Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Santa Claus crash lands in Pac-Land and breaks his sleigh and loses all his toys! Santa is distraught because he won't be able to make all his Christmas deliveries, but the denizens of Pac-Land don't understand the big deal for they have never even heard of Christmas!

After hearing Santa explain the meaning of Christmas, Pac-Man decides to help Santa and save Christmas...that is unless the Ghost Monsters can help it!

Pac-Man finds the sack of toys, the Pac-People fix the sleigh and Pac-Man has the brilliant idea of feeding the reindeer Power Pellets to give them a boost to help get Santa back on schedule. Christmas is saved!

Pac-Man follows the adventures of Pac-Man, his wife, Mrs. Pepper Pac-Man, and their kid, Pac-Baby. The family lives together in Pac-Land, where almost everything is round or shaped like Pac-Man, and spends their time stopping the evil Mezmeron from getting his hands on the 'Power Pellets', the source of Pac-Man's power.

Mezmeron's hired help consists of Pac-Man's well known video game adversaries, the Ghost Monsters: Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Clyde and Sue. They are the typical bumbling villains that always seem to be menacing at the beginning of the episode but goofballs by the end of the episode.

Pac-Man was created by Namco Games in 1978. Its popularity grew to epic proportions over the next decade and Hanna-Barbera decided to capitalize on the craze by creating a show based on the yellow pill-popper. This series lasted 43 episodes from 1982-1983. Originally, Pac-Man was part of a 90 minute programming block in 1982 by Hanna-Barbera called The Pac-Man/Little Rascals/Richie Rich Show but then broke of into its own half hour show in 1983.

Christmas Comes to Pac-Land aired in 1982 between the show's first and second seasons. Although not seen on regular television stations, this special is shown annually on Cartoon Network's Boomerang.

The special is pretty good considering it's a show based on Pac-Man. It has very good animation compared to any show made in the 80s, especially a show produced by Hanna-Barbera. It's themes of kindness, good-will and helping others in need are pretty standard in Christmas specials but this one does a nice job at not jamming them down our throat.

Although the story is quite touching, there are a few questions that I have: How do the Ghost-Monsters know Jingle Bells if there is no Christmas in Pac-Land? How did Pac-Man know what to do with the wrapped presents if he's never seen a wrapped present before? If the Power Pellets are so powerful why don't the Ghost Monsters eat them? And where is Mezmeron? Surely he would want to stop Pac-Man from saving Christmas!

The show has its share of problems, most of which are trying to fill the 22-minutes that make up this special. Each 22-minute episode of the series is made up of two 11-minute episodes, but the studio decided that this Christmas tale is too big for 11-minutes so they gave it a full 22-minutes. The problem is that there is not enough story to fill the 22-minutes so there is a lot a filler. Chase scenes mostly.

Christmas Comes to Pac-Land is not available on DVD yet. Although you can usually find it on youtube.