1983 was the year of the Cabbage Patch Kids. It was the year's hot-ticket item for Christmas, and every kid had to have one. Every kid but me, since I wasn't even a full year old by that Christmas. Still, I've had my oldest Cabbage Patch for as long as I can remember back and there was always something completely irresitable about the way they stitched together those tiny little toes. All of America loved the Cabbage Patch Kid, which is probably why NASA took them into space in 1985. Or maybe someone just had a bedtime cuddling addiction.
Vernon's First Christmas is a stop-motion animated Cabbage Patch Kids special. Vernon is a ginger kid, struggling with his clumsy ways. He may strike a resemblance to Chucky from Child's Play, but Vernon is more interested in sledding than beheading. His story is one that makes me sit for 10 minutes trying to rhyme something with "snow" that relates to horror movies, only to fall back on "sledding than beheading."
Right off the bat, I felt like there was a lot of back-story I was missing. There was no explination as to why the kids kept going on about how there was never snow in their area, though they were clearly having very cold weather. Plus it caused me to take a lot of wide assumptions about some of the characters. Maybe I should have watched some of the other specials first and they would have held the secret key to unlock the mysteries of the Christmas special.
The Cabbage Patch Kids are rehearsing for a Christmas musical, and would be doing quite well if it weren't for Vernon's not-so-special effects. After dumping fake snow all over the cast, they get a seemingly unwelcome visit from a pair of rather rude kids. These two girls are going on about their conceited outlooks on the holiday shopping situation, and manage to plant a seed of doubt in everyone's mind regarding Old St. Nick. In particular, two of the younger kids begin to doubt that Santa is coming at all.
The kids convene to establish a plan that will prove to their juniors that Santa is real, and is comin' to town, ho ho ho. The good news is, they're finally having a white Christmas! The problem is that the plan involves Vernon snowboarding down through the town, and since this is the first snow in their town, he secretly doesn't know how to snowboard. Luckily, he figures it out just in time to shred down the streets in a Santa costume, thus proving to the kiddies that Santa is not only real -- but has some bulletproof moves on the powder.
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The animated Cabbage Patch Kids Fiirst Christmas is a lot different from the real life Cabbage Patch Kids Christmas, which featured a lot of housewives beating each other down to get their hands on the Xavier Roberts branded babies. This isn't a special you'll ever see airing on TV at Christmastime -- hell, I don't think this Hanna Barbara special has made it past Home Video. There isn't so much as a cameo by Santa, and if it weren't for a sprig of holly and a ribbon here and there, you wouldn't have enough Christmas magic to make a cookie disappear.
We start at the Vlasic Pickles bird is flying over Georgia to visit the cabbage patch where the kids are born. They're celebrating the birth of a new baby while learning about the "Christmas Spirit." Their only non-cabbage generated friend is the young boy, Xavier Roberts, who regails the CPKs in stories of how delightful the city is during Christmas time.
After Xavier leaves, the kids decide to venture into the city and visit the "Christmas Spirit" which they believe to be a visible entity. While trumping through the forest, they have an encounter with an old hag, a weasel, and a jackelope that want to capture the kids and make them work in mines. The kids manage to escape by hopping into a tree that's cut down and trucked into the city for Christmas.
The kids get to the city and find it full of Santas, carolers, toy shops, and snow that is unusually white for city-snow. They get caught in some messy traffic, but are helped out by a man and lady. The childless couple is in the city for the holidays so they can enjoy watching all the kids celebrating since they can't have any kids of their own. The lady comments how she wishes she had a child like the freckled Paula-Louise, and as she walks off the man drops his wallet.
The kids try the best to return the wallet, but couldn't catch the man in time. Meanwhile, a trio of hoodlums see the kids with the wallet full of money, and chase them like the coyote after the road runner.
While running from the gang, the kids jump into a random house to find it inhabited by a sole ginger kid talking to herself and decorating a coat rack. The house is an orphanage and the poor child, Jenny, was left alone for Christmas. She's insistant no one will adopt her because of her leg brace, but the kids sneak her out to force the man and lady into loving and hence adopting her. The kids are spotted by the pick-pockets, chased into the park, and held by their ankles and shake-shake-shaken like a Polaroid picture. The robbers get the wallet, but the police come by and catch them, saving the day!
The man and lady are so happy they not only adopt Jenny, but they take Paula-Lousie along with them, too! The rest of the kids go home for Christmas, and the next day the man and lady has sent them all presents! Xavier, the stork, and the kids all have a hap-hap-happy Christmas!
Not the best Christmas specials out there, but impressive if you're a Cabbage Patch fan. It isn't the most important special, but it's good filler in between watching A Christmas Story and The Muppet Christmas Carol. If it were a food on the Christmas dinner table, it would be salt.