23 December 2010 | StevePulaski
Heartwarming and delightful like a real Christmas special
The Berenstain Bears are nostalgic memories of my childhood, and I'm proud to say, they are still watched by me to this very day. Being that I was born in 1996, I never got the proper introduction to the original cartoon from the eighties, so naturally I tuned into the 2003 series that is in current syndication on pretty much all PBS networks. I did watch episodes from the eighties' show, but never loved and cherished it like I do the current one. The animation is a lot smoother, and the voice acting isn't as out of place in the newer one. But the newer one lacks the classic feeling the older one had. But that still doesn't mean I don't go back to visit the old one of occasions. It's Christmas time, I decided to visit one of it's specials.
Mama, Papa, Sister, and Brother live in a treehouse in Bear County. Papa gets the bright idea he wants to go cut down a tree for the family last minute. He takes the cubs with him to find "the perfect tree". It seems every tree they run into has one problem; it's inhabited by creatures of the outdoors such as skunks, eagles, and crows. As night approaches, the cubs still haven't found a tree, and when they go to Grizzly Gus' Tree Farm they are all sold out. But they return home where they find something better than a tree...
The whole episode follows in the footsteps of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and is in rhyme the whole time (no pun intended). It's a little awkward, most likely because I wasn't expecting it, but it grows on you after a while to the point where you need to appreciate it. It's a charming Christmas special to say the least, and it does live up to it's name. While the animation is a bit choppy, and the character development isn't as deep as the new cartoon, The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree has it's ups and bear downs.
Starring: Ron McLarty, Gabriela Glatzer, Jonathan Lewis, and Pat Lysinger. Directed by: Mordicai Gerstein.