Even I, a long time Muppet aficionado, somehow missed this one…
So I gave it whirl…
What I discovered was so shocking, I was forced to make the children leave the room or else their psyche would be scarred forever!
It was as if a crime was in progress and I was powerless to stop it!
Once I soldiered past the obligatory opening song, which was definitely not a Paul Williams piece, the story began to unfold.
It featured children’s toys that play on their own when no one else is around…
A doll, a talking phone, a horse, a sock monkey, even a salty old bear with a cane…so many, many toys!
The young child’s favorite toy is a tiger named Rugby, last year’s big gift who is excited for Christmas to come again…
So much so, he wants to sneak down under the tree to be unveiled once again to the joyful face of the child.
One problem…In this world, a toy can be frozen forever if it is found out of place from where it was left!
Once Rugby realizes his dilemma, he is attacked by the newest Christmas toy, a space traveler doll…
A space traveler doll who DOESN’T KNOW it’s a toy!
What! What!! WHAT!!!
Where have I seen THIS before!?
How could this be so similar to Disney Pixar’s TOY STORY? They would never appropriate a story without proper attribution!
Ehh, They might, rabbit, they might…
Well, knowing this first aired December 6th, 1986, and Toy Story was released November, 1995, what else could I think?
Even the children, as they peeked around the door from the other room, knew the jig was up!
So many similar toys, such an uncanny plot, and A SPACE TRAVELER WHO DOESN’T KNOW IT’S A TOY!
I have not been able to find any solid proof that this potential crime has been acknowledged anywhere else.
I suppose if we just ignore it, it didn’t happen!
All I’m saying is, “CHRISTMAS TOY, please show me on this salty bear toy where PIXAR touched you…”
I suspect I will never know what really happened…
As if all that is not enough, apparently Kermit the Frog has once again been excised from yet another production that he both introduced and wrapped! Due to “LEGAL REASONS” I’m told…
After calming down and getting my composure, I finished watching the CHRISTMAS TOY, settling on telling the children that this is an alternate universe, a lot like that JJ ABRAMS nonsense we stumbled upon a few years ago…They are tough little Romans, they will survive!
At least Jim Henson remains at the heart of this special in the form of the JACK IN THE BOX. And Kermit remains in spirit as Mew the Cat Toy, my favorite character, performed by Kermit’s present day muppeteer, Steve Whitmire!
However, my faith has truly been tested and I must now go forward wondering what other of my favorite stories may have been borrowed from “elsewhere”….
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