One Of the Greatest Holiday Classics Of All Time
ggghh345 | 11/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe nobody's reviewed this yet! This is one of my favorite holiday specials ever -- can't quite call it a "Christmas" special, b/c it's not about Chirstmas, really. It's about snow.This 1974 half-hour classic is a product of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and features the voices of Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner. Mind you, this special first aired a year or so before these two actors premiered on Saturday Night Live -- quite an artifact.The story is simple: it takes place in a time before winter had snow, and winter is just an all-round terrible season because of it. So, the townsfolk decide to travel to The Ministry of Winter to make a complaint to Winter in person. Unfortunately, they leave right before Christmas, so most of the townsfolk end up turning back. The only people who stay are Goodly, Nicely, Rotten, Malicious, Small, Tender, and (I think) Zowie. Actually, I don't think his name is Zowie at all, but it's something like that. I think it starts with a "B". He's big and red and shaggy all over - kind of like the Lorax trees from that Dr. Suess book. Anyway...FYI, Goodly & Rotten are voiced by Dan Aykroyd. Nicely & Malicious are voiced by Gilda Radner, and she provides a narrated introduction.NOTE: ***SPOILERS IN NEXT PARAGRAPH***
So Goodly, Nicely, Rotten, et. al., get to the Ministry of Winter, and they meet the Secretary of Cold, but she won't let them see Winter without an appointment. She gives them really sloppy directions on how to get to the office that makes the appointments, and so Goodly, Nicely, et. al, get lost in the building. They get separated in pairs, and Goodly and Nicely find their way to Winter's office. They make their case to Winter to make the season nice, but he says no. Meanwhile, Rotten and Malicious set a bomb to blow up the Ministry of Winter, which was their plan all along. Small, Tender, and Zowie (or whatever) accidentally make their way into Winter's office and, without seeing him, comment about how sad Winter must be. He is sad, so he starts crying, which freezes and turns to snow. Small and Tender love the snow immediately, and it puts out the fuse of the bomb that Rotten and Malicious set. Winter is happy for the first time, and all seven of the characters are able to ride the snow back to town just in time for Christmas. And so now we have snow. The end.I can't say enough about how great this TV special is. The original production quality is cheap, VERY cheap, but it only works to make the special more charming. Almost all of the sound effects are provided by the actors ("TROMP! TROMP! TROMP!" when the people march, "Creeeek..." when a door creeks open), which adds a really nice touch. The background art is very minimal. In fact, all of the animation is cheap. To make up for it, the drawings are stylistically rendered in a fashion that makes the lack of production quality work in its favor. BUY or RENT this on DVD or VHS today! You'll be pleasantly surprised! Used copies of this on VHS are EXTREMELY cheap, too (I saw one listed for $0.98!!!), so I would suggest you go out and add this to your annual Christmas viewing. I watch this every holiday season, and it never ceases to warm my heart.Oh, and keep an eye out for the scene with the effemminate trees."