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T'was the Day Before Christmas (1993)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Mona Marshall ...
Rusty (voice)
Shane Margolis ...
(voice)
Jan Rabson ...
(voice) (as Stanley Gurd Jr.)
Dan Smith ...
(voice)
Jan Carole ...
(voice)
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christmas | See All (1) »

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Animation

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1993 (USA)  »

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Follows Which Witch Is Which (1984) See more »

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Celebrate Christmas the Critters Way.
20 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Twas the day before Christmas, and all through Chucklewood, spirits were high and feelings are good. Now some of you readers may say, "hold on, you weird reviewer guy. This is a Christmas special, why review it in July?" I say this special can be enjoyed any time of year, and with just 5 months, Christmas is already near. Back to the story that is going to be told, let's see what fun adventures there are to behold. Buttons and Rusty, the lovable bear and fox, head outside via their toy box, and have fun sledding in the snow, only they crash into a big clump of it, wouldn't you know. Pushing the sled up hill to have another go, they see a reminder from at least 1 Christmas ago: the Christmas Tree Train, now that rings a bell. Another wonderful holiday special you should watch as well. The kids see mysterious foot prints in the snow. Who made those tracks, they wanted to know. But back to the snow, how to clear it away? Suddenly Buttons and Rusty see something that makes their day: a pedal- powered snow-plow, built by Abner. But when the kids try it out, they take off like an airliner. They crash it and smash it, what a wreck, running over a mysterious, over-dressed man. What the heck? They go to visit Ranger Jones, only to see, that he's gone home to visit his family. Rusty picks up a card that fell from the mail box, and the picture of Santa, tree and presents inspired the young fox. They should celebrate a traditional Christmas here in Chucklewood, they set off to make plans, fast as they could.

First, to find a tree, with their friends Skipper and Bluebell. Unfortunately, in the one they liked, a timid mouse did dwell. As they found another, wedged on a hill, they see a sight that gives them a chill. That strange, over-coated monster we saw from before, he gives away his identity through exposition, something I abhor. Show, don't tell. You're a cartoon, showing is what you do well. It's old Lester Gator, wandering in the snow, probably because he has nowhere else to go. But anyway, back to the Critters' Christmas celebration at hand, let's see what else Buttons and Rusty have planned. They still need that tree, which looks very nice. They get it uprooted, but it falls on the ice. Chasing it on their sled and using a rope Rusty lassos it like cattle, just as they come upon something to make their nerves rattle: a waterfall, and off it they go. More crashing, thrashing and flying through snow, the tree landed safely, wouldn't you know? Decorations were needed, all critters pitched in, making things the critters' way. All the while, Lester Gator keeps scaring critters half to death. He wonders why. Dude, it's not your breath. Take off that mask, you silly fool. Then you won't look like an Eskimo ghoul. But after yet another sled mishap, the mask comes off and the kids see a friendly old chap. Lester, who they met in The Honeybunch, came up to visit his friends, not have them for lunch. That night, the celebration commenced, it was a spectacular show, and some fireflies courtesy of Lester, made their tree glow. The gang was all here, to celebrate and spread lots of cheer. When suddenly, who comes wandering up do they see? Why it's their human pal Jonesy. He couldn't stay away. In Chucklewood Park is where he wanted to spend his Christmas Day. So everything worked out, all loose ends were tied. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Rhyming aside, which was a challenge for this review, I have to say this special was...alright. The only problem is all of Buttons and Rusty's critter pals are not interesting, especially Skeeter that pessimistic mouse. And the revelation that the monster was a friend in disguise came too early. It should've waited until the end, and not been exposited so soon. Other than that, there isn't much plot, but kids will love it. Still not as good as the '80s specials, and as for Jonesy's cameo, I guess they couldn't do a Chucklewood special without him, but he could've just as well sat this one out. So anyway, if you like Buttons and Rusty and want to see all their adventures, you might as well add this one to your list.


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