Sunday, December 9, 2012

Countdown to Christmas: The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas (1973)

Now, here's a holiday treat long forgotten, as it hasn't aired on cable in years.

DePatie-Freleng produced The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas for NBC in 1973, and assembled a star-laden cast for the 30-minute special. Tommy Smothers is the bear in the title, as Ted E. Bear, whose curiosity about Christmas has him postponing his hibernation for a while. The voice cast also includes Arte Johnson (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In), Barbara Feldon (ex-Get Smart), and, as the narrator, in his first gig for DFE, radio & cartoon icon Casey Kasem.

Lionsgate now owns the rights to Bear, and have been seemingly reluctant to air it on TV for some reason. In fact, in order to get the complete special, you have to buy it, or rent it for at least 24 hours for $1.99, according to YouTube. As it is, Lionsgate's Video On Demand channel on YouTube provides this sample, encompassing the first 2 minutes or so, with a tag at the end urging you to buy the video in order to view it in its entirety.

Hey, it ain't my fault, pilgrims.



Rating: A.

2 comments:

magicdog said...

I remember this, though I don't recall it running more than twice in my area at Christmas time.

I DO remember the ending when Ted (spoiler alert!!) stays to be the TOY of the little girl he meets in the story. Even as a kid I thought that was a weird ending! He became a girl's TOY! Sure he was a real as he was in the beginning but he's expected to be this kid's companion! Never mind the life he had back in Bear Land! Wouldn't his freinds and family have wondered what became of him?

hobbyfan said...

Maybe he found his destiny, I don't know. I was a little taken aback by the ending myself when I saw it, and I was 10 at the time.

Luckily, our Ted wasn't the model for Seth McFarlane's movie.......