Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (1986)

Spolier alert – Charlie Brown has a miserable New Year’s Eve. While it can be argued that it wasn’t all his fault since his teacher assigned his class to read War and Peace over the Christmas break, he was the only one the homework caused to have a days-long nervous breakdown. But what would the holidays be if there weren’t multiple stressors to push susceptible folks like Charlie Brown into a downward spiral of whiny self-loathing? Continue reading “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (1986)”

The Tiny Tree (1975)

I know I grimaced as if the Grinch just ripped a Christmas-hating fart right in my face when the old badger told the two young forest animals at the beginning of The Tiny Tree that the Christmas story he was about to tell them wasn’t about toys or Santa. You don’t have to be Rudolph on a foggy night to see that absolutely no good could come of such a proposition. Just from the title alone, I was already concerned that this was going to involve a midget tree pining (get it?) to be a giant redwood and learning the valuable lesson that God made you just like he intended to because he hates your undersized guts! Continue reading “The Tiny Tree (1975)”

The Care Bears: Grams Bear’s Thanksgiving Surprise (1986)

Did you know Thanksgiving is even celebrated in far flung places like Carealot? The realm of the Care Bears turns out to be not much different than our own (except for the flying cars made out of clouds) as everyone is working hard to prepare for Grams Bear’s arrival. But like any first responder, the Care Bears are always on call, even on Thanksgiving! So it is that Share Bear heads to Earth to help a human brat figure out what he’s going to say in his big Thanksgiving speech to his home town! Continue reading “The Care Bears: Grams Bear’s Thanksgiving Surprise (1986)”

The Berenstain Bears Meet Bigpaw (1980)

A refreshingly nasty take on Thanksgiving from an unlikely source. The Berenstain Bears, best known for the sensible and long suffering Mama Bear who is saddled with a clumsy and clueless Papa Bear and a pair of cubs who don’t have any personality beyond their clothing, the books frequently beat the reader over the head with some lesson about positive values like honesty, manners and eating healthy. This time it’s the importance of being thankful and sharing your bounty, but with a bit of a twist. Like some lame horror movie attempting to cash in on a holiday, there’s a monster coming to destroy all of Bear Country this Thanksgiving to fulfill a prophecy! Continue reading “The Berenstain Bears Meet Bigpaw (1980)”

Dorothy in the Land of Oz (1980)

If you can watch Dorothy in the Land of Oz and watch Dorothy carrying around a talking pie and not snicker, I don’t want to know you. This marginally Thanksgiving-related special leaves you wondering if someone dosed your stuffing with LSD right from the beginning when the Wizard of Oz himself appears to steal said pie from Auntie Em’s window sill! (This was before the pie was transported with Dorothy and Toto to Oz and achieved sentience through the accidental application of a special powder.) Continue reading “Dorothy in the Land of Oz (1980)”

The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t (1972)

Hanna-Barbera’s The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t special from 1972 is a painlessly pleasant experience for fans of the company’s other efforts of the era, particularly Scooby Doo, Where Are You!

While there is no mystery to solve or monster to unmask, it feels similar with a wolf stalking a Pilgrim and Native American boy, while a squirrel helps rescue them a couple of times. There’s the chase through the woods we’ve seen a hundred times in various Scooby episodes, there’s the last minute trap the wolf is lured into and there’s even some of the same music used! Continue reading “The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t (1972)”

Mouse on the Mayflower (1968)

Rankin/Bass‘s only entry into the Thanksgiving animated special sweepstakes demonstrates why they are known for their Christmas specials and why your turkey day traditions include watching the Macy’s parade, the Cowboys and Lions games and even that show where pinched face judges stare at funny looking dogs’ butts, but definitely won’t include Mouse on the Mayflower. Continue reading “Mouse on the Mayflower (1968)”