Friday, December 1, 2017

The Christmas Toy

In 1986 Jim Henson introduced us to Rugby the tiger and his friends in the family holiday special "The Christmas Toy"! I remember when this first aired on TV we recorded it onto VHS and watched it every year. It became one of our favorite Christmas movies. I still remember that it was presented by KRAFT foods and they ran a recipe or holiday related commercial for KRAFT products during every break!
The story revolves around our main character Rugby, who was last year's beloved Christmas toy wanting to be this year's Christmas toy. He is willing to do anything to get under the tree this year, even facing off with the people who live there. You see, if a toy is found out of place they become "frozen" forever, but this matters not to our confident hero, Rugby!
His best friends Mew, the cat toy and Apple, the doll try to do their best to stop him, but the Tiger proves to wily for them to keep in the play room. Rugby eventually makes it to the living room, but finds out that someone else is under the tree! He learns a valuable lesson from his adventure and Christmas cheer is spread throughout the house. I don't want to spoil the ending for you if you haven't seen this special yet, but it's pretty AWESOME!
"The Christmas Toy" still remains one of my favorite holiday specials and I was finally able to pick up a DVD copy of it a few years ago, so I could introduce it to my kids. Guess what? They love it too!
My only beef with the latest release of "The Christmas Toy" is that they completely removed all evidence that Kermit the frog was in this film! I understand that HIT had to do this because Disney owns the Muppets now, but it just didn't seem right to keep the green legend out of this special. I mean, he did the introduction that sets up the whole story! If you would like to see Kermit's intro, you can view it in the video below.
What is your favorite Christmas special/movie? Let us know in the comments below and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from 20 Years Before 2000!


  1. Thanks for posting this. Never heard of this and I am a huge fan of all things Jim Henson. Looked on Amazon for this and it's a pretty penny. Will have to find a way to watch it somewhere down the line.

    Two favorite Christmas movies - The Muppet Christmas Carol and the Year Without a Santa Claus. My daughter and I watch both at least three times each Christmas season.

    1. Both of those are excellent selections! My family watches at least a dozen different variations on "A Christmas Carol" every year. From Mickey to Looney Tunes it never gets old!