All tagged The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood
It’s that time of the year again. For some, it has already started. For others, it will be ushered in with Thanksgiving. It is time to play Christmas music: merrily, joyously, incessantly. Growing up in my home, we had a rule that Christmas carols could not be played until after Santa Claus arrived at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Nowadays, it seems we are pelted with them like soggy snowballs from the minute Tiny Tim climbs on the school bus in September. But who am I to be such a Scrooge when we are so close to Thanksgiving, even the curmudgeonly Theatre Guy’s heart grows a few sizes and he embraces the yuletide when it comes around. With that in mind (and heart), I thought I’d put together a collage of Christmas Caroling clips of songs from movies, television and stage musicals for all of us to celebrate the countdown to December 25th. It’s guaranteed to put you in the mood for the season.
By the 1960s, television had emerged in America as the most-popular form of entertainment. A mass audience was there for the picking and what better time to reach them with messages from advertisers than at the holidays. Family-friendly fare of the yuletide persuasion was being sought by the major networks NBC, CBS and ABC. Composer Jule Styne and lyricist Bob Merrill were involved in two of the earliest family holiday specials: Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol and The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood. The former is a beloved classic amongst animated holiday specials and I will explore that piece in a separate article. The latter is a live-action curiosity starring Liza Minnelli that has faded, somewhat, into obscurity but that has developed a cult status amongst musical enthusiasts. I will explore that curiosity here. Both bear repeated viewings, if for two very different reasons.