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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It was to be Pinocchio's first Christmas. He was looking forward to it,
but not so much Geppetto, for he had to make out his Christmas list. He
hadn't any idea what to get anybody. It wouldn't make any difference
anyhow because he didn't have any money, so he pawned his shoes for a
few coppers which he used to buy Pinocchio an early gift: an arithmetic
book. Pinocchio wasn't all too thrilled with the book so he took it
back to the book merchant and got the money back. He was going to use
it to buy Geppetto a real nice gift when who should drop (litterly) in
but Fox and Cat, those conniving thieves who always spell trouble for
Pinocchio. The Fox informs him that they had just fallen from Heaven
where they had been told by angel for Pinocchio to plant his coins in
the ground, which would grow into a beautiful Christmas tree covered in
silver and gold coins. Pinocchio believed them and planted his coins.
But as soon as he left, Fox and Cat dug them up. When Pinocchio
returned, he was disappointed to see that his tree had not grown, and
his coins were missing. So to earn money for Geppetto's gift, he got a
job with a shady, flamboyant puppeteer, Maestro Fire-Eater. Pinocchio
performed under the name Sir Larry Olivetree. A marionette without
strings really drew a crowd. Pinocchio soon found himself attracted to
an inanimate marionette named Julietta.
Pinocchio was mortified to learn that Maestro planned to change Julietta's entire appearance and turn her into one of the three wise men. So, Pinocchio crept away, taking Julietta with him. They eluded the authorities and escaped into the Forest of Enchantment, which was deemed haunted. Once there, Pinocchio told the inanimate Julietta about how his life began: he used to be a tree in that forest, until one day he was cut down and sold to Old Mr. Cherry the carpenter, who became freaked out when he discovered his wood talking to him. So he gave the block of wood to his friend Geppetto who carved it into a marionette, who claimed its name was Pinocchio. Geppetto took Pinocchio in as his son. Back to the present day, Fox and Cat discover Pinocchio. He tells them he wished Julietta could be alive like he was. Fox tells him to head far north to find some medicine, Essence of Back-to-Life-Idine, that should do the trick. But then, the two were scared off by what appeared to be a ghost. It was actually Lady Ezora, the good fairy. She planted the seed from which Pinocchio originally grew. He tells her all that's happened to him, and all because he wanted to buy Geppetto a Christmas present. Lady Ezora tells him the best gifts come from the heart, so Pinocchio raced home. Lady Ezora sent along a cricket to be his conscience. Apparently the cricket used to be Pinocchio's conscience, but they never got along and so he walked. Or rather, hopped.
En route, Fox and Cat once again lead Pinocchio astray. They tell him to take the next sleigh to the North Pole and to seek Santa Claus. Unfortunately, Fox and Cat had made a deal with the sinister sleighdriver, who whisked Pinocchio not to the North Pole but rather to the Duke's mansion. The Duke had wanted a special toy to give to his children, and a talking, stringless marionette seemed to fit the bill. So Pinocchio was wrapped and placed under the tree. The Duke was a very busy man, but he set aside three whole minutes to spend with his children that night. His Lordship gets a real lesson in the joy of giving and agreed to spend a lot more than three minutes with his family. As for Pinocchio and cricket, how would they get home in time for Christmas? Santa Claus and his sleigh to the rescue! Pinocchio returns home to Geppetto, and soon Lady Ezora and Julietta, now all living, stop by! Pinocchio had truly learned an important lesson in generosity and love throughout this whole ordeal and he was to remember it during all the catastrophes he would endure throughout the course of his life and someday...Someday he might become a real boy. But until then, they would live one day at a time and had a very merry Christmas.
Pinocchio's Christmas, from Rankin/Bass. This was the first AniMagic cartoon special of the '80s. Rankin/Bass entertained the world with the many AniMagic Christmas specials made in the '60s and '70s, but by the '80s, they started to wind down. Mostly because I think they ran out of decent stories. Pinocchio's Christmas seemed a tad weak, as did the characters. Then in 1981 came The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold, which was also pretty weak and finally in 1985, the very last Rankin/Bass AniMagic Christmas special, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, came out. It contradicted every other Santa Claus story of theirs and was weak to say the least; For Pinocchio's Christmas, George S. Irving (Heat Miser) is Geppetto, Bob McFadden is the cricket, Allen Swift is Fox, Alan King is Maestro and Todd Porter is Pinocchio. Unfortunately Alan King passed away in 2004 and Bob McFadden passed away in 2000. Anyway, this Christmas, if you're looking for something nice to watch and you're a fan of Rudolph and Frosty and all those guys, then I recommend you check out Pinocchio's Christmas! The kids will love it. Knock on wood!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Four young boys are building a snowman, while singing "Frosty the
Snowman". Then the boy in the yellow hat presents a magic hat that will
go atop Frosty's head. The boy in the red hat warns him not to put the
hat on Frosty, because he will come to life and kill them. Apparently a
similar situation happened to his sister in Minnesota. They choose not
to listen to him and put the hat on Frosty anyway. And he does come to
life. He sprouts tentacles and turns into a snowman monster. Right
away, Frosty kills Kenny, the fat kid with the blue hat. The remaining
boys run for help and run into jolly old St. Nick himself. But it
didn't take them long to realize this wasn't the real Santa Claus. What
gave it away was Santa sprouted tentacles and turned into Frosty. He
kills Cartman, the boy in the orange parka. Red hat kid and yellow hat
kid are left. Red hat kid blames his friend for what happened because
now there would be no Christmas and there was nobody left to help them.
"Oh Christ", exclaims his friend. That was the answer! Jesus! They race
to the Nativity Scene and ask Jesus Christ for help. The yellow hat kid
accidentally says the F-word in front of Him, but Jesus jumped from the
manger and headed to face the killer snowman. He removed His halo and
tossed it at Frosty, knocking off the magic hat, rendering Frosty
lifeless. He falls apart and is nothing more than three big balls of
snow. Jesus returns to the manger. The two boys are glad that whole
ordeal was over. The yellow hat kid had really learned the true spirit
of Christmas that day: Christmas wasn't about Frosty or Santa, or even
Jesus. It was about presents. So they decided to go home and search
their parents' rooms for their presents.
Well, The Spirit of Christmas, a.k.a Jesus vs. Frosty, the very first animated short in the cannon of South Park. The four kids from South Park are present here, except here Kenny is Cartman and Cartman is Kenny, and Kyle has a yellow beenie rather than his more familiar green hat. I saw the 1995 Spirit of Christmas last year where Jesus fought Santa Claus, and I always wondered what the earlier one where Jesus fought Frosty was like, so I downloaded it today. The animation quality was pretty poor and the cartoon on the whole was pretty disturbing, but it all depends on what your tastes are. I thought it was alright. It was about what I expected. I think I liked the 1995 Spirit of Christmas better, but this one was okay too. Trey Parker is the voice of the red hat kid, the kid in the orange parka, and Santa Claus. Matt Stone is the kid in the yellow hat and the fat kid in the blue hat. Trey and Matt made this back in 1992, I'm not sure why, probably just for fun, and then they were asked three years later to remake it as a Christmas card for celebrities. But anyway, in conclusion, if you'd like to see how South Park really began and if you can find it, I recommend you check out The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Frosty. It's not for everyone, but if you like South Park, then this is for you! See it today! And, Merry Christmas!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Today was a very special and fateful day. It was February 2: Groundhog
Day. News reporters from all around gathered at the hole of Pardon-Me-
Pete the Groundhog. This was indeed a fateful day because if Pete casts
a shadow and is afraid of it, the world would be in for six more weeks
of winter. Well, Pardon-Me-Pete stepped out of his hole, cast a shadow,
and was indeed afraid of it and ran back inside. But how could he cast
a shadow on a day like today with no sun? Back down in his home,
Pardon-Me-Pete tells that it was not in fact his shadow, but a magic
shadow cast by Jack Frost, the mystic sprite who creates snow and ice.
Pete tells us the story of how at one time, many, many years ago, Jack
Frost became human. Not to mention the reason Jack Frost helped out
Pardon-Me-Pete with the shadow routine: six more weeks of winter for
Frost, and six more weeks of shut-eye for Pete. The story begins long,
long ago in a tiny village called January Junction. Mama and Papa, the
pumpkin peasants, were busy harvesting pumpkins. This particular family
was very poor, except for one copper kaputnik Papa managed to hide from
that greedy, sinister ruler Kubla Kraus, king of the Karsecks. Well
instantly, Kubla rode up on his mechanical horse Claimstomper and stole
Papa's kaputnik. But all was not lost, for soon they received a visit
from Jack Frost, which meant snow and ice, which also meant...Ice
Cutting coins from icicles created ice money. For the entire duration of winter, the village was rich with ice money. (I wish we had a system like that). Nobody could see Jack Frost, but he liked to mingle with the townsfolk anyhow. He even used his magic powers to save the life of Elisa, the daughter of Mama and Papa, who was inches away from going over a water fall on a block of broken ice. She was actually in love with Jack Frost and, as soon as he heard, returned home to the clouds to see the ruler of it all: Father Winter. Jack told him he wanted to be human. Father Winter reluctantly agreed, and so Jack Frost could be human until the first day of spring, unless he were to accumulate four basic human necessities: a house for shelter, a horse, a bag of gold, and a wife, then he would be human forever. So Jack said goodbye to his friends: snowflake maker Snip, snow gypsy Holly, the hail persons, sleet sisters, and the rest, and then he headed for Earth and immediately ran into Elisa. He identified himself as Jack Snip, the tailor. Elisa brought him home to meet the family. The next day was Christmas day, and they really saved money on presents here, because they passed around one imaginary gift and each recipient imagined it to be the gift they had always wanted; Father Winter made Snip and Holly human also so they could keep an eye on Jack. Snip identified himself as Fernando Leonardi Dopopolopolis. That same day, a handsome young knight named Sir Ravenaugh stopped by, looking for a tailor to mend his cape. Elisa fell head over heels for him; Jack learns that obtaining a house, horse and gold would be difficult since Kubla Kraus owns all of them and wasn't about to give any of them up. Jack decided he had to over throw Kraus.
Meanwhile, Kubla Kraus set his sights on Elisa and, using his metal puppet and alter ego Dommy, managed to unsuccessfully woo her. He takes her back to his castle atop an icy, snowy mountain. He and his friends raced to Elisa's rescue. Now that he was human, Jack Frost had a harder time handling ice; Sir Ravenaugh rescued Elisa, while Jack, Snip and Holly were captured by Kubla Kraus' army of metallic knasty knights: Knute, Knick, Knorman, Knathan and the rest. They were imprisoned in Kraus' dungeon. They then overheard his plan to send 1,000 knights into January Junction and ransack the place. Jack had to do something, so he gave up his humanity to become Jack Frost again and cast a very fierce snow storm upon the town, keeping Kraus and his knights snowed in. And it worked. Until February when winter would have to end, depending on whether or not a groundhog was frightened by his shadow. Jack Frost made sure that he was, so winter would carry on another six weeks. But by April, winter definitely had to end, but Jack wanted another chance to be human. Father Winter granted it, until 12:00 noon. Jack raced to Kraus' castle and, imitating Dommy, managed to command the knights down the ice slope on the hill and become a heaping junk pile at the bottom. Father Winter makes short work of Kubla Kraus by blowing him away. Jack now had Kraus' castle, horse and gold for himself, but he needed a bride: Elisa, who at that moment was marrying Sir Ravenaugh! So, Jack Frost became his old shadow again and went back into the clouds...Until next winter.
Well, Jack Frost, another AniMagic hit from Rankin/Bass. The irreplaceable Buddy Hackett stars Pardon-Me-Pete Groundhog, our storyteller. Robert Morse is Jack Frost, Paul Frees is Kubla Kraus/Father Winter and Dommy, Larry Storch is Papa, and Don Messick is Snip. Other voices include Dee Stratton, Sonny Melendez and Debra Clinger. Too bad Buddy Hackett passed away in 2003. He was one of the best in his field. Paul Frees passed away in 1986, another best in his field. This story is very clever, especially with the mechanical characters. And the ice money. They should do that in real life. But anyway, when it comes on TV, check out Jack Frost! It's another glorious Christmas hit from the guys who brought dolls to life! Jack Frost, the icy man with a warm heart. I recommend it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Christmas eve night, as Santa Claus took off in his sleigh, pulled by
his eight reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid,
Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. But there was one
unsung hero at the North Pole most people don't know about: Santa's
donkey. He helps pull toy carts from the workshop to the sleigh. His
name was Spieltoe. He reflects on the tale of Rudolph and how he
managed to guide Santa's sleigh in the midst of that awful fog, but has
a tale of his own to tell about his ancestor that was, in a way, a
major contributor to the Nativity Scene. The donkey statue in the setup
did not look right, but sure enough the elves made another one. This
one had long, dropping ears. A spitting image to Spieltoe's ancestor,
Nestor, the long-eared Christmas donkey. His tale begins many, many
years ago in a stable owned by a horrible, cruel old man called Olaf.
Nestor was born with very long ears. They would get him into all sorts
of trouble. He would always trip over them, causing all the other
barnyard animals to laugh and make fun of him. His mother was probably
the only soul in the world who cared for him. But, one night a year
around Christmas time, the animals have a celebration and all are happy
and merry. They're nice to Nestor on this night. But little did they
know the dangerous that would soon be in store for them.
Later that night, some Roman guards burst into the stable, looking for some work animals for the Emperor. They grab a hand full of sheep, pigs, and donkeys, paying Olaf handsomely for each. They even grabbed Nestor, but when they learned about his big ears, they tossed him back, figuring Olaf was trying to swindle them so they took back the money but kept the animals, and stormed off. Olaf was furious with Nestor and threw him out into the ice cold night. Nestor's mother broke free from her pen and went after Nestor. The temperature dropped rapidly that night, but Nestor's mother and his ears kept him warm. Nestor survived the cold, but sadly, his mother did not. Sad and alone, Nestor trudged through the woods until he came upon a cherub named Tilly. She was basically a guardian angel for animals. She told Nestor to go to Bethlehem. He arrived in town and went to a stable with a bunch of other donkeys and waited. Waited for what? He didn't know. Before long, in came a young couple, Joseph a carpenter, and his wife Mary, who was with child. They were looking to purchase a donkey. They chose Nestor. The dealer wanted a pretty penny for him, but after hearing about Joseph and Mary's predicament, she was pregnant and there was no room at any of the inns, he let them have Nestor for nothing.
Nestor brought Joseph and Mary to a stable, because that's where he grew up and he knew it was the perfect place to stay. Before long, Mary's baby was born and shepherds and peasants from all around gathered at the stable to see the newborn king. Nestor returned to Olaf's farm and to his surprise, he was welcomed with open arms (in some cases hooves), by all the barnyard animals as well as Olaf. They no longer made fun of his long ears and because of his good deed with Joseph, Mary, and the newborn king, Nestor had finally earned the respect he deserved; Back to the present, Spieltoe, Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves begin singing Nestor's praises around the Nativity Scene.
I thought this was a pretty good Animagic cartoon. It was on television last night during ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas block. They always show the best classic vintage Rankin/Bass Christmas specials; Roger Miller voices Spieltoe and our narrator, Brenda Vaccaro is Tilly, and the legendary Paul Frees is Olaf and the Bethlehem donkey dealer. Roger Miller and Paul Frees have passed away, but Brenda Vaccaro is still alive. You may recognize Roger Miller's voice from Robin Hood. And Paul has done numerous voices for nearly all the Rankin/Bass animated specials. This special is in many ways like Disney's Dumbo, because Dumbo and Nestor have long ears that prove useful in the end, and it's a lot like Bambi, because Nestor loses his mother too. So anyway, if you're looking for something to watch this Christmas in addition to Rudolph, Frosty, Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Ernest Saves Christmas, The Grinch, then I recommend you check out Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. It's funny, it's sad, but still entertaining. It will most likely air a few times again before Christmas, so check it out, won't you?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Meet Kevin Franklin, a down and out wily con. All his life he had been
told by his peers that he would be nothing. Kevin figured that by now
he'd at least be a millionaire and driving a Porsche. Well the
clunking, compact junker he drove hardly compared to a Porsche and he
was a million dollars short of being a millionaire. Rather than get a
job, Kevin tried numerous get-rich-quick schemes. One of them included
buying the entire 1994 season baseball cards. He was also in debt to
the Mob. He was $50,000 in the hole and when Pauly and Joey Gasperini
came to collect the money, they were very angry to hear Kevin didn't
have it. So they gave him one more day. Kevin used that to try and
escape by fleeing the country. Pauly and Joey caught him at the
airport, of course. So Kevin made a run for it. He then ran into a man
named Gary Young, his son Jason and daughter Sarah, who were awaiting
an old friend of Gary's, whom he hasn't seen in 25 years: Derek Bond.
Kevin quickly assumed the identity of Derek and left with the Youngs,
but first he had to detour the real Derek Bond who arrived shortly
after; Kevin came home with the Youngs and met Gary's stressed out
wife, Emily, and their Goth teenage girl Brooke.
Kevin slowly learned about the man he was portraying. He got down everything except his profession, which he learned at a fancy dinner party that night: Derek Bond is a dentist; Kevin wore a suit from a bag he just grabbed off of baggage claim. Unfortunately it was a suit from a funeral home and had the initials GFH (Groverton Funeral Home) on the front pocket. Kevin had to keep making up titles and statements that the initials stood for; Kevin also managed to bring some life into the party when it came to wine sipping. The next day, Gary brought Kevin to the country club where he would be taking in a game of golf with his family dentist, Dr. Ron Timmerman, and Gary's boss, Mr. Pike. It was then that Kevin saw Pauly and Joey enter the club looking for him. Apparently their boss, Happy Marcelli wasn't too happy that he didn't get his money. So, to speed things up, Kevin introduced the concept of "speed golf". It was loads of fun until, when speeding around the course in a golf cart, Mr. Pike fell out and ruptured a tooth. They rushed him to the clinic where "Derek Bond D.D.S" was expected to perform the tooth removal procedure. With luck on his side, Kevin pulled it off, or rather pulled it OUT; Kevin knew he couldn't keep lying to these people forever and he wanted to get back to his old life, but he found it hard to leave. Especially with Pauly and Joey after him.
There was constant tension and friction in this family. Gary and Emily always fought, and Brooke was so depressed with life. Especially when her boyfriend Steve started cheating on her. Kevin was able to console her as well as convince Steve to make amends...By parking his Jeep on the railroad tracks. Not only that, but Kevin gave Gary newfound courage to stand up to his boss and subsequently lose his job. It all had to do with the fact that Gary's firm got a frozen yogurt account and Emily just happened to be in the yogurt business. It would only make for further and fiercer fights. But unfortunately, Pauly and Joey found out where Kevin had been staying so Gary, Emily and Kevin return home to find the family taken hostage. Not to mention, the REAL Derek Bond was there too. It was then that Kevin confessed everything. Gary felt really hurt. Pauly and Joey take Kevin away, and since the real Derek Bond was a real snob, Gary and the family race after the mob to save their old friend; Kevin managed to elude the cons in the 5K jogathon, which he and Gary quickly took part in. But in the end, they were cornered. That's when Kevin remembered a winning Lotto ticket he had gotten the previous day. It wasn't a direct winner but it gave the recipient a chance to go on The Big Spin. He gave the ticket to Pauly and Joey. Epilogue: Happy Marcelli and his men were out $50,000, and Kevin wrote a book on how to be a good house guest which brought him the fame and fortune he deserved. He invited his friend Larry the tattoo artists and the Youngs over for a big Christmas BBQ. He and Gary sing a medley of Christmas songs with food.
Houseguest is a good movie. It's funny. Sinbad is hilarious! See First Kid, Jingle all the Way and Good Burger too. He's a riot. Phil Hartman is good too. He was such a great actor. Unfortunately he was murdered by his psychopathic wife in 1998. He is missed to this very day. Ron Glass of TV's Barney Miller is here as the real Derek Bond D.D.S., Jeffrey Jones, the degenerate pervert, is here as Ron Timmerman. Mason Adams is Mr. Pike, and he unfortunately passed away earlier this year. Stan Shaw is Larry, and fans of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood will recognize Don Brockett as Happy Marcelli and Chuck Aber as the Big Spin Host! Sadly, Brockett passed away in 1995. But anyway, if you like Sinbad and Phil Hartman or movies of this genre, then Houseguest is YOUR movie! Check it out, won't you? It's a laugh riot when Kevin Franklin's in da HOUSE!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining, the Witzel birds were
whistling. It was truly a happy day. Even the Grinch was happy this
morning! He awakened with a smile on his face, and a song in his heart.
He was whistling, he even showered. Which is rare for a Grinch. It
seemed as though he had totally redeemed himself, until he consulted
himself in the mirror that his conscience put him in his place: he was
a Grinch. Unhelpful, unkind, unkeen, unfriendly, unclean. It was not a
good day, it was a frightful day! The Grinch was then sent out to prove
himself worthy. He jumps into his car, chokes some Witzel birds with
his exhaust then goes looking for any poor sap to be his victim of
mischief; The Cat in the Hat was preparing for a picnic. He packed up
his picnic basket, put on a red and white striped hat, jumped into his
car and headed out into the country. He stopped at the perfect place
and set up. Unfortunately his picnic ended before it even began because
at that moment the Grinch drove by and found the road blocked by the
Cat's car. The Cat in the Hat quickly apologized and gathered up his
belongings. He then made a fateful mistake and called the Grinch
As the Cat in the Hat drove back home, the Grinch angrily followed him. Luckily Cat was able to elude him and make it safely within the confines of his own home. He relaxed onto his back porch singing a song about 'relaxification' when suddenly his voice came out sounding very different. It sounded scrambled like a fast recording. What was this? It was all the work of The Grinch who awaited the Cat inside his house. He presented him with his latest invention: the Acousticle Antiaudial Bleeper, or the Vacusound Sweeper. It takes in any kind of noise, scrambles it around and sends it back out sounding very different. He took away the cows' mooing so now they said nothing. He could take any sound in the world and change it into anything he wanted. With that, he and his new monstrosity left the Cat's house and headed back to the Grinch's laboratory where he had built his version of a lighthouse: a dark house. It shoots rays of darkness across the land. It's so effective that one cannot see a mitten in front of his face. The Grinch used this new dark house to further terrorize the Cat in the Hat.
After a while, the Cat just couldn't take this anymore. He wondered why the Grinch did all those nasty things. There must be something psychological to it all. So he decided to play psychiatrist and ask the Grinch questions about his childhood. Apparently he struck a nerve when he mentioned the Grinch's mother. The Cat decided to make a house-call, so he jumped in his car and headed for the Grinch's house. Of course, the Grinch did everything to complicate this by shining his dark house into the Cat's path, following it up with rays of pink. The Cat's car crashed, so he seeked refuge in a café. Of course there was no hiding from the Grinch's evil creations. He put the entire café in an uproar by scrambling everybody's sounds and really got the place jumping by scrambling objects and people too. All the while, the Cat tried to think of a way to break and reform the Grinch. There must be a soft spot. There must be a weakness. It was then that it hit him! He rounded the restaurant staff and headed over to the Grinch's house, where they all began singing a sad song about his mother. It actually touched The Grinch! He was actually crying! He then decided to deconstruct his evil creations, and start anew. So the next morning the Grinch was in a very happy mood again, and when he consulted himself in the mirror, his conscience tried putting him in his place again, until his dog Max turned the Vacusound Sweeper full on to the Grinch's conscience.
This was another very good Dr. Seuss animated special. I remember watching it when I was very young. I just came across the video not long ago. It isn't really a sequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas or even It's Grinch Night, or even a sequel to The Cat in the Hat. Finally, two of Dr. Seuss' most popular characters meet. It has fantastic results. Mason Adams voices The Cat in the Hat, and unfortunately he passed away in early 2005. Tragic; Bob Holt is The Grinch, and he unfortunately passed away in 1985. The good die young it seems. Frank Welker is here too, as is Joe Eich. Dr. Seuss, Ted Geisel, himself worked on this, as well as Looney Tunes genius Friz Freling! If you're a fan of Dr. Seuss, and you like The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat, then this animated special is for you! The Grinch in this one is different than the one in Stole Christmas and Grinch Night. In those, he was depicted as a hermit who lived in the hills whereas here, he's more civilized. He has a house and a car and stuff. So check out The Cat in the Hat Gets Grinched, or The Grinch Grinches The Cat in the Hat today! It will bring back fond memories and show the Grinch really does have a big heart underneath all his evil. I recommend it. See it today, won't you?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Our story begins in Switzerland at the Alpen Hotel, where the staff was
eagerly awaiting the arrival of world renown singer and operetta
composer Victor Albert. Edward, adviser to Albert, personally oversaw
preparations. Also arriving in town that day were Stan Laurel and
Oliver Hardy, two inept mousetrap salesmen. It was Stan's idea to come
to Switzerland to sell mousetraps because it's where cheese comes from.
Well, they get into a slap fight with their first customers, then
decide to try selling mousetraps to the local cheese factory. They give
a demonstration and the proprietor is pleased. He buys their whole
business for 5,000 Bovarian Francs. Stan and Ollie decide to live it up
at the Alpen Hotel café. They are obnoxiously rude to the chef because
he has no apple pie. When Ollie attempted to pay with the 5,000
Bovarian Francs, he learns they are no good. Anywhere. Bovaria doesn't
even exist. So now the boys were forced to work for the bitter chef.
They were put to work washing dishes and for every dish they broke,
they had to work an extra day. From the looks of things, they were
going to be here a very, very long time.
Victor Albert arrives at the hotel and composes a lovely new song about crickets. That's when his wife and fellow world renown singer, Anna Albert, arrived. The critics seemed to favor her over Victor, so there was friction between them; Stan and Ollie were put to work plucking chickens, and as soon as Stan noticed a St. Bernard with a barrel of rum around his neck, he became so desperate for a drink that he threw the feathers into the air to improvise snow and pretended to be in pain. He succeeded, and got drunk; After breaking more dishes and adding more days to their already endless sentence, Stan and Ollie are instructed by Victor Albert to move his piano. He was unable to concentrate on his operetta at the hotel and wanted to relocate to a tree house in the Alps. Now we all know what happened the last time Stan and Ollie tried moving a piano, and there is a brief reenactment; After moving the piano into the mountains, they now had to brave a rope bridge over a seemingly bottomless gorge. Stan was still drunk. As they made their way across the rickety bridge, Stan claimed to have seen a gorilla. It wasn't a dizzy spell. It was real! As if that weren't bad enough, the rope bridge gave out. Stan and Ollie managed to jump back onto the ledge and were safe, the gorilla disappeared and the piano fell deep into the Alps, crashed onto the rocky surface and died a swift, tragic death.
Anna seemed to take a shine to Ollie. Stan gave him advice on falling in love and told Ollie to serenade her. So with a tuba outside Anna's window that night, Ollie does just that. The next day, the boys go to see Anna as per her invitation, but first have to elude the angry chef. They succeed and make it to Anna's, only to find she and her husband, Victor, were still very much in love. So, Stan and Ollie prepare to depart, broken hearted. That's when a bandaged gorilla on crutches appears for a showdown...
Swiss Miss, another brilliant musical/comedy with Laurel and Hardy. Right along the lines of Pardon Us (1931), Babes in Toyland (1934), The Bohemian Girl (1936). Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the world's funniest comedy duo, outdid themselves again as always. Also in the cast: Walter Woolf King as Victor Albert, Della Lind as Anna Albert, Eric Blore as Edward, Adia Kuznetzoff as the surly chef, and Charles Judels is the Cheese Factory Proprietor. Judels also voiced the horrid Stromboli and that crook Coachman in Disney's Pinocchio. Sadly Laurel, Hardy, King, Lind, Blore and Judels have all passed away. During the scene with the dancers, watch for Stan Laurel's daughter Lois! So anyway, if you are a Laurel and Hardy fan like I am, then I recommend Swiss Miss! It's not a movie about cocoa so don't let the title throw you. See it today, if you can possibly find it. Wonderful music. Wonderful songs. Not a strong plot, but the songs and terrific comedy certainly make up for it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What started as a bright, sunny day in Whoville quickly turned into an
eerie, dreary feary night. A sour-sweet wind was blowing. Josiah Who
and his dear wife Mariah Who knew only too well what would happened
next: the Gree-Grumps started growling, which caused Puncker's Pond to
runkle and grunkle, which got the Hakken-Krakks howling. And all this
noise reached the number 1 enemy of Whoville: Mr. Mean One himself, The
Grinch. The Grinch knew it was that time of year again: Grinch Night. A
wonderful night for eyebrows, teeth, and especially, the exclusive
Grinch Night ball! He has his dog Max fetch the Paraphenalia wagon.
Back in Whoville, Josiah and Mariah's grandson, Ukariah, suggests they
call the Grinch Alarm Warden. And soon enough they got the warden,
Samuel S. McPherson, directly in person. He kept a tight watch on Mt.
Crumpit as the Grinch set out atop a large wagon on two wheels. It
contained horrors and weirdness of unimaginable proportions. Back in
Whoville, Ukariah suddenly remembered he had to go to the Euphamisem,
so he set out into the strong sour-sweet winds. They were so bad,
Josiah declared he wouldn't go out on a night like this for $2.50. Not
Ukariah soon found himself all alone in the middle of nowhere, just as The Grinch proceeded down the mountain, flattening plants in his wake and terrorizing a Wuzzy-Woozoo, which luckily eluded the Grinch, causing him to fly right into a brickle bush. That's when Ukariah and the Grinch meet. "Are you the Grinch?" Asked Ukariah. This offended the Grinch very much. Ukariah wanted to see him without his glasses, but the Grinch simply told him to put his glasses back on and face the facts. That's when he and Max head off again. Max started wondering what in the world he was doing with such a cruel master; Ukariah follows the Grinch, who finally decides to give the lad a run for his money. He shows Ukariah the inside of his paraphernalia wagon. As soon as he stepped inside, he was greeted by some of the weirdest, strangest, blunderous, flunderous, clundunderous creatures ever! Big creatures, small creatures, large eyes, small eyes, no eyes, big legs, no legs---Finally, it was all over and luckily, by then, the sour-sweet winds were dying down. This stopped the Gree-Grumps from growling, Puncker's Pond from runkling and grunkling, and the Hakken-Krakkes from howling, which would then stop the Grinch from prowling. When Ukariah headed back to Whoville, Max decided to quit the Grinch and follow him. So, alone and defeated, Grinch lugged his wagon back up the mountain, knowing that the winds, as well as he, would be coming back someday. Ukariah and Max return to Whoville in triumph and they all celebrated that the Grinch has gone away.
It's Grinch Night! Fantastic Dr. Seuss animated special. It's not really a sequel to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, because at the end of that, he was reformed. Maybe it's more of a prequel; Hans Conried voices The Grinch and the narrator. Hal Smith voices Josiah, Henry Gibson is Max's singing voice. Unfortunately, Hans Conried passed away in 1982 and Hal Smith passed away in 1994. Two very talented men, who are very much missed. Dr. Seuss himself, Ted Geisel, worked on this special. Sadly, he passed on in 1991. What a talented man. If you're a Grinch fan, I also recommend: The Cat in the Hat Gets Grinched, where The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch meet, and get caught up in a madcap adventure. At opposite ends, of course; This special really has nothing to do with the holiday of Halloween, but it's still fun to watch around this time of year. I recommend you check it out! Check out The Grinch as he tries to terrorize Whoville where, apparently, $1.50 is a lot of money. I recommend Halloween Is Grinch Night from 1977. Fantabulous fun!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A retrospective to Disney's top villains and spooky cartoons, hosted by
The Grand Pumpkin himself from his grand dinner table. We begin this
retrospective with The Grand Pumpkin's favorite villain, Mad Madam Mim.
From the time in "The Sword in the Stone" in which she and bumbling
magician Merlin have a wizard's duel and turn themselves into different
animals to fight one another. Mim became an alligator, a fox, a
chicken, an elephant, a tiger, a snake and a rhinoceros, all colored
red while Merlin became a turtle, a rabbit, a caterpillar, a walrus, a
mouse, a crab and a goat, all colored blue. Madam Mim really got it in
the end. Literally. And next, we see a stunning display of animation
and eerily beautiful music from the scene at Bald Mountain in
"Fantasia". We see ghosts rising from the grave, riding ghost horses
into the night, with Chernabog looking on and raising all kinds of
heck; Donald Duck and his nephews learn that a gorilla, named Ajax, has
escaped from the zoo, and this animal is a killer. Huey, Dewey and
Louie were worried and Donald thought it would be fun to scare them. To
get back at him, the boys dress as a gorilla and it was all good fun
until the real gorilla broke in and chased Donald all over the house. A
funny scene is where Huey accidentally burns Donald's tail with the
candle, so he takes it from him and, unintentionally holding it too
close to the door knob, then he tries turning the door knob only to
burn his hand.
Luckily, there was a way to subdue Ajax: with tear gas. Fortunately they kept tear gas in the house for just such an occasion. The end result is Ajax and Donald bursting into tears; Pluto chases two cats out of his yard then finds himself very fatigued. But sure enough house cat Figaro only causes more trouble for him. Fortunately the Sand Pup arrives to put Pluto out. Pluto suddenly found himself on trial, presided by a cat judge, a prosecution cat and an entire jury of cats! Well it took the jury 1/2 a second to decide the verdict: guilty. When Pluto awakened, he had a better outlook and was nicer to cats from then on; We see more Disney villains in action, such as the vile, sinister Captain Hook from the time he left Peter a time bomb, disguised as a gift from Wendy. Meanwhile he gave Wendy, John, Michael and the captured Lost Boys a choice: join his crew or walk the plank. Fortunately, Tinker Bell overheard Captain Hook's plans and raced to Peter's rescue. She got that package out of there before it blew. Hook and Mr. Smee thought Peter had perished. Think again, boys; Next we see Cruella De Vil attempting to snatch the 101 Dalmatians in a grueling car chase; the wicked queen from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" gives Snow White a poisoned apple. By the time the seven dwarfs come to the rescue, it was too late. Snow White had taken a bite, and collapsed.
The Dwarfs chase the wicked queen up to the mountain top where he tried to drop a boulder on them. Fortunately lightning struck, sending the wicked queen to her death, the boulder following right after; Lady from "Lady and the Tramp" has to deal with evil Aunt Sara's sinister Siamese Cats, Si and Am; Mickey Mouse searches his basement for a masher, when a pair of shoes get caught on his gun barrel so he thinks there's someone following him; And finally, Mickey, Donald and Goofy run a ghost-chasing business and receive a call to rid an old house of ghosts. Little do they know it was the ghosts themselves who hired them. Mickey, Donald and Goofy really get a run for their money as the ghosts play endless pranks on them, they begin attacking each other, rather than the ghosts. Luckily some molasses and flour, giving the illusion that our heroes were ghosts, scared the real ghosts out of the house and far away.
This animated special is very well done. We get to see clips of all the classic Disney movies and cartoon shorts. There are some we don't see, like the time Donald's nephews get even with him because he gives them bad candy during Trick of Treating, so they consult a witch who gets Donald back, with hilarious results. I hadn't seen this special since I was very young, but I recently came across the video tape and as soon as I watched it, the memories came flooding back. I think it last aired on The Wonderful World of Disney in 1990. I wish it would resurface again. Voices: Bobby Driscoll as Peter Pan, Peggy Lee as Si and Am, Walt Disney as Mickey Mouse, Clarence Nash as Donald Duck and his nephews, Pinto Colvig as Goofy, Hans Conried as Captain Hook, Bill Thompson as Mr. Smee, Karl Swenson as Merlin, Martha Wentworth as Madam Mim, J. Pat O'Malley as Jasper, and Betty Lou Gerson as Cruella De Vil. Unfortunately, these people have passed all away. We will remember them always for their glorious talents. The current Disney Halloween special was that Mickey's House of Villains. Many cartoons seen here were seen there. So if you can possibly find it, I recommend Disney's Halloween Treat. No tricks, just treats. Happy Halloween. And in the words of the immortal Grand Pumpkin, "See you tomorrow. Maybe".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Once upon a time in a kingdom far away, in a small château lived a
kindly man and his daughter Cinderella. The man was widowed and wanted
a mother for his child, so he married a woman, Lady Tremaine, who had
two daughters, Anastasia, and Drizella, plus a cat, Lucifer.
Unfortunately Cinderella's new stepmother was a horrible old woman and
her new step-sisters were bratty, selfish and loud. Upon her father's
untimely death (Accident? Maybe not), Cinderella was made into a slave
by her evil stepfamily. She had to wash, cook, clean, and tend to the
every beckon call of her rotten Stepmother and Stepsisters. Plus fat
cat Lucifer. Cinderella's only friends were the birds, horses, dog
Bruno, and the mice. That day, while Cinderella tended to her work, she
sung about a dream she had. A dream is a wish your heart makes, she
explained. That's when she was introduced to a new mouse friend, Gus,
who also met Lucifer, who was hungry for mice. Gus hid in a tea cup,
which made it into the Stepsisters' rooms. They complained to Lady
Tremaine, who doubled Cinderella's work load. But sure enough, hope was
not far away.
The king of the kingdom was hoping his son, Prince Charming, would wed and have offspring soon so he could see his grandchildren before he bit the big one. He decides to have a royal ball so the prince could choose a bride. The royal messenger sent out invitations to every lady in the kingdom. The Stepsisters and Stepmother also got invitations. So did Cinderella, who could go only if her chores were finished, and she had a fancy dress. They would do all they could to make that impossible; The mice, lead by Jaq and Gus, decide to help out their friend in this predicament, so they take an old dress that had belonged to Cinderella's late mother and, adding some trimming and a pearl necklace from the stepsisters' rooms, really make it a beauty. Cinderella was overjoyed. But then greedy Anastasia and Drizella took back their things, making Cinderella's dress a torn mess. (Actually by today's standards, that look is considered sexy). Well they leave for the ball, leaving Cinderella all alone, and sad. That's when she receives a visit from her fairy godmother who uses her magic to turn a pumpkin into a splendid coach, the mice into horses and the horse into the driver. A wave of her stick, and to finish the trick: Bibbity, Bobbity, Boo! She turned Cinderella's torn gown into a sparkling, beautiful dress. Before Cindrella left, her Fairy Godmother warned her to return by the stroke of 12 midnight, when the magic would wear off.
At the ball, Prince Charming seemed to turn away all the wound-be suitors. This made the king upset, and he took it out on the Grand Duke. That's when Cinderella strolled in. Her stepmother and stepsisters didn't recognize her. The prince seemed to have found the lady of his dreams. They dance, divinely. It was a glorious and magical evening, until the clock struck midnight. Cinderella had to leave in a hurry, and in so doing, left behind a glass slipper. She barely made it home by the time all of the Fairy Godmother's magic had worn off; Since Cinderella's identity was unknown to the king and all he found was her glass slipper, he ordered the Grand Duke to try that slipper on the foot of every maiden in the kingdom. He tried many, but it didn't fit any of their feet. Finally, he arrives at Cinderella's house. Her evil stepmother had locked her in her room when she found out about the previous night. So while the Grand Duke tries the glass slipper on Anastasia and Drizella's fat feet, Jaq and Gus snatch the key from Lady Tremaine and rush upstairs to rescue Cinderella. Lucifer the cat did everything to complicate that. But at last Cinderella was free. She raced downstairs, tried on the slipper...And it fit! She and the prince were married, and lived happily ever after.
Cinderella. One of Walt Disney's all-time greats. One of the most popular fairy tales ever told. This is Disney's first animated feature after World War II. Voices, Ilene Woods was Cinderella, Eleanor Audley was the evil stepmother, Verna Felton was the Fairy Godmother, Jim MacDonald voiced the mice (he also used to voice Mickey Mouse), and Luis Van Rooten voiced the king and the Grand Duke. Ilene Woods is still around, but everyone else has passed away. Cinderella had a sequel, odd as that may seem, in 2002. I haven't seen it, but I know it's partially about Jaq being turned into a human. I've also heard that they're planning to make a Cinderella III. Now what in the world would that be about? What is with Disney's latest fascination with doing sequels? Cinderella III: Rise of the Machines. But anyway, nothing beats the original. Great animation, great music and songs, great characters. This movie has it all! So if you like Disney princess movies, Sleeping Beauty or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, then Cinderella is for you! See it today!
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