Today, I offer unto thee more obscure retro junk. What else is new, right? I suppose I could make a bad pun with that, but I’ll spare you.
First of all, last night I found a VHS copy of Jim Henson’s The Christmas Toy at Second Chance. I suspect most of you haven’t heard of it. That’s because it hasn’t been aired on TV since probably 1993 or something. It hasn’t been released on DVD, which is why the VHS goes for at least twenty-five bucks on Amazon.
When I saw it on the shelf, I would have excitedly spouted profanities if there hadn’t been some kids hanging around. There wasn’t a price tag on it, and I was expecting it to cost at least fifteen dollars, but guess how much it was? Five dollars. Made my frigging day. I haven’t seen this special since it aired on Nickelodeon in the 90s, and I didn’t want to pay thirty dollars for it.
The Wikipedia article talks about the similarities between this and Toy Story, which came about ten years later. Coincidence?
My dad recorded it off TV when it aired on a local station. I was only about 3 or 4 years old; haven’t seen it since probably the late 80s. I remember watching it a whole lot, rewinding my favorite parts over and over again. (Maybe that’s why that VCR broke.) I almost want to see it again just to figure out why I liked it so damn much, but this might be one of those things that would be better left in the past.
For one thing, it involves Pinocchio trying to save the world from an extraterrestrial whale called Astro. Sounds like a bad acid trip, huh? Well, it was made in the 60s.
There’s actually a lot more info about it online than I thought there would be. I guess that even though it’s obscure, it’s so bizarre that people never forget it. I certainly never did.
And now, The Velveteen Rabbit. No, not the book (though I have and enjoy that too). I’m talking about one of the several animated adaptations. This version seems to be little-known, only having minimal details on IMDB. It doesn’t even have enough votes to have a star rating.
I first saw it when I was about 4 or 5 years old. They showed it to us at Head Start (kinda like preschool, if you’ve never heard of it). It made a very lasting impression on me, because it was one of the first things I saw that almost made me cry.
A year or so ago, I actually found it on DVD! At Walgreens, of all places! I was shocked. It was only about two bucks. Unfortunately…I got what I paid for. The audio is horribly out-of-sync throughout the whole thing. Very distracting. So, since Second Chance has a VHS copy of it (told you that place was a goldmine), I think I’m gonna buy it next time I get a chance.
They also have a different version, which looks like it was one of the ABC Weekend Specials (anyone remember those?). I might also pick that one up. It’s also pretty obscure, since I haven’t found much info about it yet. People also seem to frequently confuse the two versions.
Well, that’s all I got for now. I apologize; the quality of my writing has faltered lately, I think. I promise to do better in the future, so hang in there…if you’re interested.
Edit: Think I said “also” enough times in this damn post? I really am slipping.