VHS Review (Posted on 12-23-2013)
I wouldn't have been able to guess that the beautiful Kathie Lee Gifford starred on her own children's series. I must admit, the intro song of the show is quite catchy but fun.
The video starts with four advertisements: Gumby: The Movie
, The Magic School Bus
and The Adventures of Mary Kate & Ashley
. Included was an address of Mary Kate &s Ashley's Fun Club:
859 Hollywood Way
Burbank, California 91505 (U.S. Funds only)
Wow, okay. The fourth is an ad for KidSongs
(remember them?). Folks today would likely relate their cover songs with Kidz Bop
—all of whom produced kids versions of popular chart-topping hits.
Kathie then pops up singing the intro song of the show, along with the characters Moochie the Mouse, Giff the Bear, Duke the Juke and the Paw. Along with her are kids dancing and singing along as well, with the cafe emulating rides you'd find at a playground. Then there's a shot of Today's Special, but instead of delicious comfort food and drinks, it's a list of Christmas songs to be sung and performed.
As Kathie gets the kids to decorate for Christmas, she asks what's best about this amazing holiday. The brown-haired girl says, "I love Christmas vacation. No homework!" Well, at our age, scratch off the prefix "home-" and there you go; I'd agree. Kathie asks what the true meaning of Christmas is, as they gather up and sing "Jingle Bell Rock." During the instrumental break of the song, notice the girls are doing the twist (that'll make Chubby Checker smile), and some did the locomotion; Kathie took time to dance with Giff the Bear.
After, Giff tries to figure out what to give Kathie as a present for Christmas. Moochie gave Giff a wake-up call, and shouldn't give things that he likes, but instead, should be giving Kathie what she
likes (whew!). Transitioning into the song "Deck The Halls," the scene features families entering a house and setting up lights, the tree and more for the holiday season.
Next, Kathie hauls in a Christmas tree getting the kids to help decorate it. The next song "Jingle Bells" is sung, featuring footage of kids throwing snowballs, playing the snow, building a snowman and sledding. Back to the cafe, Kathie had this to say:
"You know it just occurred to me: Christmas is a whole lot like one of these cookies. Christmas is made up of all kinds of wonderful ingredients that are really great all by themselves. But when you mix them all together, turns into something really fantastic."
Sounds good to me, Kathie. Then she begins singing the hip-hop version of "'Twas The Night Before Christmas." Hey Kathie, and other music composers, I found this to be cheesy. It's like that rapping part from the 2010 version of the hit song "We Are The World." Some lyrical messages become clearer when sung and presented in a specific way. What way is that? I'm not a musician, but, say, rapping about helping the poor don't go well together, nor will the audience take the lyrical message seriously. You might as well play metal music at a wedding. Anyhow, a hip-hop version of a Christmas song may not fit well with some.
While Paw shows what a one-paw applause sounds like, the song "Up On The Roof" is sung as the kids perform in the snow without Kathie. Then comes the golden question: What's better than anything? Answer: Sharing things with special people you care (if you ask me, I would say Love).
Then Kathie gathers the kids again to talk about Christmas. It is the birthday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ&8212;the son of God. While the kids make promises on what they'll do to become a better person, as one girl said "I'll listen to my mom," the song "Away In A Manger" is sung.
"The best gifts of all come from your heart."
- Giff the Bear
Finally, the song "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" is sung with nice choreography. Notice Kathie giving Giff a kiss under the mistletoe. Then Kathie sings the outro song of the show, as it ends with credits.
After, there are ads for the series There Goes An Airplane/Firefighter/Bulldozer/Truck/Train/Police Car/Spaceship/Racecar/Boat
live action video, and the second is an ad for Real Animals
. I don't know about you, but doesn't the host of that show look like Melanie Paxson
—that girl from the Gladware® commercials?
Being that this was released in 1995 might make some kids feel this feature video was resurrected from the dusty archives, where no one has touched for years. However, this video does pack some fun and is great for the family. And those of you who adore Kathie Lee Gifford, I'm sure this little project of hers slipped through your eyes during its original release. Doubtful former co-host Regis Philbin would've pitched in and make a random appearance. It's alright, that's my final answer, Regis.
"Thank you Paul and Susan for coming up with such a rockin' concept."
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© 2008-2019 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
Kathie Lee Gifford
Paul Taublieb & Susan Cooper
Produced and Created by
Paul Taublieb & Susan Cooper
Set, Character and
Executive in Charge
Music Produced by
Jim Ed Norman
Jennifer Paulson Lee
Kathie Lee Gifford
Voice: Frank Gifford
Puppeteer: Katie Brewer
Voice: Michelle Mader
Puppeteer: Sarah Provost
Duke the Juke
Michael Anthony Thomas
Kerri Ann James
Janessa Beth Ray
Alan Van Hoven
Puppet Design and Construction
Den Design Studio
Delpi Scenic Studios
Kathie Lee Gifford's Hair
Kathie Lee Gifford's Make-Up
Additional Hair and Make-Up
Children's Casting by
The Children's Casting Company
Yvonne Van Orden
First Take Productions
Post Production Facility
Complete Post, Inc.
Special Thanks to
Ben & Dorothy Taublieb
Gilda "Amy" Mesta
Mark Beigelman, Esq.
Ron Konecki, Esq.
Mary Jane Ufland
Discovery Preschool & Day Care
Alpine Meadows Ski Area
Alpine Meadows Stables
Project Inspired by
Zev Cooper Taublieb
Kathie Kids, Inc.
©1995 Rock n' Tots Joint Venture
"Thank you Paul and Susan
for coming up with such a