|THE WISH THAT CHANGED CHRISTMAS (cbs, 1992)|
|Why was it such a
The sentence "produced by McDonalds" tells you everything.
In this time period, the McDonalds conglomerate experimented with making animated specials, under the banner "McDonalds Family Theater." I've got to say, this franchise's attempts to endear their soggy food to children by branching out into Hollywood went down about as easy as their food did. This is one of the worst specials I've ever seen and I'm tempted to declare it THE worst.
This girl's name is Ivy, and she couldn't be lower on the social ladder--she's an orphan that the orphanage wouldn't take in. ("I'm sorry, but you're just too ugly. You understand, right?" SLAM) Somehow she paid for a train, and wherever she's going must not have been important because she leaps off where our story begins. There's a giant lit Christmas tree in a place called Mill Valley, and at the angle that faces the train, Christmas lights spell out "Merry Christmas from Mill Valley."
Right as the train Ivy's in passes, an electrical mishap shorts out half the light string and forces the tree to read, by coincidence, "Merry Christmas To Ivy." Mistakenly thinking someone must love her, Ivy leaps off and heads for town. You know what would solve all her problems? Not parents....not financial security....the solution she dreams of is, a doll. (gaaag)
And from there we switch TO a doll, who by the same coincidence that screwed up the lights, wants nothing more than a little girl to squeeze her stuffing out. The villain of this piece -- if you can even call him that -- is this owl that's in the same toy shop. It's never made clear if this is a stuffed owl that comes to life when no one's around, or a real mouse-eating owl that just happens to be in the shop because nobody cleans it. Whichever existence he is, all he does in this story is put down the doll, and he can't even do that very well. When the doll speaks of her dreams, the owl says "OH NOO HOO HOO NO THAT WON'T HAPPEN TO YOU NOPE NOPE HOO DEE DOO NOPE IT'LL NEVER HAPPEN HOO DEE HOO!!" Oh snap! Doll got pwned!
Unfortunately, that's not all folks....the miserable girl and the doll will be sharing screentime with Peter, the toy store assistant who's tired of being treated like a kid. By another coincidence, he'll get a chance to prove his mettle within the half-hour, but not before he messes things up further by dropping the key to the store...right in front of it, as he locks up for the night. I know my name is as common as Corn Flakes, but I resented seeing it used here.
Ivy and the doll finally meet eyeball to eyeball, and if you can believe the writer went this far, a light beam from heaven shone onto the toy store to attract Ivy's attention. "Oh golly wolly, my super-special CHRISTMAS DOLL!! Now my life is complete!" Instead of censoring butt-cracks, I want the FCC to start cracking down on specials like this.
There's an officer nearby that sees Ivy, shivering out there in the cold in front of the toy store. He's right there in the picture on the right. But he doesn't do anything about it, which is odd, because by COINCIDENCE, his wife has always wanted a little girl to raise as her own! If the ending to this brainless animation isn't clear to you by now, see a doctor.
Dots Connected: Ivy finds Peter's key, and sleeps in the toy store. The next morning she wakes up to the sound of Officer and Peter, who are worriedly looking for the key to reopen the shop. Ivy comes up from behind, says "I found this" and Peter is grateful. Hiro Nakamura teleports in from the future and remarks, "It is interesting how all our destinies are intertwining so perfectly, isn't it?" Sylar comes up from behind and eats Ivy's brain.
The store owner returns and says "Wow, Peter, you really did take good care of the shop!" What he doesn't know won't hurt him, I guess. He completely loses all chance of ever being told what really happened when he offers Peter a free toy as payment. Peter's got his eyes on a small train, but then he thinks of Ivy and COINCIDENTALLY picks the doll to give her, as thanks for saving his African-American behind.
The owl seems to have a problem with that, and flies off the shelf to--honest--viciously bite Peter in the arm. We don't see what happens to Peter after this, and that owl showed all the symptoms of rabies, so perhaps not everyone lived happily ever after. It's wishful thinking, anyway.
We know Ivy does; she gets her doll and her family and blah blah blah.
Why didn't it fit in?