Not as terrible as I expected, but my least favourite of the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials
I say this not because I dislike the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials- I actually love them- but because when people talk about the specials(on IMDb and off) The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold has often been described as their worst. While there is a few I still have to re-watch and while it is not as terrible as others have said, I do have to agree that generally The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold is a lesser effort of theirs. Of course it has its redeeming qualities. I do think the visuals, a mix of conventional animation and stop-motion puppetry, are terrific, with great detail and some good atmosphere. The music is not the most inspired of the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials there is(overall Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer has the best songs), but the scoring has some nice amounts of whimsy and the songs are memorable particularly Christmas in Killarney. Golden Gold of Ireland is also quite rousing. Art Carney does a wonderful job also as Blarney, joining the vast list of big Hollywood names filling the narrator roles for a Rankin/Bass Christmas special. Where The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold doesn't score so favourably is in the story. I do think the length was far too short to begin with, but as well as feeling rushed the whole time, the story does suffer from trying to cram in too much, under-developing what's there and from a lack of heart, feeling too mean-spirited sometimes. While I admired the animation, the camera shot quality on occasions doesn't give us enough time to breathe and really take in what we're seeing. The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold does have some of the least inspired writing of the specials, it lacks the poignancy of Little Drummer Boy, the charm of Frosty the Snowman and the wit of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, in short it just felt too bland and drab. The characters didn't engage me, the banshee is unbearably annoying and the leprechauns are characterised in a very stereotypical and potentially offensive way. Of the voice acting, only Carney really makes an impression, the others don't really distinguish themselves. Overall, didn't hate it but for Rankin/Bass an unfortunate disappointment. A fellow Rankin/Bass fan said that St Patricks Day and Christmas don't mix together and after seeing The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold I can see where he was coming from. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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