Yesterday we presented our favorites, now it’s time to make with last year’s very best bad!
I always come off like a Disney fanboy, but the fact of the matter is that they’re just better with how they preserve and handle their animated characters. Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Carol is the perfect example of that. Not only is it the victim of horrible 70’s animation done on the cheap, outside of the Chuck Jones Road Runner portion, the whole special is pretty much a disgrace to the Warner Bros. animated legacy. I desperately desire more Xmas-themed Looney Tunes, but they’re a bit hard to find. And come on… just look at these screenshots, and you tell me how this stacks up to something like Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
I might’ve been too harsh on the Pac-Man cartoon. In all fairness, it’s no worse than just about everything else Hanna-Barbera put out in the 70s and 80s. It adheres to the same wacky, mystery-solving formula, using tired gags and lame jokes, while doing its best to animate as little as possible. That makes Christmas Comes to Pacland understandable, although no less terrible. What I can’t forgive are the giant leaps in logic the special takes in order to put a first draft script on television screens. Plus, I’ve always found the fact that Pac-Man sounds like a phlegmmy, alcoholic bluesman with a three-pack-a-day habit supremely disturbing.
As a lifelong gamer and fan of Mario, believe me when I say you’ll only be able to watch this special through the gapped fingers of a half-hour long face palm. The live action sequences are embarrassing enough, but the depths of idiocy found in the animated portions may send some into fits of violently primal nerd rage. Why is Mario dressed for a calypso vacation? Why is he using a whip? Why is the person who voiced Toad still allowed to walk amongst men? You’ll have to watch the special to find out, which I strongly advise against.
I love writing about obscure, forgotten Christmas specials featuring licensed characters of yore, but this was just depressing. To watch Chuck Jones, the mastermind behind How the Grinch Stole Christmas, derivatively breathe life into these utterly useless characters and come out with just under half a Christmas special will suck the soul from your body. As someone not born in the 1920s, maybe I just don’t care about these stupid dolls enough. But still… If Teddy Ruxpin were still clinging to a shred of relevance, and paid Ren & Stimpy’s John Kricfalusi enough to humiliate himself with a half-assed Christmas special starring plushy tape recorders, I’d be bitching up a storm too. Bleh…
It’s with great shame that I cop to being a diehard He-Man fan as a kid, yet it’s nothing compared to embarrassment everyone involved in this crossover Christmas special should feel. I’m not sure how Mattel got away with making daily commercials that were little more than an excuse to hurl new action figures at childrens’ eyeballs for 22 minutes… But having to watch a full hour of it, skinned in an idiotic Christmas shell brought about by two kids who get sucked into Eternia, should be sternly regulated by the FDA. I am sicker for having watched this