This may sound funny, but it's true. Laugh if you like.
As any number of people can tell you, I am very enthusiastic about Christmas Specials. One of my favourite Christmas specials since 1999, right next to The Muppet Family Christmas, has been Robbie the Reindeer and Hooves of Fire. This film is absolutely Brilliant. It changes the way a person lives his young teenage life. First saw this 'toon on a Saturday morning and was so enthrawled that I still have the TV promo memoried. I sing it most days around the house. (Dave Naus will not be shocked by this in the SLIGHTEST.)
To the tune of "Hark the Harald," double time.
and a real great dancer, Ya!
He's got a nose and he knows Santa,
and he wants to pull the sliegh.
But there's Blitzen, he's a mean one.
Wants poor Robbie to be Freezin'
Then there's snow on Digimon,
two episodes with lots of fun....
ANYWAYS. This thing is Brillient. Stop-Motion/Claymation animation (using ball and socket armatures as well as standard plasticine) and a WICKED comedic edge. Which is to say that it's British. Voiced by some of the top comedic voices in the UK. Unbelievably good. OH! And it was produced by Comic Relief, a charitable fund for sick Children (also responsible for Red Nose day).
BUT: If you haven't seen Robbie the Reindeer yet, BE WARNED!!!! THERE IS A FOWL PLOT AFOOT!
America Strikes Again.
Now, I'm not one to bash our heavily-armed neighbours to the south, but this time they have gone too far. On Dec. 17, CBS will be airing TWO Robbie Adventures, Hooves of Fire and the 2002 release The Legend of the Lost Tribe. Sounds good, right? NO!!!!
For $ome $trange rea$on that I CANNOT $ee, somebody in America thought that the Robbie films would sell better in America if they got AMERICAN VOICE OVERS. Do you have any idea what it's like to tune into to some of your favourite animated characters and hear BRITNEY SPEARS and BEN STILLER come out of their mouths? Like they were choking on Stupid and spitting up their Dignity. Eww. Almost the whole cast has been recast with bottom-of-the-barrel voice performances by people who apparently have no idea what it means to do voice acting. IT WAS TERRIBLE! It's like they weren't trying! ACK!
Janie and I rented Lengend of the Lost Tribe on DVD and I barely slept that night I was so upset. We seriously were totally bummbed out. The story was alright and the animation great, but the characters were flat, lifeless, and didn't seem to get that which lines were supposed to be Funny. (Oddly enough, the "American" version includes British talent Hugh Grant, but either they didn't use his voice or he sounds EXACTLY like the other guy that played Blitzen. Wierd.)
But there is hope.
The next morning I had to try something. So while scarfing down my Life cereal and All Bran, we spun the TV around and tried something. Power. Play. Audio Options. And there it was! Way down on the bottum of the Setup menu page was "Alternate UK voice track!" WOO HOO! It's true! The original voice ARE included on the DVD, and the Legend of the Tribe was saved!
SO, in recap:
Robbie is AMAZING.
Don't watch the American version. Sucks.
Rent both shorts on one DVD, but look for "Alternate UK vocal track" on back
Go rent it right now.
Oh yeah, some scenes may not be suitable for youngest children.
-Gotta Go. Late for Chiro.