The Fat Albert Christmas Special (1977)

This is one of four specials included on a DVD I fished out of the bargain bin at Best Buy labeled, "The New Christmas Classics."  I'm not exactly sure what qualifies all of these as "New", let alone "classics."

If the internet is to be believed, The Fat Albert Christmas Special premiered in 1977, so it's been around for a while.  I put this on not having any idea what to expect - if I've ever seen an episode of this series before, I was too young to remember.

All right, let's get this out of the way.  This special is boring.  Not mind-numbing or painful, but it definitely drags.

The comedy doesn't help, either.  I don't know if the jokes are just anachronistic or what, but they didn't age well.

That said, the special is far from a total waste.  While the jokes fall flat, the drama hits its mark.  The story plays out surprisingly well, and the writing is heartfelt and intelligent.  The special weaves elements of the Christmas story and Scrooge together without directly focusing attention to the fact.  For all the faults, someone cared enough to invest some thought and effort.

I'm not sure I can recommend it, though.  This is good work, but the slow pace and flat humor make it a tough sell.