Category Archives: TV Shows/Movies

Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (1976) Review

During my last Rankin/Bass review week (ignoring that random Easter week I did), I discussed two Christmas specials based on the works of Charles Dickens, Cricket on the Hearth (1967) and The Stingiest Man in Town (1978) AKA A Christmas Carol.  This week has a theme of its own, and that is…Rudolph rip-offs, for lack of a better term.  With Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) being their most well-known work, Rankin/Bass seemed determined to cash in on their earlier success once more.  The results were…interesting, to say the least.  Friday’s is going to be a more blatant example of that, but today, we’re focusing on the stop-motion Rudolph’s Shiny New Year from 1976.

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Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971) Review

This week, we’ve been focusing on Rankin/Bass’ three Easter specials from the ‘70’s.  We’ve been working in backwards order (the other reviews are linked at the bottom) because these shorts…kind of went downhill as the years went by.  But that means we’re now discussing my personal favorite, the stop motion special Here Comes Peter Cottontail from 1971!

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The First Easter Rabbit (1976) Review

Howdy, folks, just a few days ago, we discussed The Easter Bunny is Comin’ to Town from 1977, an Easter-themed retelling of Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town from 1970 that upset me greatly.  For today’s review, we’re travelling back by one year to talk about the animated Rankin/Bass short, The First Easter Rabbit from 1976.

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The Easter Bunny is Comin’ to Town (1977) Review

Although I have been planning on reviewing a whole bunch of Rankin/Bass Christmas specials over the coming weeks, I decided instead to take a break and focus on the upcoming holiday of Easter.  Yes, although Rankin/Bass is far more known for their Christmas specials, they actually made three Easter specials during the 70’s, all three of which I’ll be reviewing over the course of this week in reverse chronological order.  Today’s review is going to focus on their last Easter special, The Easter Bunny is Comin’ to Town from 1977.

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The Stingiest Man in Town (1978) Review

This week, I’m reviewing a pair of Rankin/Bass adaptations of Charles Dickens stories.  Last time, we reviewed Cricket on the Hearth (1967), which was…really not very good, if I’m being honest.  And this time, we’re taking on a more well-known Christmas story, The Stingiest Man in Town (1978), better known as A Christmas Carol.

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Cricket on the Hearth (1967) Review

In a past status update, I had mentioned that Mother Duck and I endured a misplaced Christmas marathon (by misplaced, I mean it took place in March) comprised mainly of lesser-known Rankin/Bass Christmas specials (with a little bit of Charlie Brown mixed in).  I say “endured” because some of these were rather difficult to sit through.  But sit through we must because I had become very determined to review them, despite the toll they might take on my sanity.  This week I’m focusing on two Rankin/Bass adaptations of Charles Dickens’ stories, Cricket on the Hearth (1967) and their version of A Christmas Carol, The Stingiest Man in Town (1978).  We’re focusing on the first one today, folks, and it’s going to really illustrate what I meant by “endured” because this one is easily the worst Rankin/Bass movie I’ve seen so far.

Continue reading Cricket on the Hearth (1967) Review

It may be March, but Mother Duck and I decided to work our way through a Christmas special marathon over the previous weekend. The vast majority were Rankin/Bass, along with two Charlie Brown Christmas shorts. Since I had so much fun reviewing The Year Without a Santa Claus and A Miser Brothers’ Christmas, reviews for many of these Christmas specials are imminent (I mean, they might not be ready right away, but they’re coming…). The movies/shorts that I’ll be discussing are all ones we had never seen before. Some weren’t too bad, while others were…kind of painful. Ah yes, nothing quite screams “Christmas spirit” like writing critical reviews about Christmas specials that aren’t even intended for my age group…several months after December!

I just updated my phone’s wallpaper for the first time in years using a recent picture I drew of the Miser Brothers. Now I see Heat Miser on my lock screen and Snow Miser on my home screen. And yes, this status update is largely an excuse to post this picture. I mean, like I need an excuse to do things on my own blog…

Snow Miser and Heat Miser AKA “Drippy Snowman” and “Hotcakes”

A Miser Brothers’ Christmas Review

For my previous post, I reviewed the Rankin/Bass stop-motion Christmas special from 1974, The Year Without a Santa Claus.  This time, I’m reviewing A Miser Brothers’ Christmas from 2008 (made not by Rankin/Bass, but by the new owners, Warner Bros).  Capitalizing on the Miser Brothers’ popularity (34 years later…), we all know why this movie was made.  (*cough* money *cough*)  Nevertheless, I can at least appreciate the fact that they still made the movie using stop motion (rather than CGI or something), plus they got the same voice actors for Santa Claus and Heat Miser (Mickey Rooney and George S. Irving, respectively).  Seeing as both men were in their 80’s at the time, that’s some dedication!  Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Mrs. Claus or Snow Miser, as their respective voice actors (Shirley Booth and Dick Shawn) had passed away before this movie was made.

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The Year Without a Santa Claus Review

A few weeks ago, I talked about how we spent our Christmas watching a delightful Rankin/Bass Christmas special marathon, which included Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Little Drummer Boy, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, and Frosty the Snowman, all four of which were part of a VHS set that I used to watch a good deal back when I was a duckling.  Having not seen these movies (save for Rudolph) in probably twenty years, I was engulfed in a wave of nostalgia for the simple joys of childhood.  With the wonder of youth reignited within my soul, I decided to seek out another Rankin/Bass Christmas special, The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), which I had never seen before.  A small bit of research prior to watching the movie made it very clear that the Miser Brothers were the highlight of the special and the main reason why people who had seen it back in the day remembered it so fondly.

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