Toys come to life in Jim Henson’s The Christmas Toy as three ’80s cartoons end their TV runs. This same week in 1996 brings us Star Wars’ multimedia interquel experiment while 2006 sees Apocalypto and Blood Diamond hit theaters, plus an amazing new Castlevania.
Other topics covered include:
Heartbreak Ridge releases in theaters. Hooray!
12/5 – Two previously mentioned Saturday morning cartoons ended their brief runs; Silverhawks Filmation’s Ghostbusters
12/6 – A more notable show concluding its run was It’s Punky Brewster; the animated spinoff of the live action Punky Brewster that added a magic alien called Glomer
12/7 – “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna” TV movie starring Amy Irving, Olivia de Havilland, Omar Sharif and baby Christian Bale as Crown Prince Alexei.
12/5/1986 – Bill Paxton AND Wesley Snipes guest star on Miami Vice
12/5/1986 – The TV version of Gung Ho debuts (the movie debuted back in March). It kept Gedde Watanabe, but instead of Michael Keaton, it includes Scott Bakula. It would be cancelled by February.
12/6/1986 – The debut of A CHRISTMAS TOY! Jim Henson’s special about toys who play when nobody’s around and one particular toy who is oblivious that he will soon be replaced as a child’s ‘favorite toy’
Gradius on NES, ported from the arcade hit. Claims “one million” sold in Japan.
Mechanical Resonance – Tesla’s debut album, went Platinum, sounds like a wrestler theme as he walks up to a Contra cabinet
Salt N Pepa debut album Hot, Cool & Vicious out this week. Initially a reasonable success but it was the addition of Push It, which was slid onto the album in 1987, that it went Platinum.
#1 song is Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton, 2.4m sold of just the single!
Nerf Herder – debut album
One Fierce Beer Coaster – 2nd Bloodhound Gang
Everyone Says I Love You and Daylight release in theaters.
12/4/96 – Townies, an ABC sitcom meant to relaunch Molly Ringwald’s career, is cancelled. Kind of a good thing for her two main co-stars, Jenna Elfman (who would go onto Dharma and Greg the next year), and Lauren Graham, who would star in Gilmore Girls in 2000
12/6/96 Barbara Walters Presents the 10 Most Fascinating People airs. This year’s batch is Oksana Baiul; Michael Crichton; Tom Cruise; Elizabeth Dole; Shannon Lucid; Benjamin Netanyahu; Rosie O’Donnell; Dennis Rodman; Martha Stewart; Kerri Strug
12/8/96 – Mrs. Santa Claus airs with the most perfect Mrs. Claus casting ever; Angela Lansbury
12/6/96 – Martin Short hosts SNL. It’s notable in that it’s almost 10 years to the day since the last time he hosted (as part of a trio with Three Amigos costars Chevy Chase and Steve Martin), but it’s also the first time they aired a “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch. The musical guest was No Doubt, and to tie the three decades together, she would be the musical guest on an episode almost 10 years later on 12/9/2006
Bug Too – different release dates listed, so we’ll put it here. Faux 3D platformer about bugs
Shadows of the Empire – Huge multimedia experiment that LucasFilm unleashed in 1996. Heavily marketed as the first novel to dive into post-Empire, pre-Jedi affairs and had all the marketing of a movie – but no movie. There was a huge toy line, a novel, a movie poster, an orchestral soundtrack etc, and of course the N64 game was pretty much the only way you could interact with the world.
Picks up the various storylines (leia is looking for Fett, Han is frozen, Luke is training etc) but also introduces Prince Xixor, who wants to replace Vader. He’s super loaded and politically powerful, did like how they tried to relate the scheming qualities of lizard people. They’re cold blooded or that’s their nature etc
Noted at the time for using a lot of “in-game / in-engine cutscenes,” rather than pre-rendered CG clips like Tekken endings, FFVII stuff. Compressed orch audio, kinda fuzzy and perhaps the first big instance of folks noticing blurry textures (anti-aliasing edges, which PS did not do)
Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani 2nd album, incl Akon on title track, was a huge hit for all of 2007-2008
Oral Fixation Vol 1 & 2 – Shakira box set, Hips Don’t Lie was big this year
Apocalypto, Unaccompanied Minors, The Holiday and Blood Diamond debut in theaters.
12/6/06 – The final season premiere of King of Queens has Doug buying an ice cream truck to earn money on the side, which initially displeases his wife.
Cartoon Network Racing – interesting b/c Battle Crashers just came out, so here’s what was big on the same network 10 years earlier: Courage the Cowardly Dog, Dexter, Johnny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls, Cow and Chicken
Kirby Squeak Squad, MGS Portable Ops, Fight Night Round 3 – PS3, Portrait of Ruin all release
SUPPORT THIRTY TWENTY TEN ON PATREON
OR SHOP ERRYDAY ON AMAZON AND SUPPORT TTT!!