Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014 DVD Marathon.

A relatively recent “tradition” of mine is the Christmas DVD Marathon, where I pull out various items related to the Christmas season for festive consumption.  It is not a true “marathon”, in that I don’t watch these things consecutively in a flurry (…or, as they now say, a “Binge”) – I’d NEVER have the time for that – but (as I’ve become so fond of saying) “steal time” to do so over the week leading up to Christmas Day. 

Things tend to rotate into the mix as I discover (or rediscover) them, but there have always been two constants, dating back to the days of VHS tapes. 

Our Christmas 2014 DVD Marathon consisted of:  

THE FLINTSTONES:  "Christmas Flintstone" (The original from 1964) is one of the two constants, and begins the process every year!  This is the “Fred Saves Christmas” tale that was such a wonder to “single-digit-age-me”, well before everyone and his or her brother began “Saving Christmas”.  Indeed, I figure if I hang around long enough, even *I* will get a shot at “Saving Christmas”.  You can start thanking me now, as a token of your advance appreciation.

"Christmas Flintstone" can be found on the DVD set: The Flintstones The Complete Fifth Season.  

I always look up the companion comic book from Gold Key Comics, to double the fun. 

Also, in the animated version, isn't Hal Smith the BEST voice of Santa Claus ever?!  

Actually, this year,  "Christmas Flintstone" kicked-off a (you guessed it)Saving Christmas Trilogy”, with the two entries that follow… 

Oh, Mama! I'm part of a TRILOGY... whatever that is! 
JOHNNY BRAVO: "Twas the Night" (narrated by the great Adam West) from that great first season of JOHNNY BRAVO.  Mistaking Santa for a prowler, thick-headed but muscular Johnny disables St. Nick, and must finish his rounds.  A perfect Hanna-Barbera counterpoint to "Christmas Flintstone", with Johnny ineptly distributing presents to virtually EVERYONE who had appeared as ancillary or guest-starring characters in the series to that point – including SCOOBY-DOO! 

Say, anyone see a future “Johnny Bravo” issue of SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP?   

"Twas the Night"  is on Cartoon Network Hall of Fame: Johnny Bravo Season One. 

FAMILY GUY: "Road to the North Pole" Brian and Stewie ACTUALLY DO save Christmas, but not before they completely and utterly screw it up.  Perhaps the most dystopian version of the Christmas legend ever, but with an uncharacteristic (certainly for Family Guy) happy and practical ending!  

"We're no longer Santa!", says Stewie to Brian, "This has become a HOME INVASION!"

"Road to the North Pole"  is part of Family Guy Volume Ten. 

Oddly, this trilogy comes together in that The Flintstones was Hanna-Barbera's greatest success, Johnny Bravo was part of its "last gasp", and some of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane's earliest work was on Johnny Bravo!  Imagine that!  

BEWITCHED:  “A Vision of Sugar Plums" Samantha instills the Christmas spirit in a very cynical little boy (played by future LOST IN SPACE star Billy Mumy) by having him meet Santa.  Wonderful stuff, with Santa nicely portrayed by actor Cecil Kellaway.   

In minor roles, we also see Gerry Johnson (the “new” voice for Betty Rubble, who also appears in "Christmas Flintstone") and future co-star of BEWITCHED’s “competing series” I DREAM OF JEANNIE Bill Daly.

I have “A Vision of Sugar Plums" as part of the BEWITCHED Complete Series Set, but it would also be available in the BEWITCHED Season One collection. 

LOST IN SPACE:  "The Toymaker", the other of my two Christmas Constants.  Explicitly mentions Christmas – and occurs at Christmas time. This charming tale of Will and John Robinson, Doctor Smith, and the Robot trapped in a fourth-dimensional toymaker’s shop manages to conjure up the feeling of the season, without directly dealing with the holiday itself. 

Then again, might that "toy" in the upper right be more than meets the eye?  Naaah!  ...Or, maybe so? 

Character actor Walter Burke is perfect as the eccentric, yet charmingly paranoid and distrustful (if you can ACTUALLY BE “charmingly paranoid and distrustful”) titular Toymaker “Mr. O.M”.  

This is the second entry in LIS’s “Celestial Department Store Trilogy” and, thus, also features the wonderful character actor Fritz Feld, as the officious, German-accented alien functionary “Zumdish”.  Great fun, and sci-fi the way they’ll never do it again! 

That's MISTER Zumdish, to you!  >POP!<

"The Toymaker" is part of Lost In Space Season Two, Volume Two. 

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANIMATED:  "Comfort and Joy", written by the great Paul Dini.  Three separate tales of Green Lantern and Hawkgirl, Superman and Martian Manhunter, and Flash and The Ultra-Humanite. The latter two being the most effective as Christmas tales. 

As a near-lifelong DC Comics fan, this has become a Neo-Christmas-Classic for me!  The Flash and Martian Manhunter stories have actually caused me to choke up!  A must see, certainly for any comic book fan! 

"Comfort and Joy" can be found in the DVD set Justice League Season Two.

Finally, there was I LOVE LUCY: “Drafted, a typical series comedic misunderstanding plot, where Lucy and Ethel think Ricky and Fred are going into the Army, while Ricky and Fred think that Lucy and Ethel are pregnant - Ethel, pregnant?!  But, there was one special moment at the end of the episode where they do a Christmas bit that was excised from syndicated broadcasts and restored to the DVD.

Here's the FOUR of us! 

The four are all dressed in Santa outfits and dance in a line around the Christmas tree… only to be momentarily and miraculously joined by the REAL SANTA CLAUS (played by Vernon Dent of THREE STOOGES fame), who then abruptly disappears, leaving the Ricardos and the Mertzes in a state of uneasy Christmas cheer! 
WAIT!  Who's THAT in the middle?  
...Or, COULD it?  
This is a magnificent bit that is well worth the price of the DVD set, just to experience!  As with BEWITCHED, I have this as part of the I LOVE LUCY Complete Series package, though it surely is part of the I LOVE LUCY Season One collections as well.

And, that’s my Christmas 2014 DVD Marathon!  Merry Christmas – and any other holiday you may (or may not) celebrate!  And, please tell us about your own such marathons or viewing pleasures!  
Merry Marathoning! 


Comicbookrehab said...

"Christmas Flintstone" was also bundled with the recent DVD release of "A Flintstones Christmas Carol".

I finally got the to see "Comfort and Joy" when I bought that set a few years ago. I'm impressed at how sophisticated the scripts were for that season...and how that sort of went out the door once they began "Justice League Unlimited"..and how Bruce Timm's designs have gone out the door with each new direct-to-video movie, in favor of a watered-down anime look.

When it comes to favorite Christmas episodes of live-action sitcoms, I like the episode of "All In The Family" where Edith is arrested for shopping with counterfeit money that a barfly dressed as Santa Claus had used to buy drinks at Archie's bar..Archie lets "Santy Claus" go after listening to a hard-luck tale...only to watch Santa drive away in a new Cadillac!

Joe Torcivia said...


I didn’t know “Christmas Flintstone” was bundled with “A Flintstone Christmas Carol”. While I’d still prefer to have “Christmas Flintstone” surrounded by the rest of the great Fifth Season of THE FLINTSTONES (oddly, my favorite season is the First, followed by the Fifth – go figure), it’s good to know that it is also bundled alternatively.

I bought each and every one of the DC “Direct-to-Video” productions when Bruce Timm was in charge of them, and all of them to this point, post-Timm. But, now it may be time to stop. The anime and video game influences and “New 52-ish” directions would account for why. That means, for me, contemporary DC Comics DVDs have now taken the same path to “The Land of Non-Purchases” as the comic books themselves. Pity.

I have the Complete Series set for ALL IN THE FAMILY (in the last two-or-so years, I’ve gotten a number of series in “Complete Series” sets, rather than collect them over years – nice and convenient that way) but, as with many of those sets, I work my way through them VERY slowly and am presently in the Second Season. So, if you know which season the episode from, and the title, I’d like to check it out.

joecab said...

I'm going to YOUR house next Christmas!

This reminds me of how difficult it was to tape "Christmas Flintstone" because it wasn't in the regular syndication rotation and only aired at Christmas time ... so long as someone remembered to run it!

Happy holidays, Joe!

Joe Torcivia said...

And to you, JoeC!

I suppose that’s the problem with Christmas episodes of anything… you can’t run them just any old time of year. But, they ARE soooo worth it to revisit during the season!

And, of course, if you DID come over to partake in my particular Christmas marathon, you’d have to do so sporadically over the week leading up to the holiday… an hour here before work… an hour or two late in the evening before bedtime… etc. – 'cause there just ain’t enough free hours in the day anymore!

But, when you DO manage to “steal” an hour or so for such pure enjoyment… that, too, is soooo worth it!

Elaine said...

Thanks, Comicbookrehab! I've wanted to see "Christmas Flintstone" (I bought the corresponding comic, on Joe's recommendation, and like it a lot), but my library system has seasons 1-4 but not season 5, and I didn't want to buy season 5 for this one episode. But thanks to your heads-up, I just bought the 2007 Christmas Carol DVD for $5 (incl shipping) on eBay, so I'll be able to include this in my own future Christmas marathons.

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s really great!

It’s a wonderful thing, when one commenter helps another in a quest! My thanks also, ‘Rehab!

Do let us know what you think of the “actual” “Christmas Flintstone”, Elaine.

TC said...

It's been a tradition (or maybe just a habit) with me to watch "The Nutcracker" and "A Christmas Carol" during the holiday season. There is usually one version or another of the former on PBS, and usually at least one of the latter on TCM.

I've never gotten around to buying a DVD of either, but this year I realized that I could watch them on YouTube (I don't know why that never occurred to me before). I ended up seeing three different productions of "The Nutcracker" and five of "A Christmas Carol" (or "Scrooge"). That includes the 1935 version with Seymour Hicks, and a 1969 cartoon version with Alistair Sim voicing Scrooge, both of which I'd never seen before. Also the 1951 version with Sim, "Mickey's Christmas Carol," and my favorite (for what I admit are purely sentimental reasons), "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol."

My late mother had "A Christmas Story" on VHS, and it became a tradition in our family to watch it with her during visits to her home every holiday season throughout the 1990's.

Fawcett's Dennis the Menace comic book had an annual "Christmas Special" issue in the 1960's, and it was a sort of tradition with me at the time to read those during Christmas vacation. Walt Disney Comics Digest usually reprinted some Christmas-themed stories in their December issue, and that was where I first read "Christmas in Duckburg." I don't remember seeing "A Christmas for Shacktown" or "Letter to Santa," though, until after 1980, when Gladstone reprinted them.

That All in the Family gag, BTW, reminds me of a one-page Uncle Scrooge strip where he gave money to a panhandler and then saw the guy drive away in a fancy car.

And it's getting to the point where it might be easier to make a list of cartoon characters who have NOT subbed for Santa and/or saved Christmas!

Comicbookrehab said...

"Bogus Bills" is from the final season of "All In The Family" - Season 9, Iirc, when Danielle Brisbois joined the cast. I think it's thew most entertaining episode of that season, although even without Mike and Gloria, there's still a lot of great moments between Archie and Edith.

The outside influences on the DC Comics DVDs began with "Batman: Gotham Knight" then rather quickly subsumed the other films that followed. Disappointing, since the whole point, (again, iirc) was to see more "Timmverse"-style DC Characters.

Joe Torcivia said...

“Season 9”? Yep, it would have been a LOOOONG time before I got to that one, ‘Rehab! So, thanks for the info. I’ll jump ahead to it while we’re still in the season. I don’t think I was watching much past the departure of Mike and Gloria, so it’ll be “new” to me to boot!

Oh, yeah… “Gotham Knight”! I actually skipped that one, if it was the one I’m thinking of, done in anime style. It was easy to forget that I skipped it, because I liked most, if not all, of the others that surrounded it. But, I’m now at the point of quitting them altogether.

Joe Torcivia said...

Why, TC… I never knew you were such a classic traditionalist! What wonderful choices on your part, while I’m running around with the likes of Family Guy and Johnny Bravo!

Up through and including Magoo, you could say that all versions of “A Christmas Carol” were great, and I’ll even throw in the early-eighties “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” - particularly as it established the association between Alan Young and Uncle Scrooge McDuck.

But, as with so much of this stuff, it often comes down to the version you saw first! And, for me, that was the 1938 version with Reginald Owen that is the personal favorite. It doesn’t seem to be nearly as popular as the 1951 Alastair Sim version, but it did have Leo G. Carroll, June Lockhart’s parents, and an uncredited role by June herself.

If you grew up listening to New York (non-music) radio in the evening, you’d know why “A Christmas Story” was so special to me – Jean Shepherd, the narrator / storyteller, and that wonderfully distinctive voice of his. He was on WOR radio every weeknight 10:15 – 11:00 PM, just filling those 45 minutes with stories, anecdotes, and whatever came to mind, as a terrific one-man show. There was never a dull or dead spot for the duration of the program. It was as if he flipped an “ON” switch and off he went, filling the 45 minutes wall-to-wall. As a teenager, I listened to him with rapt fascination every night.

…Oh, and, of course, KOLCHAK (Darren McGavin) starred in “A Christmas Story”, too! You couldn’t beat the combination of THOSE TWO!

Oddly, I do not have either “A Christmas Carol” (Reginald Owen) or “A Christmas Story”, so neither could be part of the 2014 Marathon. Though, like you, I could always search for them on You Tube.

Finally, I’d be willing to bet that many a “tradition” began as a mere “habit”… such as yours with "The Nutcracker" and "A Christmas Carol", and mine with home-recorded VHS tapes of The Flintstones and Lost in Space. …And, that’s how we got to this post and comments! …How ‘bout that!

Comicbookrehab said...

Elaine: You're welcome!I actually wished they had included "A Flintstone Family Christmas" as well, since I love how it is technically, for now, the last Flintstones story on the imagined continuity, where Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are married and have their own children.

TC: in addition to heroes subbed for Santa or "Saving" Christmas, there is a third category: villains posing as Santa! Oh, what a busy night! Dr. Bushroot, Dr. Claw, Dr. Robotnik and Invader Zim all took turns in the red suit. Even Doctor Who had 'evil' robots dressed as Santa. And don't forget Mr. Grinch...he's a mean one.. :)

"A Christmas Story", "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation", "Home Alone", "Miracle On 34th Street", "Ernest Saves Christmas" and "Santa Claus: The Movie" are all great for marathons, as well as unlikely "Christmas-y" movies like "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country". Think about it: those aren't Starfleet uniforms, they're Santa suits! :)

A current tradition growing fast is the annual "Doctor Who" Christmas special, and I did enjoy this year's installment with Nick Frost as Santa Claus helping Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman battle evil crustaceans from outer space...Santa fighting aliens...WHY does that sound so familiar?.. ;)

Joe: taking a glimpse into the future will be fun for contrast. Be sure to post your reaction to "Bogus Bills" won't you? :)

Deb said...

Some of my favorites to watch at Christmas are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales, I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown, Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, Christmas Flintstone, The Simpsons episodes: Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire, Miracle on Evergreen Terrace, Tis The Fifteenth Season,The Brady Bunch "The Voice of Christmas" (from their first season, not that awful reunion film), The Patty Duke Show "The Christmas Present" and "Auld Lang Syne", How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales, Bah Humduck, Mickey's Christmas Carol, Mickey's Good Deed, Pluto's Christmas Tree, Tom and Jerry The Night Before Christmas, and Tom and Jerry Tales Ho Ho Humbug to name a few. Needless to say, I don't get to all of them every year.

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s a pretty impressive list, Deb!

Tom and Jerry’s “The Night Before Christmas” has one of my favorite endings in short cartoons (…though not quite as “favorite” as “Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur”).

As with ‘Rehab’s suggestion on ALL IN THE FAMILY, I’ll have to check out THE SIMPSONS “Tis The Fifteenth Season”. That’s another one that’s on my shelves, but would not have gotten up to, without prompting. Thanks in advance for that.

Even *I* can’t believe that I don’t have “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, given what a huge fan I am of both Chuck Jones and Boris Karloff! I’ll have to remedy that, someday.

And, of course, as you say: “I don't get to all of them every year”. Oddly, sometimes the “fun” is in having to choose.

Joe Torcivia said...


Thanks for the recommendation on ALL IN THE FAMILY “Bogus Bills”.

As I am often forced to do, I “stole some time” just before bed last night – and enjoyed it immensely. Yes, it is a completely different show by this time. I practically have all those early episodes memorized, but these are all new to me. Archie has “softened” somewhat by this time – but that’s reasonably accurate to the era in that even HE would have to “change with the times” somewhat. Some nice late-night laughs out of that episode.

Then, I noticed the two-parter that followed, and I stayed up to see that as well (with Part Two being an hour-long ep.) It was, as I suspected, the huge series turning point (that I won’t spoil for those who haven’t actually seen it) but I’m glad I fought-off sleepiness to watch it.

…Though I AM rather tired right now, as I leave for work! Awww… It was WORTH IT!

Joe Torcivia said...

To Deb:

Just “stole the time” this evening to watch THE SIMPSONS “‘Tis The Fifteenth Season”, while the Holiday Spirit is still in the (kinda cold) air.

And, as with Comicbookrehab’s suggestion for ALL IN THE FAMILY, this, too, was an unexpected Christmas treat that was just sitting on my shelves, waiting to eventually spin ‘round in my DVD player!

Loved the different Christmas show parodies, led by the extraordinary “Mister McGrew’s Christmas Carol”, which exhibited a downright miraculous melding of the Simpsons and UPA styles of character and background design!

Homer: “Oh, McGrew… Once again you’ve mistaken something for something...”

And, experiencing it on DVD is all the more sweet, as there was an “Easter Egg Deleted Scene” from the “Mister McGrew’s Christmas Carol” sequence that featured “Charlie”. And, as I do with ALL SIMSPONS episodes (and also whenever available on FAMILY GUY), I watch it again (back-to-back) with the Commentary Track on. As a would-be writer, I particularly enjoy the comments on how the stories are developed – especially when the conversation is lively and filled with (presumed self-congratulatory) laughter.

So, thank you for an additional “gift” this year!

top_cat_james said...

Allow me to add to the growing list some of my yuletide TV comedy faves that I believe should be represented:

The Beverly Hillbillies
"Home For Christmas" 12/19/62
"Christmas at the Clampetts" 12/25/63

The Monkees
"The Monkees' Christmas Show" 12/25/67

WKRP in Cincinnati
"Jennifer's Home for Christmas" 12/17/79
"Bah, Humbug" 12/20/80

SCTV Network 90
"Staff Christmas Party" 12/18/81
"Christmas" 12/17/82

Married...with Children
"It's a Bundyful Life" 12/17/89

South Park
the "Black Friday" trilogy 11/13/13, 11/20/13, 12/4/13

As you can see from two of my selections, and the aforementioned "Christmas Flintstone", one could actually watch NEW episodes of their favorite shows if they were scheduled on Christmas Eve/Day, instead of the two or three weeks of repeats we now get at the end of the year. I know - hard to believe, right, kids?

And what's the deal with that Bewitched episode? The first season was in black & white, right? Was this particular episode originally shot in color, or was it computer colorized years later?

A very Happy New Year to you and Esther, and may you be surrounded by wonderful new comics, TV shows, and DVDs all year long (Oh, and me, too, if someone is taking note of such requests).

Joe Torcivia said...


Esther and I thank you for that great wish which, not coincidently, reflects my vision of the “good version” of the afterlife! I mean, if all that stuff ain’t there, how could they call it “heaven”? Heck, I’ll be the first to wish it for you too! After all, as they say: “It’s the moooost woonnn-derrr-fulll time of the yeeear!”

In fact, I think I’ll bring lots of comics and DVDs down from upstairs, and surround her and me with piles of them right now! Excuse me for a moment… (FAMILY GUY style cutaway / scene transition)

Ah, that WAS FUN! But, now there’s SO MUCH to clean up! …Wanna help?

Great suggestions for “Season’s Viewings”, too! I will try to fit the MONKEES and MARRIED WITH CHILDREN episodes in before we lose the season all together. …And, since those DVDs are now “lying around my living room in that massive pile suggested by you”, they should be easy to get my hands on! 

That BEWITCHED episode was indeed in Black and White but, as part of the “Complete Series Set” that I own, Sony included the colorized versions of Seasons One and Two, and not the B&W ones.

As for TV scheduling, I don’t understand it anymore, and simply run my own marathons. Which evolve (I say sounding like PBS) “Thanks to the contributions of viewers like YOU!”

Dan said...

Joe and Company:

What a tremendous growing list of personal holiday season "must-sees"! There's but a precious few I haven't watched on Deb's excellent list—I'd like to add "Christmas With the Joker" from the first season of Batman: The Animated Series.

Back to the original post, I too recall that "Christmas Flintstone" was only shown somewhere during Dec. 20th-24th and not in the regular syndicated rotation of The Flintstones. That episode featured some wonderful animation, rich backgrounds and rare instances of colored ink lines (rare for an H-B TV episode)... based on the production values shown and the timing, much of the crew on Hey There It's Yogi Bear! may have used their sharpened skills to use to make the Christmas show look a little more lush than other episodes that season. Heck, the only thing missing was Bea Benaderet!

Moving forward a few decades, it's odd to consider that for the success and 100-episode count, DuckTales never did an original Christmas episode, or considered adapting one of the Carl Barks tales. Probably not an issue of secular vs. non-secular, since there were several series on The Disney Afternoon that DID celebrate the Christmas season.

Of course, a straight-forward adaptation of a Barks Dell comics tale would be even more satisfying: not hard to envision the appeal of an animated steam-shovel battle on the streets of Duckburg, or a montage of disguised Beagle Boys comically cutting 20 feet off a mammoth tree! Betcha one day we'll see those panels really come to life on screen, and it will become an instant classic.

Of course, it will remain second only to "How Joe Torcivia Saved Christmas" of which I'll be the first one to set for permanent recording on the ol' DVR (brought to you by The Warner Archive Collection and The Gold Key Comics Club!)

Wishing you, Esther and everyone who posts here on TIAH a safe and happy 2015! – Dan

Joe Torcivia said...


I’ll see that “Christmas with the Joker”, and raise you “Holiday Knights” from the ‘90s SatAM WB Network series! The highlight being Bruce Wayne’s involuntary shopping spree at the hands of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. The final segment even crossed over into New Year’s Eve (tonight, as I write this). In fact, I may try to fit it in some time after we ring in the New Year ‘round here!

I can’t honestly recall if “Christmas Flintstone” was in regular rotation, when the syndicated run began on WNEW TV, back in 1966. Yes, believe it or not, there are a few things I do not remember about my beloved sixties. I can’t speak for any period beyond the late sixties, until discovering Cartoon Network back when it was great in the ‘90s, but that would make sense. Maybe that’s why there were relatively few Christmas episodes of shows that would have extensive daily play in syndication.

But, yes… one thing (among many) that puts “Christmas Flintstone” into a special stratum is that the Hanna-Barbera machine put some VERY high quality work into it. And, I also always thought that both “Hey There It's Yogi Bear!” and the up-shift to produce JONNY QUEST had a great deal to do with that.

DUCKTALES certainly seemed a natural for a Christmas or Holiday installment, especially because TALE SPIN and DARKWING DUCK each had one. Being a Scrooge-and-nephews-centric series, I always wondered what a DT version of “Christmas for Shacktown” would have been like. Some skillful writing (which Disney TV animation HAD back then) could have modified Barks’ tale enough to insert Launchpad (or later Fenton – but no Gizmoduck, please, for this classic) into the space occupied by Donald. Maybe they didn’t want to show actual poverty, or leave Scrooge stuck in a situation that could not be “reset” 24 hours later.

"How Joe Torcivia Saved Christmas"? Say, maybe I *AM* up next! I have a feeling I’ll fall somewhere between Johnny Bravo and Brian and Stewie. Look out, world, here I Christmas-come!

…Or, maybe I’ll just “give the gift of Blogging”, instead! I’ll do less physical damage that way. Mental damage, I can’t say!

And, yes… a “safe and happy 2015”, to you and all!

Adel Khan said...

Wow! The selection of shows in your “merry-thon”, covers - classic and current is to my liking.

Several of the shows listed here, I had not watched in a while. This post was a good refresher. It made me want to rewatch, several of the episodes listed here.

“Christmas Flintstone” is always a classic. The shot of the presents dropping in the numerous countries is beautiful. The layouts are well done. Alan Reed singing “Merry Christmas, My Favorite Time of Year” is performed perfectly. Hal Smith is the definitive Santa Clause for animated shows. He brings jovialness when voicing him.

I never knew that Gerry Johnson was in “A Vision of Sugar Plums”. Thanks for letting me know. I like the screenshots you used for the episode. It looks like Betty had already met Samantha! According to Janet Waldo, at one point Gerry Johnson was Joe Barbera’s girlfriend.

I recall how funny THE SIMPSONS episode “Tis The Fifteenth Season”, was when it first aired. I enjoyed the “Christmas Convoy” takeoff that The Simpsons listened to while driving in the poor area of Springfield My favorite line of Homers is: "Jimmy Stewart as a puppet is just wrong!". The in-joke when Homer watches “Mr McGrews Christmas Carol” is that Homer’s voice has tiny traces of Mr. Magoo.

If you care to bear. Here are suggestions for season themed shows to watch:
* Tony Benedict’s “Santa And The 3 Bears” – I like the naivety of cubs Chinook and Naomi about what Christmas is. It’s good seeing how patient the Ranger is patient with the cubs mischievousness. Walt Peregoy’s backgrounds adds to how wonderful the woodlands are in winter. The songs “Wintertime” and “The Wonders of Wintertime” Tony Benedict wrote adds to the festiveness of the season. Great voices from – Hal Smith, Jean Vander Pyl, Bobby Riha, and Annette Ferra.

*” Yogi’s All Star Comedy Christmas” – Coming from the later “H-B” period, it is an enjoyable story by Mark Evanier. It is great how the classic characters have their own parts. Daws Butler’s performances are slightly off, due to a stroke he underwent. At the time, I viewed it I had trouble with Blabber’s muzzle being incorrectly colored grey.

Dan brought up an interesting point about “DuckTales” not having a Christmas episode. I liked your suggestions of what Carl Barks stories would have been worthy of adapting. What you would alter from the stories, if a Christmas themed episode were to be produced.

Joe Torcivia said...


Since single-digit age me watched “Christmas Flintstone” on its ABC TV premiere, to the present day, it remains my definitive “Christmas thing”. …And, having a comic book version to go along with it has only enhanced the experience over the years.

Having rediscovered BEWITCHED’s “A Vision of Sugar Plums” (I also saw that on its ABC TV premiere), I must also put it among the greats! Yep, a small part for Gerry (“new, blander Betty Rubble) Johnson, one for Bill Daly, and a huge one for Billy Mumy, who now doubly-stars in my in my personal Christmas viewing.

Hard to believe I never saw THE SIMPSONS “ Tis The Fifteenth Season” until this past week, but that’s what’s so great about this Blogging thing… it’s a wonderful two-way street, where I, too, can learn of great things!

If I did a DUCKTALES version of “Christmas for Shacktown”, I’d leave in as much of Carl Barks’ original story – maybe even have brought Donald back for the holiday. The show could have used more of him anyway!