Let me start by saying that I only ever watched this special once. Way, way back in time when the special first (and last) aired on television in 1984. That was 23 years ago. OK, so how in the world, when watching it for the first time in 23 years, do I vividly remember so much of this stupid special? I’m legitimately frightened here, dear reader.
Ignoring this deeply unsettling phenomenon as hard as I can, this special is, I think, the only Cabbage Patch Kids cartoon around. There was a curious phenomenon, around the mid-1980s, to give every successful toy line at least one cartoon episode. The ones that clicked (“My Little Pony“, “Care Bears”, and “Rainbow Brite” for example) got made into series. Those that didn’t (“Charmkins”, “Rose Petal Place”, this) didn’t get their own series. The crazy thing about this particular one-off special is that in the space of twenty-five minutes, the writers manage to give the CPK as elaborate a “mythos” as any respectable 80’s toy line. With villains and folklore and an origin story and everything.
Oh, and speaking of that origin story: it seems that every Cabbage Patch Kid is actually the spawn of a creepy mutant cabbage that bears baby heads instead of the normal leaves. And the reason why this cabbage produces baby heads is because mutated insectoid rabbits called BunnyBees shed magical crystals onto the developing plants.
We need more back-stories for fictional children’s characters that have obviously been written by someone who has just recently either suffered severe head trauma or experimented with mind-expanding substances.
The Best Parts:
46 seconds in – What in the ever-lovin’ f***?
1 minute in – AHHHHHH!!!!!
5 minutes in – So, wait, is this supposed to be Atlanta?
8 minutes in – You want children so much, you’ll settle for a mutant vegetable?
9 minutes in – Narm, narm, narm.
Dearest TV Tropes Wiki, Thank you ever so much for blessing us with a word with which to refer to moments in fiction that are meant to be seriously dramatic but end up being unintentionally hilarious or, worse, ridiculously schmaltzy. Happy Holidays, love from Nessie XXXOOO
10 minutes in – OK, repeat the dialogue and animation over and over enough times and I eventually have to point it out. (And it just contributes to the Narm.)
14 minutes in – Imagine if you were spending a lovely December day in town, to shop or just to admire the decorations, and you kept running into this woman. Wouldn’t she start to creep you out after a while?
16 minutes in – Sure, even though one of you is a normal girl and the other is a plant-that-walks-like-a-man.
18 minutes in – Oh, I guess it is Atlanta.
20 minutes in – Okay, I don’t know about you but my “yeah, right” alarm is blaring crazily right now.
21 minutes in – “You know what, let’s adopt all of them!”
22 minutes in (end credits) – Aw, darn it, they’re not done weirding us out yet! (Bonus points for the unsettling music.)
Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“You decorate a tree and hang stockings on a turkey!” – One of the Kids
“I hope I didn’t scare my freckles off!” – Another one of the Kids
“The man and the lady!!!” – Yet another one of the kids
“Don’t be a litterbug, y’all!” – Amusing sign
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Blizzards can happen in northern Georgia.
* – Kudzu is actually a nice thing, rather than one of the most vicious invasive plants in the American southeast.
* – Don’t help old ladies. That goes double if you aren’t able to tell if anyone is grabbing for stuff in your back pocket – or even that anyone is right behind you.
* – Prior to watching this, I was unaware that the Cabbage Patch Kids had as elaborate a “mythos” as any respectable 80’s toy line. Now I know, and my life is the better for it.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? Unless the CPKs count as mutant plant-animals, No.
Good Soundtrack? No, and it has a serious ear-worm warning.
Hot Guys? No.
Pretty Scenery? I gotta say, Ruby Spears’… unique idea about what the ecology of northern Georgia is like is hilarious.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects/Illustrations? No.
Drinking Game Potential? Drink when the kids all shout out dialogue together, drink twice when they repeat it. Be very careful here.
Head Movie Potential? If you want to smoke weed during a cartoon that anthropomorphizes plants, be my guest.
A Ruby-Spears Film made in 1984. Written by Woody Kling, and directed by Charles Nicholos.
Crown Combo Review – It would seem there was more than one Cabbage Patch Kids special. The other one looks unspeakably terrifying.