The Christmas Toy

It's Christmas Eve and the playroom is alive with excitement for the new toys that will arrive the next day. Balthazar, the old and wise bear, explains to the other toys that they must welcome the newcomers even though each of them may be replaced as one of the children's new favorite toys.
Eric Till
Dave GoelzBrian HensonKathryn Mullen
Science FictionKids
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Jerry NelsonRichard HuntCamille BonaraRob MillsNikki TilroeMarsha MoreauZachary BennettSteve Whitmire
Jim HensonMartin G. BakerDiana Birkinfield
The Jim Henson Company
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4.8 out of 5 stars

483 global ratings

  1. 90% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 6% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 1% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

$HegemonyReviewed in the United States on April 7, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
very great Christmas Movie
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This special, while being a warm, funny, and imaginative take on what happens to toys once kids leave the vicinity, contains a surprising bite of frigidness; the fear of being caught by humans, and the resulting death-like state that awaits all toys who step out of line, make this show unique, and timeless. Peppered with heartbreaking moments throughout, Christmas Toy also captures the tender feelings experienced by children on Christmas Day. This is not standard kiddie stuff, and adults should not shy away from watching this one.This story is about a roomful of toys and their adventures on Christmas Eve. Rugby the Tiger Cub is the little girl Jamie's favorite toy, and Apple the doll, Jamie's former favorite toy, is trying to make Rugby understand that a new favorite toy will be coming to replace Rugby tonight. Rugby refuses to believe it and ventures out to the living room to take his rightful place under the Christmas tree, but Apple and the rest of the toys know that if Rugby is found out of place by humans, he'll be frozen forever.There is genuine danger and suspense, as the toys actually "die" if caught outside the playroom by a human. For me, this film contains the suspense and excitement of Christmas Eve itself, the possibility of being caught, or catching Santa in the act - feelings I felt as a child sneaking down to the tree on Christmas Eve myself. I've always felt this film perfectly captured the magic, joy, and terrifying butterflies which reside in all children on Christmas Eve. I had a VHS copy of this when I was younger, but was ecstatic to find it on dvd a few years ago. The film is filled with life lessons, excitement, suspense, songs, laughter, and tears. Even as an adult, I still cry upon viewing.By far, one of the best Jim Henson movies ever made, though pretty much everything he made was the best. I think the last time they showed this was in 1993 or around that time, which was/is really heartbreaking, as it really is an excellent movie. I have been racking my brain for the past 10 years or so (around the holidays) trying to remember the name of this movie. Finally, just a few minutes ago i decided to put in a search engine, "jim henson christmas movie about toys" as i had to do with the obscure jim henson tv show called what people? "The Storyteller"If you weren't a video-phile like me, you wouldn't be able to tell this was shot in the 80's, the quality was perfect - not grainy or faded or anything! Unfortunately, I'm not much of an audio-phile, so I could not provide much on the sound quality except for the fact that it says on the back it is Dolby 2.0. The only thing that gave away the fact this movie was shot in the 80's was the types of clothes the people were wearing!!
My one and only complaint is that the ending is a bit sugarcoated, the happy resolution is sudden, and seems to contradict several "rules" in the toy universe; however, I understand Henson's choice, as Christmas should ultimately be a happy, joyous occasion free from fear and sadness.
9 people found this helpful
dsayshelloReviewed in the United States on November 30, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Family Favorite!
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I grew up watching this movie on a VHS tape.... my dad had recorded the show when it was on tv in the 80's. Well now I have children of my own (1 & 2.5 year old). So we pulled out that VHS tape & let's just say it was in rough shape. I was so surprised that I could purchase it on DVD. Now if only it included the commercials from the 80's like the one my dad recorded. Anyway, it's a cute movie. It's not a long movieMy girls love watching it & they love the songs the toys sing. So happy that my girls can grow up watching this movie too!
4 people found this helpful
Tina RashReviewed in the United States on April 22, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Jim Henson's Muppets
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We had a bad VHS copy before so it's nice to be able to see and hear everything and everyone perfectly. Rugby Tiger is the toy that the little girl in the show got last year. He doesn't understand about Christmas at all. His friend Apple tries to explain it to him since she was the toy that the little girl got the Christmas before him. He finally gets it, but he decides that he's going to find the box that the knew Christmas Toy is in and trade places. You'll have to watch it to find out what happens to Jim Henson's Muppets next.
Ryan Renold's WrapReviewed in the United States on December 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
I was in the third grade.......
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This is another in a long list of Henson creations that I remember fondly as a child. Jim Henson figured out a way to make shows that adults and kids could both enjoy together. A little funny, a little serious and a few spots that hit the feels. The Christmas Toy and Muppets Christmas Carol are two movies that hit the spot for me and hopefully newer generations as well. It's nice to travel back to a time before childhood ended and reminisce.
Nicole VelardiReviewed in the United States on April 22, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
You won't be disappointed!
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This has been my favorite movie since I was a child. We still have it recorded on VHS. My great aunt used to play it for me when I'd stay over and get sad. This movie is everything. I watch it year-round. It still cheers me up. I wish the Jim Henson company would have created plush animals, my life would be complete! I think I've bought this for everyone who has children who would appreciate it [or I at least hope they will!]

You're children won't be disappointed!
4 people found this helpful
Mike RophoneReviewed in the United States on November 3, 2008
4.0 out of 5 stars
Kermit is GONE!
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Kermit's opening sequence and his introduction to the cast have been edited out. Gone, too, is the entire "Old Friends, New Friends" song finale, in which Kermit shows up and joins the cast singing the song. All that's left is a brief chorus heard over the closing credits.

For those who have never seen the 1986 original, this will make no difference. For myself and my kids, who fell in love with the original version, this Kermit exorcism is quite sad. Plus, the song finale was an important closing celebration of the show.

The DVD transfer is pristine, but one star is missing, in tribute to the missing green frog dressed in a Santa suit. I'm sure there are purist Henson fans who will not be as generous as I.

There should be a lump of coal in Disney's stocking this year.
108 people found this helpful
GeoMReviewed in the United States on December 28, 2011
4.0 out of 5 stars
A personal favorite, even with the DVD release 'flaws'
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A Christmas Toy is a family favorite Christmas special that was originally released as a TV special back in 1986. I was fortunate enough to record the special on a video tape.

Being a family favorite we did watch the video over and over again and the tape was beginning to show its age. So I shelved it for 5 years in the hopes that I would get a new tape. While a tape was released in the 90's, I pretty much all but forgotten about the special, until I thought of it again around the time I bought a DVD player. Alas, at that time the special wasn't released on that format, BUT was on VHS.

Having kids of my own now, I decided to once again play the waiting game in favor of getting the show on the more 'permanent' DVD format since I know I would be playing it often. And as my memory has it, once again, I ended up forgetting about the show.

Enter Christmas 2011 and the show came up in a family discussion 3 days before Christmas. Naturally I hopped on-line to see if the show was released on DVD. I was thrilled to find out that it was. So I immediately placed a rush order on the DVD so I would have it for Christmas.

It was THEN after the fact, that I did some reading on the reviews to see what others thought about the special (in general), when I read that the beginning and ending were cropped from the DVD to remove the scenes that contained Kermit The Frog. While I was disappointed, I still decided to go through the purchase.

Tonight (12-27-2011), I viewed the DVD with my sons and I must say that it is still a good purchase. The editing is done tastefully and in good places, so for those that never seen it before, you would really not know that there were deleted scenes. Still, I know they are gone.

Doing a bit of research to find out why the DVD was released this way and not the VHS, I found out that the VHS release was done by Walt Disney Studios, which at that time owned the rights to all of Jim Henson's work.

Today, Jim Henson's work is released under the Lionsgate name. However, the rights for the Muppets is still owned by Disney. Apparently it must have been too costly for Lionsgate to license the presence of Kermit The Frog in The Christmas Toy, so they probably did the next best thing...edit Kermit out.

Now, would I have paid more to cover the licensing so that the special would be scene in it's entirety? Yes, probably. I like to see shows...especially those that have memorable meaning to my (and my family's) past, to be seen complete. So I have mixed feelings about the removal of the scenes with Kermit.

That being said, the rest of The Christmas Toy was left intact. Nothing else was removed from the mid section of the show.

I do know that Lionsgate tried to save a buck here, but as I said, in a case like this I would have paid a little extra just to have the special shown in it's entirety.

For those that bought the DVD and have not seen the sections with Kermit, basically in the beginning, the show starts with Kermit the frog sitting on the edge of the chimney on the roof of the house where the story takes place. He begins his narration when he accidentally slips and falls into the children's playroom. He continues to describe to the audience the playroom and what happens when no one is around. He crawls back up the chimney exclaiming that it is "Harder getting up this thing than getting down". The scene then shifts to a mobile on the ceiling that starts to spin around and the opening number starts...this is where the DVD starts directly.

At the end of the show, the song, "Old Friends, New Friends" had a reprise right after Jamie (the girl in the story) leaves the room. (The DVD ends right at this point). During the reprise that was cut out...Kermit enters the playroom and joins in. The main thing that I miss with this scene being cut out is that after the song ends you can see the old toys interacting with the new toys. For example, Meteora finds the Barbie doll and starts to chit chat with her. It is a major loss that the scenes are missing? No. But it would have been nice to have the show complete as I remember it.
12 people found this helpful
B. ChaReviewed in the United States on November 26, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
Classic Muppet Special & Jim Henson Outshines Them All!
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Originally released in 1986 on T.V. as a prime time holiday special. It is one of the best specials Jim Henson ever produced. And I have been waiting for this to be realeased on DVD forever! I am so happy that they have finally done it, except for cutting out Kermit. What can you do, complain and whine? I'm just happy I can share this story with my kids and it brings such warm memories from Christmas when I was a kid. It is truly The Original "Toy Story".
Now, I love Pixar, but they completely ripped off the idea from Jim Henson. I wish credit was put where credit is due.
Enjoy this one, it truly is a Christmas Classic!

Here is a synopsis of the story from IMDb:
When no people are around, the toys still play in the playroom. But since a toy will be frozen forever if a person catches it out of position, they have to be very careful. It's Christmas Eve, and Rugby the Tiger remembers how he was the Christmas Toy last year, and thinks he's going to be unwrapped again. And it's up to Apple the Doll, whom Rugby supplanted as favorite toy, to tell him what's in store. But Rugby won't believe her, and tries to get into the Christmas package and lets Meteora, Queen of the Asteroids loose. Unfortunately, she doesn't know she's a toy, and thinks she's landed among aliens. And it's up to Apple, Mew (the Cat's toy mouse), and the other toys to get Rugby out of the box and Meteora back in it before they're found and frozen.
2 people found this helpful
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