It’s the Christmas season and on a recent excursion to local thrift stores, I found a great tape to add to the VHS archive. One of the most beloved animation studios of the ’80s and ’90s was DIC Entertainment. They produced shows like Inspector Gadget, Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats, M.A.S.K., The Real Ghostbusters, ALF: The Animated Series, the second season of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sonic the Hedghog, and many more.
DIC Entertainment also did several one-off TV specials including Barbie and the Rockers: Out of This World, the Madeline series of specials and Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas. One that I was not familiar with until I found the VHS tape is Jingle Bell Rock. The Christmas special is a creative take on the famous Bobby Helms song by the same name. The big draw was that it featured the voice of Hollywood legend Milton Berle, who was 87 years old at the time of its release. Here is the description from the back of the slip cover:
Santa’s having a serious cash flow problem, so three of his laid-off elves, Buddy, Art and Richie, go to Hollywood (‘the real world’) to raise some big, big bucks to save Christmas. Buddy decides to sing the song he wrote Jingle Bell Rock) on a TV show so he can win the prize money for Santa. But Art and Richie’s elfishness turns into selfishness. They compete against Buddy and his new singing partner, Holly, so that they can win the money for themselves. But Buddy’s spirit of giving teaches everyone the true meaning of Christmas. Milton Berle supplies the voice of a ‘Big Time TV Producer’ in the charming, yet hip and witty holiday fable, perfect for the whole family!
I watched Jingle Bell Rock a few days ago and while it’s not the greatest Christmas special of all time, it was entertaining and might serve as a fun episode of the Advent Calendar House. Watch Jingle Bell Rock now in the VHS archive on the TRN TV YouTube channel…