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  • I really wish this special would either be aired again or at least put out on DVD. The performances are wonderful and the music is second to none. I just found out that the script is based on a book from many many years ago by the same name and my family and I will be reading it this Christmas. We sing the "new" lumberjack song (not the Monty Python one) each year when we bring in the Christmas Tree. "We crunch and trudge through ice and snow, we're lumberjacks that's all we know: We cut and saw and chop and hack, the perfect tree we whack whack whack!" (the whack whack part always gets a laugh out of the kids!) I can't wait to see if that part is in the book as well as all the great words and phrases Downey says! If you get a chance to see it, you will be amazed that this one hasn't been aired again. It is every bit as good as Frosty or Charlie Brown and should be a classic! Downey and Leslie Nielson make a great pair in this one.
  • In this 1995 Christmas special Kermit the Frog does the scene setting for the story of the benevolent Mr. Willowby (Robert Downey Jr. at the height of his bad boy phase) who enjoys bringing holiday cheer to all around him. The mice living in his mansion are looking for the perfect tree, as is Willowby himself. Both of them are after the same tree, only it's too big for Willowby's hall, so he snips the top off and gives it away as a smaller tree, and so on and so on until the only the very tip is left, which is even more perfect for the mice.

    It's very cute, and has a cosy Xmas feel to it. It's never been seen again since it aired back in the mid-90s. Of all the holiday specials that have come and gone over the years I would place this somewhere in the middle. Sure, Charlie Brown and Garfield get their annual airings but Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree is a fun half hour for snowy Xmas Eves.
  • Back when my 16-year-old was four, my mother taped a number of Xmas specials for her on a VHS two-tape collection. We treasure these tapes, and over the years a number of the classics have found their way onto DVD. The sudden explosion of "Rudolph" products is a good example of how these beloved stories have made their way into our collective Xmas memories. I wish "Mr. Willowby's Xmas" would also be recognized as a valuable contribution to my daughter's generation and become available on DVD. I know there were other Jim Henson Xmas productions that appeared on T.V.,so a collection would be fantastic!

    We watch "The Muppet's Christmas Carol" every year as well... just can't get enough of those adorable creatures!
  • Robert Downey Jr. and The Muppets give and funny, loving musical preforms in Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. It makes you smile and laugh from start to finish. Along with the story of Mr. Willowby you also get to see the stories of the other creatures on Christmas. The music is heartwarming, the look and feel of the movie could not be better. This is a true holiday classic that should be play every year. When this movie played in 1995 on television I taped it and watched that tape until it no longer would play. It is one of my happiest childhood memories and breaks my heart that they never put it on DVD. I wish that whom ever owns the copyright would put Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree out for sale I am sure it would sell, sell, sell!
  • This TV special has been an annual favorite in our house since it came out in 1995. Fortunately, I videotaped it and my family is glad I did. This is a wonderful adaptation of a classic children's book. Mr Willowby (played by Robert Downey Jr.) is the very epitome of Christmas spirit and cheer. However, his beautiful perfect Christmas tree is too big. What to do? The tree top is lopped and surprises ensue as the tree (or parts of it anyway) finds its way into the hands of many who also wish to celebrate the holiday season. Leslie Nielsen and Stockard Channing round out a marvelous cast along with many puppet animals including a cameo by Kermit the Frog himself. This special does deserve to be on DVD although I have my doubts it will ever get there. If it ever gets rerun on TV and you have a chance to watch it I highly recommend this for the entire family to watch....and don't forget to record it!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree" is a half-hour (well actually a bit over 20 minutes) television special from 1995, so this one is already over 20 years old. It is book-based and directed by 7-time Emmy winner Jon stone, so probably no surprise this one was Emmy-nominated too, even if it came short in terms of the win. But today people won't recognize it for Stone, but rather for Robert Downey Jr. playing the title character and he was already an Oscar nominee for Chaplin at that point. This one here came out when he was around the age of 30. Also in it is Leslie Nielsen, who is very famous and Stockard Channing, another Oscar nominee that many will know from The West Wing. This one we got here is of course one for the holidays. The mice, i.e. the non-human characters, were maybe the most disappointing aspect. The humans, played by the prestigious cast members I mentioned, were not much better. Even the music was underwhelming and that comes from somebody who loves Christmas songs. And finally the inclusion of Kermit shows us this is a Jim Henson production, but even if I may be biased as I never liked the Muppets at all, I felt that he came off as really out of place and did not fit in here at all. So yeah, this is not a film by any means that got me into the spirit. It was never funny or touching or sweet. A definite thumbs-down here. Only worth seeing for very huge people who love the Muppets and RDJ and probably still only during the season. Everybody else skip it.
  • downeyfan6 January 2002
    This is such a sweet story about finding the perfect tree, or the "arboretum arbor vitae" as Mr. Willowby calls it. Robert Downey Jr. plays Mr. Willowby and he does it great! Not only was he given a chance to act here - he even got to sing and he proves he's a magnificent singer as well. The mice's way to get their tree home is also very sweet and funny. =) Thumbs up for this one!