Santa and the Three Bears (1970)

Im finding it increasingly ironic that Im having to post my Christmas videos on what has been the hottest may in the UK since 1935…Seriously. At this point I really dont know how im not just a puddle on the floor really. Though I suppose that posting these christmas videos has helped me to at least visualise the cold in a vein attempt to keep myself cool.

“Santa and the three bears” was picked up along with “Dot and Spots Magical christmas vacation” from a charity shop for about 50p I believe. Before this I’d neither seen nor heard about it ever and based on the DVD cover (See the video thumbnail) I thought I might be inheriting some kind of eastern european “Worker and Parasite”-esq kids animation that was going to be a rickety and hilarious affair. Though in many ways it surpassed my expectations.

This is hardly Hannah Barbara fodder. it’s a little bit wobbly in places, but as far as animation goes this ones really not too bad. Though even I’ll concede that there are a few trippy sequences that kind of left me head scratching.

This isnt really a particularly good christmas film to be honest. The story is quite dull and again I think in hindsight that unless you grew up with this one and have ingrained nostalgia over it, theres not much reason to dig this one out.

Though thats one of the things that I love about these videos. It allows me to go digging for films that dont really get an airing and view them from the perspective of someone who’s never seen these films before. Sometimes I land on solid gold, other times I come away bitterly dissapointed. and with “Santa and the three bears” Im glad that I got to talk about it and review it. I really am. But I dont think I can say that this ones a “Must see”…if your a parent who grew up with this one; Show it to your kids by all means. Thats the magic and joy of tradition…But otherwise All I can say is that my own memories of this one could best be described as “Meh…” with a side order of “Eh…”

 

(There are some fun little music stings though…but your milage may vary)

Dot and Spots Magical Christmas Adventure (1996)

Here we have the most watched video on my channel…At least as of the time of writing it is…it’s currently my most watched video by a country mile. Quite how it’s achieved over 1000 views in less than 6 months I cant say…Before my youtube analytics decided to cark it I was able to find out that the majority of the traffic that was going to it was coming from Brazil. So I have to assume that either this forgotten christmas kids movie has had a second life out in Brazil or theres something in my SEO that is driving traffic to this video in the same way that Im driven to the cake section of an all you can eat buffet.

It’s not even particularly an all that great movie. Out of all the films I’ve spoken about on my youtube channel I could pick half a dozen movies that haven’t broke 50 views on my channel that have little to no recognition and desperately should be seen…and yet the 90’s kids movie thats just trying to cash in on 101 Dalmations is the one thats the most well received…I mean; Im glad that one of my videos has been viewed that much, but at the same time I do have to say “Why!?”

I found this movie in a charity shop along with the next film I reviewed (Santa and the three bears) and I paid 50p for it. I’d never heard of it before then and it took me a ridiculously long period of time to try and find it on amazon because its mislabeled on there…at least it was at the time when I was writing my review.

The company who produced this short went on to produce another animated kids short which Im considering talking about this Christmas just so I can have the set. It was a bit of a weird time during the christmas period last year because the first week of December fell on a friday that meant it was the 1st/2nd of December and because it was so early in the month I didnt want to just jump right in with the christmas cheer right out of the gate. so this came out a bit later in the month than was initially scheduled but It formed the opening part of my Christmas specials which would run right up to the 2nd series finale which I believe was a few days before new years day.

This isnt the best christmas film ever made but I could very easily see how people could be nostalgic for a movie like this…even though I dont get it myself. I can empathize with the people who do have those fond memories of sitting with the family during winter and sinking this with the christmas feeling in full force.

(I still cant quite believe that the people who animated this did the original concept art for Crash Bandicoot and Spyro…its a crazy world my friends…)

Let’s Ruin Dads Day (Coming Unglued) – 1999

The Words “Worst movie ever made” are thrown around a lot these days…sure there are some people out there who’ll rag on the latest blockbuster or who’ll go onto netflix and find some new release that “Sucks harder than anything thats ever sucked before” and in there world it must be nice to watch the new Marvel film or some indie piece of cinema and think “This is the worst movie I’ve ever seen”…

I wish I could relive those days…I really do. I wish I could go back to a time when I could watch “A Nightmare on elm street 4” and think it was the worst movie in the world. they seem like the “Good old days” comparitively. in 2009 I saw what I thought at the time was the worst movie ever made “Dolla Morte” a Production by Bill Z. Bub. And I hated myself for having it as the worst film i’d ever seen. for multiple reasons, but mainly because it was intentionally trying to be a bad movie. something that nowadays I disqualify films aiming for the “Worst movie ever” title for. Its not so bad it’s good. it’s not even so bad it’s bad…it’s so bad it’s boring. boring, and edgelord-esq with all of the bark and non of the bite. I was ashamed that I had to tell people this was the worst movie I’d ever seen because I felt it gave it some kind of mythical “Challenge” status which it really didnt deserve.

But in 2017 quite by chance I stumbled upon “Let’s ruin Dads day” and it fundamentally changed my opinions on film and the viewing experience forever. Y’see, Let’s ruin dads day isnt just a “So bad it’s bad” movie…it’s a “So bad it could actually harm you” movie. Completely unbeknownst to me I discovered that Kids movies are effectively a portal to actual Hell. when they’re good kid’s films are charming nostalgia trips that are entertaining and amusing in there own right…theres a reason why the Disney movies and films like “The Pagemaster” and “The Goonies” stay in the public conciousness as much as they do. But Bad kids films? Bad kids films are almost the opposite of that. irritating insufferable nightmare rides that purposfully Cauterize parts of your soul and mind to the point that you genuinely lose all faith and love in the craft of film.

Since starting these videos I’ve only explored a handful of kids movies and every one thats been bad has far FAR outweighed any adult oriented bad movie 10 fold. I would happily sit through “Dolla morte” or “Jesus: the total douchebag” or any of the american pie spin off movies for hours and hours and hours rather than watch even 5 minutes of a genuinely bad kids movie. And “Let’s ruin Dad’s day” to me at least at this point in time is the absolute worst kids film of all kids films. Not only because it actually irritates from a scripting, directing, acting, cinematography, musically, editing, lighting, animation and sound design standpoint. But because it actively promotes ideas and scenarios that in real life would typically end with your kids either kidnapped, on drugs or molested. This film both actively and subconciously is telling your children that it’s okay to take rides from strangers and that meeting up with people on the internet is a perfectly okay thing to do. And I have to assume that the reason this film is the way it is is because its produced with the angle of opening up a dialogue for parents to talk to there kids about stranger danger…But the DVD gives no hints that this is the case and any parent buying this for there kids would have no idea that this was its intended purpose unless they watched it, understood and took on board why some of these plot elements are dodgey, wrote a plan of action of how to broach the subject with there kids. And thats all before the sprogs even set eyes on the film.

What im saying is its unrealistic to assume that parents would pre-watch this and that even if they did it would be unlikely that they would think anything of the plot points in this film. But to a wide eyed child this could well be the movie that makes them get in a car with strangers, or agree to meet someone they dont know in real life…and thats horrific. combined with the frankly atrocious technical aspects of this and the rehashed trite script work. Let’s ruin dads day is not just a bad movie. it’s a dangerous movie. And I seriously cannot emphisise that enough.

(Even the DVD cover is obnoxious, generic and poor quality…jesus.)

 

Also; Because im a nice person, I realised a while ago that Let’s ruin dads day has absolutely shocking representation in google images…the highest resolution image of the cover was frankly insultingly low. So I bought a copy, scanned it into my computer at 8k and tweaked it on photoshop so there would be a hi res copy of the cover people could use going forward…See below…your welcome.

Lets Ruin Dads day - Fixed

Bob Godfreys Instant Sex (NSFW)

Occasionally doing this show will turn up things that I either wish I didnt learn or something that will alter my own memories in a fundamental way. Thats what happened here with this Bob Godfrey compilation. As a kid I was a massive fan of “Rhubarb and Custard” I had a few video tapes with episodes on and I have very fond memories of sitting on my parents sofa with a big mug of hot chocolate just loving the weird and wonderful art style. those memories are still very firmly ingrained but now when I think of Childrens animator Bob Godfrey Instead of this happy childhood memory being the forefront of my thoughts on the animator. instead I think of shorts like “Henry 9 to 5” or “Biowoman”…

I know quite a few animators from my childhood who were involved in adult cartoons or animations but Godfrey stands out simply because of how unique his drawing style really was. its lively with squiggly line pretty much electrafying anything he put his pen to. it really brings life to his shorts and this compilation set is no exception. to me its what makes them as memorable as they are.

I dont think i’ll be revisiting this set again any time soon. But in many ways I dont think I’ll need to…the plots and style of these shorts are strong enough that there thoroughly embedded in my psyche from now on…So what I will say is if you have fond memories of “Henry’s cat” or “Rhubarb” from your childhood…be prepared to have that fundamentally altered in ways that are irreversable.

(I should think this goes without saying but yeh…this is pretty NSFW…)