The Christmas Toy

The Christmas Toy

"The Christmas Toy" VHS cover
Directed by Eric Till
Produced by Jim Henson
Written by Laura Phillips
Starring Dave Goelz
Steve Whitmire
Kathryn Mullen
Jerry Nelson
Richard Hunt
Camille Bonora
Music by Jeff Moss
Edited by Geoff Craigen
Distributed by Henson Associates
Sony Pictures
Release dates
  • December 6, 1986 (1986-12-06)
Running time
50 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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.[1]

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.[2]


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.[3]

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.

Actor Role
Marsha Moreau Jamie
Zachary Bennett Jesse

Muppet performers

Actor Role
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
Brian Henson Cruiser
Rob Mills Bleep the Robot
Nicky Tilroe Ding-a-ling the Phone
Jim Henson Jack-in-the-Box, Kermit the Frog



  1. "A Sleighful Of Christmas Specials". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  2. "TV REVIEWS : Muppets Come to Life in 'Toys'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-20.
  3. The Christmas Toy presents the darkest holiday of Jim Henson's career The AV Club retrieved 2014-11-15
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