Tag Archives: 2015

A JETSON CHRISTMAS CAROL (1985)

JetsonsA JETSON CHRISTMAS CAROL (1985) – Christmas Carol-A- Thon 2015 continues here at Balladeer’s Blog! This 1985 animated version of the Dickens classic incorporates the characters from the Hanna Barbera program The Jetsons. They were a family who were the far-future counterparts of the Stone Age family The Flintstones. 

A Jetsons Christmas Carol is not very good but it’s a lot better than the irritatingly awful Flintstones Christmas Carol. If you know the characters you can fill in the blanks yourself:

George Jetson is the substitute for the novel’s put-upon Bob Cratchit, and finds himself ordered to work very late on Christmas Eve, disappointing his wife Jane and their kids Elroy and Judy.  Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984): STUMP THEATRE VERSION

PBSBalladeer’s Blog continues its annual orgy of versions of the Dickens classic as Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2015 resumes!  

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1984) – Don’t be misled by the 1984 date, this is neither the George C Scott version NOR the French TV version which I first reviewed years ago. This is a taped stage performance that aired on Ohio Public Television station WNEO on December 22nd, 1984.  

Just to give you an idea of the psychotically obsessive lengths I sometimes go to to track down these obscure versions of the Carol: Years ago when I bought this it was one of the many productions not available on video. Nor was it to be found on E-bay or Amazon or any of the usual outlets.

By emailing various staff members at Kent State University (whose theatre department mounted this version) I eventually reached a kind individual. He stated that, though the university did not have copies of the production for sale he would ask around on the KSU faculty’s exclusive chat boards to see if anyone had a copy they may have taped off television back in 1984. Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1947): LEYENDA DE NAVIDAD

Leyenda de NavidadWelcome to another installment of Balladeer’s Blog’s annual orgy of versions of A Christmas Carol. This version was produced in Spain in 1947 (and was remade for Spanish television in 1966 ) and the Spanish language title is Leyenda de Navidad ( Legend of Christmas, of course).

The film was written and directed by Manuel Tamayo (who wrote the screenplay for the 1955 feature Tarde de Toros) This is a wonderful version for several reasons, not the least of which would be its well-done (for the time period) sets of 1843 London.

We’ll take the differences and similarities to other versions in order – 1. Scrooge has several people working for him for some reason, not just Bob Cratchit and NONE of them get Christmas Day off from this Scrooge  …

2.  Marley’s Ghost steps out of a life-sized portrait of the man that adorns the wall above a fireplace, and returns to that portrait after his standard warning about the 3 Ghosts …

3. Transportation through time with Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL: FRANK BAXTER VERSION

Frank BaxterBalladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon for 2015 continues! This time around I’m examining a 1965 production from California PBS station KCET. The title may not sound action-packed and appealing but Dr Frank Baxter was to the 1950s and 1960s what Carl Sagan and The Reduced Shakespeare Company were to later decades.

Just as The Reduced Shakespeare Company made the works of the Bard of Avon more accessible and therefore more popular among non-Shakespeare fans Dr Baxter’s Shakespeare on TV series inspired younger generations to take an interest in the works of the great Elizabethan playwright.

And like Carl Sagan’s series Cosmos made him a virtual rockstar of the scientific field Dr Baxter’s entertaining and educational Bell Laboratory  Science Series of film shorts made him enormously popular among teachers and students in every school that used those shorts as classroom aids. The Bell Laboratory Science Series educational shorts were so effective and beloved they were still being used in the 70s and 80s.

This black & white hour-long holiday special features Baxter at a Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL: INUIT CARTOON VERSION (1988)

Balladeer’s Blog continues its annual look at various versions of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol!

inuit broadcasting corporationTAKUGINAI (December 1988) – As always I enjoy reviewing some of the most obscure and/ or neglected versions of the Carol that I can find. Takuginai was (and is) broadcast by the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The half-hour program is a clever and energetic children’s show.  

In December of 1988 Takuginai‘s usual blend of puppetry and live-action squeezed in a cartoon version of A Christmas Carol as well. The animation is very VERY limited: think Clutch Cargo then strip away all the dazzling technical prowess. (Yes, it’s THAT limited.)   Continue reading

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CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON 2015 CONTINUES: VARIATIONS

Balladeer’s Blog continues its annual look at various versions of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol! This particular item will examine episodes of television shows where the Carol was adapted to incorporate the program’s regular cast of characters.

wkrpWKRP IN CINCINNATI

Episode Title: Bah, Humbug

Original Broadcast Date: December 20th, 1980

Comment: Mr Carlson (Gordon Jump), the station owner, is the Scrooge stand-in in this fairly good sitcom version of the Carol.

Eating some of DJ Johnny Fever’s drug-laced brownies Carlson dreams about visits from the Ghost of Christmas Past – sexy Jennifer (Loni Anderson), Present – black DJ Venus Flytrap (Tim Reid) and Yet to Come – Dr Johnny Fever (Howard Hesseman).     Continue reading

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COLLEGE BASEBALL CHAMPIONS FOR 2015

One last round of congratulations to the college baseball champions from the nine divisions covered here at Balladeer’s Blog.

Lewis-Clark State Warriors NEWNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)

National Champions – LEWIS-CLARK STATE WARRIORS

Runners-Up – Saint Thomas (FL) University Bobcats

2014 Champions – Cumberland University Bulldogs Continue reading

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