Buy “Olive, The Other Reindeer [VHS] Drew Barrymore, Dan Castellaneta, Joe Pantoliano, Edward Asner, Peter MacNicol, Tim Meadows, Jay Mohr, Michael Stipe, Diedrich Bader, David Herman, Matt Groening, Mitch Rouse, Steve Moore, Alex Johns, Claudia De La Roca, Keith Alcorn, J. Otto Seibold, Steve Young, Vivian Walsh Movies & TV” Online

Olive, The Other Reindeer [VHS]

It is a puzzlement to me that OLIVE THE OTHER REINDEER ran on broadcast once, in 1999, and since then has been Fox’s orphan child while lesser Christmas cartoons clog the airwaves. Based on a kids’ book and the author’s own Jack Russell Terrier, OLIVE got its title from a pun: Olive the pooch hears that Santa is appealing to “Olive, the other reindeer” to make Christmas a success and not the usual “All of the other reindeer . . . ” With the help of a wisecracking penguin, Martini, and in spite of a comically disgruntled postal worker, Olive makes her way up North but infiltrating Santa’s compound is not easy. Some reviewers have complained that OLIVE may not be suitable for very young children. Perhaps not. But the show has considerable merits for older children and adults, not least because of its charmingly awkward “cutout” animation style, its songs, the bubbly voicing of the title character by Drew Barrymore, and its not inconsiderable throwaway wit (the bus Olive rides is a “Mauvehound”). Without commercials, OLIVE runs a mere 45 minutes but the DVD also includes a making-of short. Highly recommended. Check it out!

Product Description In this delightfully funny animated adventure, “Olive, the Other Reindeer” is erally a kind-hearted dog who sets out to save Christmas when she hears that Blitzen is injured and Santa can’t find a replacement! With the help of a smooth-talking penguin named Martini, Olive heads for the North Pole to join the flying reindeer team – but along the way, they must defeat an evil mailman who wants to end Christmas so he can carry less mail! With an all-star voice cast featuring Drew Barrymore, Ed Asner, Dan Castellaneta and Peter MacNicol, “Olive, the Other Reindeer” is sure to become a holiday tradition for young and old! Simpsons creator Matt Groening helped create this delightful animated adaptation of the popular Christmas book. Originally shown on the Fox channel in 1999, Olive deals with a upstanding dreamer of a pooch (voiced expressively by Drew Barrymore) who hears Santa’s angst when Blitzen breaks a leg just before the holiday, messing up Santa’s delivery schedule. Olive hears Santa’s quote about “all of the other reindeer” as “Olive, the other reindeer,” and she is convinced she must go to the North Pole to help. Using equal parts traditional Christmas themes (unselfishness, the importance of being good instead of naughty) and Simpsons-esque humor (wordplay, contemporary cultural references), the 45-minute short is a refreshingly fun holiday pleaser. Purists may chafe at the action pieces and a scene in a rough ‘n’ tumble bar, but the filmmakers keep the spirit–and the unique look–of J. Otto Seibold’s and Vivian Walsh’s book. With some snappy songs (including one performed by R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe) and great zingers (one reindeer calls Rudolph an urban legend), it’s a fine holiday time for ages 5 and older. –Doug Thomas




Olive, The Other Reindeer [VHS] Review


We love this children’s book but were sorely disappointed by the movie version! The movie really deviates from the original book. It contains language that is not appropriate for young children. We turned it off halfway through because my child was especially upset by a mean character who is not in the original story. -Read Reviews-

Really fun Christmas movie. Plenty of cutesy-ness for the kids, and tons of hidden references for the adults to chuckle at. It can be hard to innovate and come up with something that rivals the classics in terms of capturing the essence of Christmas, but this movie does it.

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