The “I’d Never Do It On A Christmas Tree” Night Thread

This one is Owen’s fault. Earlier this year, he held a Rabbit showing of two animated movies. The second feature of the night was Titanic: The Legend Goes on, which is poorly animated and utterly incomprehensible – but it’s the first movie that’s more relevant to the season…

Rover Dangerfield is an animated movie that was created by, you guessed it, Frank Stallone Rodney Dangerfield. Originally intended for adults, it was dramatically retooled during production for younger audiences resulting in a weird tonal mishmash of a movie that pleased nobody. Even Rodney hated it; he barely mentions it in his books, and supposedly left the premiere halfway through. Nothing I say can do justice to the experience of watching Rover Dangerfield. It’s juvenile and unfunny to anyone over the age of six, but it’s also bafflingly dark and unpleasant. (Spoilers in the next paragraph, if anyone cares.)

Yes, I’m really using a spoiler for the plot of Rover Dangerfield.

Rover drinks, smokes, and is apparently a hit with The Lady Dogs. He’s owned by a showgirl who, if the production timelines lined up better, I would assume was a ripoff of Jessica Rabbit. Her mobster boyfriend throws Rover off of the Hoover Dam. Rover ends up at a farm, where he very nearly gets the Old Yeller treatment when a comic relief turkey character is killed by wolves. At the end of the movie, Mobster Boyfriend is *also* thrown off the Hoover Dam, and the movie ends by making sure we know that This Dog Fvcks by showing us the ugliest cartoon puppies you’ll ever see.

But. The reason why I’m making this thread is this song. This bizarre, baffling song from midway through the movie. When we saw it during Owen’s screening, I swore then and there I’d make a header for it come the holiday season – and I keep my word, especially for stupid, inconsequential things like this. Don’t worry about context; there barely is any and it doesn’t help anyway. People of The Avocado, let me introduce you to “I’d Never Do It On a Christmas Tree”…

And, as a bonus, please enjoy this brief slideshow of Rover Dangerfield merchandise. I have no idea HOW there was merchandise for this movie because the retooling pushed its release back by three years and it was only released theatrically in a handful of cities, but, like every other animated movie of the era, it had a wave of Applause products. And they sure are something.

Have a good night!