My parents sometimes buy theatre tickets for me (and themselves) around Christmas, and 2017 was one of those Christmases. Given that we all very much enjoyed The 39 Steps (a wonderful play whose website is sadly plagued by hackers, which now means finding new tour dates is completely impossible) at The Lichfield Garrick some years ago, they were delighted to see there was a new play that spoofed madcap old-timey thrillers, where the cast (a company known as New Old Friends) played multiple roles and invoked some inventive set design on a budget. Sounds ideal, right?
Christmas specials either become beloved classics or dwindle into obscurity. That’s just how it is – obviously, there’s not enough room for them all as timeless favourites. But what about the ones that really, really want to be timeless, but end up only sort of being remembered? Well, that’s what happened in 1977 when Hanna-Barbera made A Flintstone Christmas (not to be confused with 1993’s A Flinstone Family Christmas, which I might cover sometime in the future.)
For some reason, some animated Christmas specials just stay in your head. That’s fine and dandy if it’s some bygone classic like A Charlie Brown Christmas or Frosty the Snowman, but what if it’s some random thing that was on for one year, then never got shown again? That’s exactly what happened to me back in 1996, back when I saw this cartoon one Christmas Day.
… so I might as well have a quick rundown of some nice little seasonal things I’ve come across over the past week or so. No time like the present…
It’s always a little tradition of mine to listen to more radio in one fortnight then I normally do in six months, thanks to my going through the much-beloved Christmas Radio Times issue with a fine-tooth comb and highlighting any programmes of interest. Aside from a couple of documentaries highlighting how Christmases are spent in other cultures which were amusing and enlightening, there was one particular programme that I absolutely loved: Crisp And Even Brightly. Continue reading
One of the things I remember of Christmases as a child was watching all kinds of animated Christmas specials on TV after opening my presents. Most of those specials have faded away into the mists of time, but a few bob up every now and then, usually because they’re still shown around the festive period.
However, in recent years I keep recalling one particular yuletide cartoon that’s never been repeated since, called Jingle Bell Rock. I finally caved in to nostalgia and tried to find a way to watch this cartoon in a way that was completely legal, just to see if it still measured up to the scraps of memory I possessed of this odd little tale… and boy is this odd. Continue reading