at the time of their release or they might not had ever been available there. I would have loved to rent them, so I can catch up on the majority of what I missed. Earlier this month, I watched a couple of them on Youtube (The Bunjee Venture and The Bollo Caper) and neither of those seemed familiar to me.
Anyway, this series is similar to CBS Storybreak, in that it featured televised adaptations of kids' books. But the difference is while CBS Storybreak (aside from the live action openings and closings of each episode with a host) featured animated adaptations of those stories only, the ABC Weekend specials featured both live-action and animated adaptations of certain stories. From the research I've done, the latter has had a variety of hosts before eventually settling on the nautical outfit-wearing cat, O.G. Readmore, who appeared in both puppet and cartoon form. Both of these programs encouraged kids to read and develop a love for literature. Of the two aforementioned shows, CBS Storybreak has always been the more familiar one to me, as it's the one I saw more often. I always thought it could be because it aired more often whereas ABC Weekend Specials aired less frequently and were done so more sporadically, or I just wasn't able to catch that if and whenever I tried, I don't know for sure. I can't or don't even recall if any episodes were ever even repeated. They probably may not have been, I think, because otherwise I would've been able to catch and remember more. Another thing of interest about this show is that some of the characters are recurring ones and some, particular specials received sequels, and holiday specials. But I don't favor one show over the other, as I like them both equally, from the ones I viewed so far online.
The only thing left I have to say is this is high quality, television entertainment and how more shows like this should be done: Memorable story lines, characters, etc. None of the mindlessness that's unfortunately plaguing the majority of the airwaves today. Definitely one of the best. It hasn't been nominated for nor won any Emmy or Annie awards, but it should have. Very commendable.
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