One of the great holiday special from the studios of Hanna-Barbera which is a must see around Thanksgiving
On Thursday,November 25, 1972,Hanna-Barbera debuted the half-hour holiday special "The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't",that was originally shown in national syndication through Hanna-Barbera Productions in association with Avco Broadcasting Corporation(which was a subsidiary of Avco-Embassy Pictures Corporation). Produced and Directed by the animated team of William Hanna and Joesph Barbera along with the story idea that was written by the team of Ken Spears and Joe Ruby(who were actually the main writers for a lot of Hanna-Barbera produced cartoons including "The Flintstones","Scooby Doo,Where Are You?",and "Josie and the Pussycats" to name a few). This was a holiday special that reminded everyone that there is always a reason to give thanks at this joyous and precious time of the year. And Hanna-Barbera delivers this beautifully.
Featuring a cast of Hanna-Barbera's best vocal talent which includes the wonderful June Foray(of "Looney Tunes","Merrie Melodies" and "Bullwinkle and Rocky"),the brilliant and innovated Don Messick ("Yogi Bear","The Flintstones","The Jetsons","Jonny Quest","Scooby Doo", and other classic Hanna-Barbera characters),along with Vic Perrin(another great regular of the Hanna-Barbera stockplayers),and Hal Smith (who was the voice of the Owl in the Disney theatrical Winnie the Pooh featurettes,but also was the voice-over for a lot of animated cartoons and was also if you didn't know....Otis Campbell on The Andy Griffith Show),Bobby Riha and another Hanna-Barbera stockplayer John Stephenson along with musical supervision and lyrics by the great Hoyt Curtin.
The story,set in 1621 at the time of the pilgrims landed on the new world,"The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't" is a great story about the joys of friendship that was also full of great excitement and adventure. The story is about Father Squirrel(Vic Perrin),telling his son(voiced by June Foray)about their ancestor Jeremy Squirrel(voiced by Hal Smith)who made friends with a young pilgrim boy named Johnny Cooke,and Little Bear,an Indian boy who was the son of the Indian chief Massasoit. Jeremy helps the boys,who get lost in the woods on the eve of Thanksgiving and are discovered to be missing. The first Thanksgiving feast cannot start without them,and when their friend Jeremy Squirrel hears they are in great danger and peril,he goes on a daring rescue mission to save them. He braves waterfalls and snarling vicious timberwolves to save his friends and succeeds in saving them and Thanksgiving itself. At the end of the story,the little hero is then invited to be the guest of honor at this very special feast as Johnny and Little Bear thank Jeremy for saving their lives.
Since 1972,this holiday special has been shown one or twice annually until the mid-to-late 1980's where it disappeared forever. In 1999,Cartoon Network's sister station Boomerrang re-aired this classic on an annually basis and it is shown twice every Thanksgiving. A must see classic for a whole family from the studios of Hanna-Barbera.
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