|THE GLO-FRIENDS SAVE CHRISTMAS (syndication, 1985)|
|Why was it such a
Does anybody remember Glo-Worms? They were these plastic puffy larvae that loved you. It turned out children would rather hug bears than giant worms, and that impaired any real chance of success Glo-Worms had, but their main gimmick took them far enough: Glo-Worm toys glowed in the dark. I had a Glo-Worm, and it was just cool to have a bed toy that lit up. Good insurance against monsters, too, just in case the night light abruptly burnt out. Since their heyday was in the 1980's, Glo-Worms automatically got their own cartoon special, spreading the joy of Christmas and the word of buying Glo-Worms for every girl and boy.
So many popular heavily-licensed characters have saved Christmas over the years that it's easy to forget about the more un-sung saviors. In 1985 the Glo-Worms saved Christmas. That's a fact, and just because people are more familiar with Garfield or Kiss or Curtis Calhoun doing it, that shouldn't diminish their accomplishment any. We still celebrate Christmas today BECAUSE OF GLO-WORMS. These kids owe Santa's life to Glo-Worms and what thanks do they get? Complete obscurity, that's what. We need to honor our veterans!
This Misfit begins in the tiny snow-covered town of...wherever Glo-Worms live. They're naturally preparing for Christmas, and singing about what they are: "We're Glo-Friends, we're Glo-Friends!" they refrain in chorus. The whole setup looks smurfily familiar. As the credits appear, they're spoken aloud, because the producers rightly assume that anybody who would watch this probably doesn't know how to read. "Starring Carroll O'Connor! And Sally Struthers!" the narrator says enthusiastically, as if those names mattered any to the audience.
Meanwhile, not very far away, Santa Claus is rounding up his reindeer for his yearly trip. I didn't know Glo-Worms lived at the North Pole. Maybe they've just been put there for the sake of convenience. It could have come back to bite them if the Glo-Worms had landed their own series after this.
Meanwhile, not very far away from Santa Claus, the WICKED WITCH OF THE NORTH POLE scowls in anger and jealousy at Santa's popularity. With her is a flying moose with Lorenzo Music's voice that was rejected from Santa's reindeer lineup because, well, it was a moose and not a reindeer. He needed to be someone's sidekick, and the Wicked Witch was the only other option.
"That glory-hogging Santa Claus
makes me SICK!" cackles the Witch.
The Wicked Witch has a "brilliant" scheme. "I know! I'll stop Santa forever and DESTROY CHRISTMAS! That'll make me popular!" Well, yeah, but not popular in the way she'd like. When most of Santa's villains get jealous of him, they plot to replace him, not destroy him. The old hag's not dealing with a full deck of Duel Monsters. Although.....any reprehensible act that receives public attention is enough to get your own reality show. I guess that's all that matters.
She has to sing about it before she acts on it. One of the verses is "THE WORLD WILL KNOW MY NAME!" and she sends a bolt into the sky with her ice wand, making her name appear.
So her name's
"Blanche." That's useful to know.
Santa starts off toward delivery, but Blanche is right behind him. "MAKE THE FOREST COME ALIIIIVE!" she yells, and zaps a tree into a giant wooden hand that tries to grab Santa, spinning him out of control! The whole sleigh crash-lands in the river, where Blanche creates a solid ice cage to trap them!
"I DIIID IT! I DIIID IT! SANTA'S HISTORY!!" Blanche dances and gloats. The very-much-alive mink she's wearing sucks up to her: "Blanche, you're the best ever! Hee ha ha hee ha hee ha!" The moose is kind of disturbed.
"But--but you said
you weren't gonna hurt him!" he protests. She didn't
hurt him, she just put him in a cage. And she never said
she wasn't going to hurt him anyway.
Moose gets in position, snorts a couple times, and charges toward Blanche! What will she do? If only she had a wand that could do anything!
But Blanche doesn't use the wand. She just sticks her foot out and the moose trips and falls behind her. When you challenge an evil witch and she defeats you with her FOOT, that's really pathetic. It looks like the materalistic aspects of Christmas are doomed!
But there's hope yet -- one of the Glo-Friends saw everything! He'll not fail him, I'll betcha!
"Santa's in trouble?" gasp the astonished citizens of the Glo Village. "We're on our way, all of us!" This includes a useless Glo-Turtle who swears he'll "geeeeeeet theeeeeere as sooooooon as I caaaaaaaan."
Unfortunately, Blanche is more on the
ball than they think. No sooner have they ventured forth
than she suddenly appears before them.
The show momentarily flashes back to Santa Claus. Lookatim -- he actually thinks he can fit his thick belly through those bars. Hah! When that doesn't work, the only thing to do is what everyone else has done: sing. I have to say, for one obvious reason, that this particular song stands out. "I got the BLUUUUES! I got the BLUUUUES!!" Santa croons out, and behind him, his reindeer start forming a chorus line and kicking up their legs. This was obviously the result of the storyboard artist getting bored, but it works for me.
Oh yeah....the Glo-Worms got out of that thing they were in. The flying Glo-Worm arrives with some interesting news: he saw a flying MOOSE up there. Some Glo-Friends scoff at the idea, but others believe in any possibility. The team splits up: half continue onward to Santa, while the other half looks for the moose.
It's that moose, all right, but this time it isn't of his own free will. Blanche got so fed up with him that she enchanted his antlers and sent him into a dizzy floating flight pattern across the area. Eventually, he gets stuck in a tree. While they try to free him, the other Glo-Friends run afoul of a crop of carnivorous ice flowers. Blanche has been here!
It was fortunate that the team split up. When the rest of the Glos return with the moose, they're able to free their radioactive butts from that trap.
"This is Moose! He
knows where Santa is!"
Moose delivers the Glo-Friends to Santa Claus, but it's at this time they realize they're about the size of ketchup packets and can't exert much force onto ice-cold bars. That's a detail I assumed was worked out before they left, but no, it's their folly. To make things worse, Blanche shows up again, and starts chanting a deadly (well, probably not that deadly) spell to get rid of them once and for all!
How will the Glo-Worms resolve this mess? The special is resolved the same way the movie Stardust is resolved....defeating an evil witch by glowing. Now that the gang's all here, they join hands in a circle around Santa's ice cage and start shining. Oh no, just do it, don't sing about it! "Gloooow, let's gloooooow..." they annoyingly repeat. When they started doing this, I thought of the fact that everyone is standing ON ice, and that this might not be the best plan to go forward with. But oddly, only the ice cage melts.
The ice floe Blanche is standing on DOES melt, despite being nowhere near the Heat Zone. And after she falls into the ice-cold river, her wand melts too (who cares about physics, it's not like this is going to be discussed by adults 25 years later).
Glo-Friends! You've saved Christmas! And thank you,
Why didn't it fit in?