About Christmas TV History

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Ralph Bakshi Christmas

Ralph Bakshi at ComicCon in 2008

Christmas in Tattertown is a half hour animated TV special from Bakshi Animation. Of course, Ralph Bakshi is the legendary animator that made Fritz the Cat, Lord of the Rings and Cool World to name a few. This Christmas special was an original pilot for a series which never got picked up. And so it spends more story time developing characters than it does exploring Christmas. However, this piece features a 1920 and '30s cartoon look and style much to the delight of modern animation fans. This program has the distinction of being the very first original animated TV special made for Nickelodeon.

Debbie and her two dolls Dog and Muffet fall into a book that leads them to Tattertown, an enchanted place where lost and forgotten junk ends up. Debbie’s dolls have come to life and Muffet discovers that she has her own will to do as she pleases. Debbie busies herself collecting all the lost Christmas items throughout Tattertown to make a Christmas celebration. But Muffet is organizing an army against Debby and the residents of Tattertown. With her spider friend dressed as a reindeer, Muffet dresses as Santa Claus to crash the Tattertown Christmas celebration until she bumps into the real Santa Claus! Debbie inspires the junk in Tattertown with the Christmas spirit by playing an old phonograph record of Bing Crosby singing ‘White Christmas.’

Look for the jazz saxophone named Miles that serves as the story’s narrator. And, Mr. Tannenbaum, an evergreen that runs the Tattertown comic book store that becomes Debbie’s Christmas tree speaks with a New York Jewish accent.

Very recently this rare TV special became available for viewing on Youtube. Here it is in three parts:

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