Sail back to 1981 with us as we dig up Rankin/Bass’s penultimate and possibly most obscure stop-motion Christmas special ever, “The Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold,” which may or may not only exist because they had the rights to “Christmas in Killarney” and needed someplace to put it.
On This Episode
- Mike Westfall (@fallwestmike), tiny but prolific cobbler who only makes shoes in primary colors.
- Michael DiGiovanni (@theatomicgeeks), who insists on hiding his life savings in a magic cave, from the Classic Film Jerks, Pop Culture Retrofit, and the Atomic Geeks podcasts.
- Michael May (@michaelmaycomix), the Lord of the Leprechauns, of his Adventure Blog and the Sleigh Bell Cinema, Mystery Movie Night, and AfterLUNCH podcasts.
Topics and Tangents
- Ken Jennings (the voice of Dinty Doyle, not the “Jeopardy!” guy) in the short-lived Epcot Center attraction, “The Astuter Computer Revue.”
- Mag the Hag’s entrance reminds me of Rita Repulsa in the opening of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”
- Blarney Kilakilarney and his wife are a poster Irish couple and the reason everyone’s advice at your wedding is: “Never go to bed angry.”
- This special keeps adding new rules about how both banshees and rainbows work, like they’re Mogwai.
- The Leprechauns’ “phantom island of Tralee” shares a name with an actual mainland town in Ireland, but is closer to Dursey Island, population (as of 2016): 4.
- The only thing many remember about this special is its Nightmare Face reveal that a beautiful woman Dinty finds washed ashore is the banshee in disguise.
- According to the Christmas Specials Wiki, Arthur Rankin said a promotion was planned involving prizes buried in random places around the United States for children to dig up, but was abandoned for safety concerns.
- “Jack O’Lantern,” from Rankin/Bass’s “Festival of Family Classics” TV series, featuring a leprechaun disguised as a pumpkin.
Previous Podcast Episodes Mentioned
- Frosty the Snowman (Season 1, Episode 1)
- The First Easter Rabbit (Season 1, Bonus)
- The Star Wars Holiday Special (Season 2, Episode 2)
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (Season 3, Episode 5)
- Pinocchio’s Christmas (Season 3, Episode 2)
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Season 3, Episode 12)
“The Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold” © 1981 Rankin/Bass Productions.
Commercial Break: “Gremlins” Gizmo Plush Pet, 1984.