IHAO on ... Olive, the Other Reindeer

Nostalgia and Christmas go hand in hand.  I am perfectly happy to admit it, there are specials and movies from Christmas and my childhood that I love but are really not that good.  Chipmunk Adventure, how you spurn me with your sometimes great animation, awesome music, and mostly really terrible-ness.  And it is always crazy to me to find new nostalgia.  You know, kids films from when I was a teenager that never did anything for me, but for some people is what Christmas was for them.  Olive the Other Reindeer absolutely is that.

I totally get why this may be a loved special.  It is quirky, sometimes funny, very simple, very interesting, starring a cute dog.  Olive is a dog, but when things go poorly because of an evil mailman and Blitzen getting hurt, Santa cancels Christmas.  Olive misunderstands the radio when it talks about "all of the other reindeer" and thinks it is saying her name!  So she heads to the north pole with a penguin con artist to save Christmas.  And ... this special is ... wow, ok ... uh ...

I'm ... I'm just going to get on with it.

First, this thing is ugly.  Ugly character designs, really weird animation that baffles me.  They could have gone with cheaper flash animation or actual real animation, considering Matt Groening produced it.  It is based on a popular kids book, so that's good, but ... man, did I really not like this.  There are just some kinds of quirk that do not do well with me.  And while I like hidden adult humor in kids stuff, it really does need to be hidden, which isn't how this special treats it.

There is some crazy voice talent in this, including Drew Barrymore, Dan Castellaneta, Jos Pantoliano, Billy West, Jay Mohr, Ed Asner, Tim Meadows, Diedrich Bader, Tress MacNeille ... it is a nice long list of actors doing this one.  And they all stick out like a soar thumb.  Castellaneta has some amazing characters, but he also tends to recycle voices quite often, and the mail man is Robot Satan from Futurama which is ... actually pretty hilarious.  But not in the right way.

I dunno, this special isn't very good.  But it is also perfectly fine and enjoy incredibly enjoyable for some people.  My roommate got it for me last year, because it holds a special place for him and his childhood.  And that's kind of special.  I understand it.  I pull out Rankin and Bass' Twas the Night Before Christmas every year, and that movie is just as strange and oddly animated and ... ok, not AS oddly animated or nearly as strange ... and the music is way better ... ok so bad example, but what I'm trying to say is that while I didn't care for the special, and certainly don't think it is very good, I loved sharing a memory with him.  And THAT is why you buy movies for your collection, to share those memories and thoughts and opinions with others.  And Olive absolutely succeeded there.

Grade: D

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