You know what people buy every Thanksgiving, regardless of if they actually like it or not? Cranberry sauce. Get the canned kind, of course. Then ploop it on a plate and serve. Simple. But what if someone wanted to stress to you that Christmas is a good holiday for you get cranberry sauce for, too? It’s not just for Turkey Day, you know.
Thus in 2008, we got A Cranberry Christmas, an animated holiday special which aired a handful of times on ABC Family before falling into total pop culture obscurity. And–I kid you not–it was sponsored entirely by Ocean Spray and aired without commercial interruption by them. Which would explain the various references it has to cranberries and how mmm, mmmm, good they are.
Narrated by Barry Manilow, and based off a now barely known children’s book, A Cranberry Christmas tells the story of Mr. Whiskers, a kindly but completely hapless man (who looks like someone who’s spent years at sea and hasn’t shaved in just as much time), and Mr. Grape, a grouchy old man who hates happy children, as grouchy old men do. The plot involves some dispute over a skating pond, which Mr. Grape can’t stand because it means happy children skate there, further enforcing his hatred of happy children. Also, Mr. Whiskers has an absolute monster of a sister who behaves as though she has total ownership of him, and he’s so stupid he’s actually going to allow her to “force him to move.” Also, cranberries get mentioned.
A Cranberry Christmas has rather stilted and cheap-looking animation for a special airing on cable television in 2008 (I can’t “confirm it” as information on this special is hard to come by, but I think the entire thing was animated using Flash). Manilow, naturally, sings a few songs–including one that may as well be called You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grape–and it feels like something that would be shown on TBS on a Saturday afternoon in the early 90s during the holiday season.
If you want to get your cranberry fix, you can check out the whole special for yourself on YouTube. It never got a DVD release, and hasn’t been shown on television in more than a decade. But if you like silly cartoons that are easy to make fun of, this might be up your alley…
Have a cranberry night, Avocados!