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December 10, 2015

advent: day 10
posted by soe 3:12 am

I started out the Virtual Advent Tour ten days ago highlighting a favorite Christmas special of mine, and today I offer you a second one.

Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas is yet another kid-friendly special from Jim Henson, but this one leaves behind the familiar faces of The Muppets and instead takes us to Frogtown Hollow, where the Otter family, Emmet and his mother, Alice, struggle to make ends meet. She’s a washerwoman and he does odd repair jobs. But despite their poverty, they’re both relatively happy, sharing a love of music and fond memories of Emmet’s dreamer father. But when they hear about a Christmas Eve talent contest that would enable them to buy the other the Christmas gift they want most, they each secretly resolve to compete and win. In a twist on The Gift of the Magi, they each sacrifice not their own most valuable possession, but the other’s.

This makes it sound really depressing, but it’s not. Based on a 1971 picture book by Russell and Lillian Hoban (who also brought you the Frances the badger books), Henson aired the special first in 1978 on HBO and two years later on ABC. It includes music by Paul Williams, who wrote a variety of well-known pop hits from the 1970s, as well as the music for The Muppet Movie and the theme song for The Love Boat.

Apparently they’ll be showing this on ABC Family this weekend, but for those of us without access to that network, I offer you this version from YouTube (complete with the Interpol warnings not to illegally distribute it):

Category: arts,christmas/holiday season. There is/are 4 Comments.