Sunday, December 23, 2007


In 1972, the creator and voice of the Chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian, died of a heart attack. The Chimpunks' career was now in question. Without Ross, the Chipmunks albums stopped coming and it wasn't until 1979 when NBC decided to show reruns of The Alvin Show on Saturday mornings. A year later the Chipmunks released another album, Chipmunk Punk, which featured contemporary songs sung by Ross' son, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.

The success of Chipmunk Punk and the reruns of The Alvin Show caused Bagdasarian Jr. to create a new animated special for the 1981 holiday season! A Chipmunk Christmas premiered on NBC and was a big hit! It sported all new Christmas songs (the soundtrack was the Chipmunks' third Christmas album) and new character designs by legendary animator Chuck Jones, who also served as the producer for the show.

The half-hour special tells the tale of Alvin Seville who gives his harmonica away to a terminally ill little boy for Christmas only to find out he needs it for a special Christmas gig. Alvin tries to raise enough money by Christmas to buy another, which causes Dave to think that Alvin only thinks Christmas is about money and greed.

Along with Ross Bagdasarian Jr. as Alvin, Simon and Dave and Janice Karman as Theodore, we also get treated with animation voice actors Frank Welker as Santa Claus and June Foray as Mrs. Claus! And fans of The Alvin Show will be happy to see a special guest appearance by Clyde Crashup (pictured below), voiced by the original actor, Shepard Menken!

The animation in this show is a nice look back at 80's television animation. While it suffers here and there from off-model characters and obvious shortcuts, the animation suits the show perfectly and is a great lead up to their next hit TV show, Alvin and the Chipmunks

You can find A Chipmunk Christmas and two Christmas episodes from Alvin and the Chipmunks on a special edition DVD.

Monday, December 10, 2007


One of the segments in Animaniacs features a giant chicken who wants to be human. This giant chicken, named Chicken Boo, disguises himself in every episode to try to fit in with the normal world. But ultimately his cover is blown and he is run out of town.

In this Christmas episode of Chicken Boo, Boo pretends to be a mall Santa and fools everyone except for one kid. There is a tribute to A Christmas Story when the kid yells, "He'll poke my eye out!" Fans of Animaniacs will recognize this kid as Colin, who always had a story to tell about his friend Randy Beeman. This is his only appearance in a major role outside of his segment.

The other shorts in this episode are 'Twas the Day Before Christmas, The Great Wakorotti: the Holiday Concert and Toy Shop Terrors (Which doesn't have anything to do with Christmas except for the fact that they are playing in a toy shop). It can be found on disc five of Animaniacs, Volume Two.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


In December of 1993 Warner Bros produced two Christmas episodes of Animaniacs, one for the weekday syndicated episodes and one for Saturday morning FOX episodes. The episodes are made up of a few shorts featuring different characters from the show.

'Twas the Day Before Christmas is a Slappy Squirrel short but spends the majority of the cartoon focusing on Yakko, Wakko and Dot. In fact, half way through the cartoon, Yakko takes over narrating and Slappy really doesn't have anything to do with it from there on in.

The cartoon opens with Skippy getting ready for bed and asking his Aunt Slappy to read him a bedtime story. The story that he picks is about Christmas at the Warner Bros Studio. The CEO has a bunch of presents to deliver to the Warner siblings but doesn't want to do it himself. So he cons Ralph the Guard to dress up as Santa and deliver the gifts.

From here the story switches to a retelling of The Night Before Christmas with almost every major character from Animaniacs making a cameo! My favourite group of animators were put on this short so it looks stellar. Fans of the series will like this short mainly to see all the characters but also because Animaniacs does a good job with their parodies and this is no exception.

The other shorts in this episode are Jingle Boo, The Great Wakorotti: the Holiday Concert and Toy Shop Terrors (Which doesn't have anything to do with Christmas except for the fact that they are playing in a toy shop). It can be found on disc five of Animaniacs, Volume Two.