Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Comes to Pacland!

While most people consider Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown to be quintessential holiday viewing; for me the holiday season does not truly kick into gear until I have seen my round yellow pal help Santa and teach some ghost monsters a lesson about caring. As a kid who was obsessed with arcades and video games, the Pac-Man Christmas special just hit closer to home for me. That is why on a cold, snowy day I decided to arm myself with some rum infused coffee and vomit words of love to my favorite holiday special, Christmas Comes to Pacland!

Like most 80's and 90's kids, my exposure to 80's Hannah-Barberra cartoons came via the USA Network's Cartoon Express!

As great as USA's Cartoon Express was, nothing beats the holiday programming for kids that USA put out. It wasn't until December where USA would cultivate some of the best holiday oddities. No Rudolph. No Charlie Brown. Instead you got cable network offerings of A Snow White Christmas, He-Man and She-Ra Christmas, Family Circus Christmas, and other prime time one-offs.  As much as I loved hearing songs about the "seven friendly giants," it was the Pac-Man Christmas special that won my heart.

Spoilers for a cartoon special from over 30 years ago! You have been warned! 

Christmas Comes to Pacland tells the story of how Christmas first came to Pacland! The special starts off with Pac-Man and his family bonding in the snow when the ghost monsters; Inky, Blinky, Clyde, Pinky, and Sue show up to ruin their wintry fun!

After a failed attempt by the ghost monsters, Pac-Man chomps them, their eyes fly away into the sky pissed, and startle Santa's reindeer (note the cameo by Rudolph!). 

Santa crashes and destroys his sled. Pac-Man and his family approach Santa and his reindeer cautiously because they have no clue who they are.

Some town's people come along and they swap some "Who are you's?" and "what is Christmas?" with Santa. Who would have thought that Santa would skip over Pacland on Christmas!?!

The good people of Pacland decide to help Santa by healing him up and fixing his sled.

While this is going on, the ghost monsters are tired of being chomped by Pac-Man and decide enough is enough (a common theme in the series) and that they are going to chomp him for good.

While heading out for Pac-Man the ghost monsters stumble upon Santa's sack of gifts. They immediately begin pulling out toys in excitement. Meanwhile Pac-Man decides to go out and look for Santa's sack with the help of his dog, Chomp-Chomp. This leads to Pac-Man and Chomp-Chomp finding the ghost monsters with the toys, Pac-Man trying to sneak them away, and Pac-Man getting chomped. Fortunately Chomp-Chomp does make it away with Santa's sack of toys.

 Unfortunately, Santa's reindeer are still not well. Pac-Man gets the idea to take Santa and his Reindeer to get some power pellets to help energize them! While on the way to the Power Pellet Forest, Pac-Man and crew run into the ghost monsters. Pac-Man decides to try something new, reasoning with them! Pac-Man tells the ghost monsters how they can't be chomped because they have to save Christmas. This leads to Pac-Man telling the ghost monsters about Christmas to tug on their heart strings. The speech works and the ghost monsters let them through to the Power Pellet Forest.

The reindeer chomp some power pellets, get their energy back, and Santa is able to take off and deliver presents to the good boys and girls. Christmas is officially saved by Pac-Man!

In the end, the ghost monsters show up to chomp Pac-Man and his family only to have Pac-Man hand them their Christmas presents. This catches the ghost monsters off guard as they learn the true meaning of Christmas, even if they just learned about Christmas a few minutes prior.

Overall, Christmas Comes to Pacland has everything a good Christmas special needs; you have two conflicting groups, the possibility of Christmas being canceled, and the conclusion of the spirit of Christmas bringing the conflicting groups together, even if it is for just one night. All this plus the typical corny 80's Hannah-Barberra humor make Christmas Comes to Pacland a must watch for holiday viewing. 

Hope you enjoyed my spoiler full rundown of Christmas Comes to Pacland. Be sure to check back later for a look at some more Pac-Man related holiday items as Christmas Mayhem continues!

No comments:

Post a Comment