December 15, 2011

Eyes on Christmas: He-Man, She-Ra, and Mr. Magoo

I decided to take a little break from my live action Christmas spectacular that has been going on for the past week and a half and squeeze in a couple of animated holiday titles. Well, it is not so much by choice as it was a bit of a time squeeze. You see, there are only so many hours in the day and after a long day of work and other obligations, I had only a small window in which to keep the run going. So, I decided on a pair of short specials that aired on television years ago.

The unfortunate thing is that I found neither one to be all that inspiring in terms of writing about them. They are, at least for me, somewhat enjoyable in the moment but mostly forgettable as soon as the end credits roll.

The first one I watched was The He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. Oh yes, what memories this brings back, although I do not recall ever seeing this special before. It was produced in 1985 and tied in with the cartoon series, which were, admittedly, little more than half hour toy commercials with a moral at the end. To be honest, I was a big fan in the days of my youth, having had a bunch of the toys.

This special sees the brother/sister tandem of Adam and Adora getting together with all their fiends in Eternia to celebrate their birthday. Amidst the decorating and glimpses of the animated gang, Adam and Man At Arms all about a new spy ship hey will use to track the evil Skeletor. Miniature floating comedic relief, Orco, sneaks into the ship and accidentally launches it. Soon enough Skeletor is on the hunt. Then something happens and Orco ends up crashing on Earth.

Orco meets a couple of kids who he brings back with him when he is saved, the kids teach everyone about the holiday and they combine it with the birthday party. Of course, both she's of bad guys get involved, Skeletor reveals his soft side and we all go home happy, except for those who had to sing the lame Christmas song they wrote for the holiday.

It was enjoyable enough, sparked a touch of nostalgia, but for the most part you can feel free to skip this unless you are a fan and want to stoke the nostalgia.

The second special I watched was Mr. Magoo's A Christmas Carol. Yes, everyone's favorite, nearly blind octogenarian. Now, this one, this one is not as much fun as I remember. It may just be that I am not much of a Magoo fan. Be that as it may, this one is notable as being the very first animated holiday special. That's right, this here is a little bit of old school.

The story is a familiar one, it is one of countless adaptations of A Christmas Carol. This is a liberal adaptation, removing things, moving other bits around, but still telling the same story. It is framed as Magoo playing Scrooge in a stage adaptation with an opening bit of him arriving at the theater and a closing that sees him bring down the house.

I found the humor to dated and the songs to be grating. I did not hate it, it is just not a preferred version of the story. It is hard to hate it, considering the story and the season. Well, I am sure it has its fans, just not me. Not much anyway,

Not Really Recommended.

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