The Christmas Toy
|The Christmas Toy|
"The Christmas Toy" VHS cover
|Directed by||Eric Till|
|Produced by||Jim Henson|
|Written by||Laura Phillips|
|Music by||Jeff Moss|
|Edited by||Geoff Craigen|
The Christmas Toy is a 1986 Emmy Award nominated television film, directed by Eric Till and produced by The Jim Henson Company, featuring Jim Henson's Muppets, including Rugby the Tiger who remembers how he was the Christmas Toy last year, and thinks he's going to be unwrapped again this year. The film, which originally aired on December 6, 1986 on ABC, was sponsored by Kraft Foods.
Originally introduced by Kermit The Frog, it was released on VHS format in 1993. In 2008, HIT Entertainment (distributed by Lionsgate) released the special on DVD, but edited out Kermit's opening introduction due to legal issues.
The film later inspired a spin-off television series called Secret Life of Toys.
When no people are around, the toys still play in the playroom. But since a toy will be frozen forever if a person catches it out of position, they have to be very careful. It's Christmas Eve, and Rugby the Tiger remembers how he was the favorite Christmas toy last year and wants to be the favorite again this year, as not to be replaced by another toy. However, he doesn't stop to think that if Jamie unwrapped him again this year, she'd see him out of his normal place that she usually puts him and he'd be frozen forever. It's up to Apple the Doll, whom Rugby supplanted as favorite toy, to tell him what's in store. But Rugby won't believe her, and tries to get into the Christmas package and lets Meteora, Queen of the Asteroids loose. Unfortunately, she doesn't know she's a toy, and thinks she's landed among aliens. And it's up to Apple, Mew (the Cat's toy mouse), and the other toys to get Rugby out of the box and Meteora back in it before they're found and frozen forever.
But Mew is caught, and frozen. Only then does Rugby realize what a good friend Mew has been to him, and how selfishly he has been acting. Rugby sings "Old friend, dear friend, friend who has gone away, I want to tell you I love you. I wish you'd hear things that I meant to say, I want to tell you I love you. Always you believed in me, but you never knew, old friend, dear friend, so much I longed to say; first of all, most of all, I love you." This brings Mew back to life, and then the other toys also know how to revive their other frozen friends.
On the morning of Christmas Day, Jamie and Jessie enjoy their new toys alongside their current toys. While the kids are away, the toys sing "Together at Christmas." Kermit joins in at the end of the special.
|Dave Goelz||Rugby the Tiger, Ditz, Dauntless Dragon|
|Steve Whitmire||Mew the Toy Mouse|
|Kathryn Mullen||Apple the Doll|
|Jerry Nelson||Balthazar the Teddy Bear|
|Richard Hunt||Belmont the Pull-Toy Horse|
|Camille Bonora||Meteora, Queen of the Asteroids|
|Rob Mills||Bleep the Robot|
|Nicky Tilroe||Ding-a-ling the Phone|
|Jim Henson||Jack-in-the-Box, Kermit the Frog|
- Jim Henson's The Christmas Toy
- The Muppet Performers: Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Kathryn Mullen, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Camille Bonora, Brian Henson, Rob Mills, Nicky Tilroe
- Cast: Marsha Moreau as Jamie, Zachary Bennett as Jesse
- Production Designer: Val Strazovec
- Lighting Designer: John Rook
- Musical Conductor & Arranger: Dick Lieb
- Muppet Design Group: Edward G. Christie, JoAnne Green, Jan Rosenthal, Rollin Krewson, Norman Tempia, Tim Miller
- Mechanical Design: Tom Newby, Fred Buchholz, Larry Jameson, Thom Flowers
- Conceptual Designer: Larry Di Fiori
- Story Editor: Jocelyn Stevenson
- Creative Consultants: Lawrence S. Mirkin and Bonnie Erickson
- Production Manager: Ritamarie Peruggi
- Assistant Director: Wayne Moss
- Editor: Geoff Craigen
- Set Decorator: Ken Coontz
- Technical Director: Ken Brown
- Cameramen: Rick McVicar and Steve Benson
- Script Assistant: Linda Bain
- Audio: Gary Ventem, Peter Mann, Paul Massey
- Produced by: Jim Henson and Martin G. Baker
- Executive Producer: Diana Birkenfield
- A Henson Associates Production
- "A Sleighful Of Christmas Specials". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
- "TV REVIEWS : Muppets Come to Life in 'Toys'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
- The Christmas Toy presents the darkest holiday of Jim Henson's career The AV Club retrieved 2014-11-15