Holiday Musings: Rapsittie Street Kids – Believe in Santa

What is the Christmas Season, without Christmas specials? Some old, some new, but many of them animated. Who can forget such classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, and Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa.

What’s that? You’ve never heard of Rapsittie Street Kids? How could you forget? I mean, it featured voice work by the likes of Jodi Benson (Ariel, the Little Mermaid), Paige O’Hara (Belle, from Beauty and the Beast), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker, The Joker), and even Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson), and aired on The WB in December of 2002.

Well, to tell you the truth, not many people will remember it. I heard it was the equivalent of a traumatic experience that you swear you’ve experienced, but noone will talk about. Supposedly, it aired only once, and all searches online for a trace of the full, hour-long(!?) episode have turned up nothing. The only proof we have, is the demo-reel from Wolf Tracer Studios, who (presumably) made it. I’ve included a link below, but please bear in mind that clips from Believe in Santa only take up the first 4 minutes, with the last 3 1/2 minutes being the studio’s attempts to do their own ‘dinosaurs-on-a-rampage’ show:

Yes, it’s no joke. Someone at a network actually bought into this. Graphics moving as if the computer was still rendering them, mis-proportioned characters, and a song that almost sounded like the Chipmunks being held in a recording studio at gun-point, forced to sing. All I can think is, someone must have been really, really, really drunk to have considered putting this abomination on the air. I couldn’t believe that Wolf Tracer Studios would put this stuff on a demo reel of their work. I remember in one class in college, we watched a terribly-animated Mortal Kombat short, and that thing looks like a masterpiece next to this stuff.

Another ‘leaving’ that this show existed, is a page on Promark Telelvision’s website. The page features this charming image of our happy band of kids:

(insert your own caption here…words just fail me)

Plus, here’s the text they included to sell their show:

Every now and then an animated program comes along that seems destined to become a classic.”The Rapsittie Street Kids” franchise is such a project. Featuring a one hour musical animated special entitled “Believe in Santa” it is the first of two holiday one hour specials that features the rambunctious, cool and cute “The Rapsittie Street Kids.” The music sound track is being released to radio to coincide with the Christmas TV Syndication window.

The Rapsittie Street Kids are reminiscent of the beloved Peanuts characters – set in a modern day suburban neighborhood and features the voices of; Paige O’Hara (Bell – Beauty & The Beast) and Jodi Benson (The Little Mermaid).

That’s really, really reaching for the stars right there. The beginnings of an animated franchise, and comparisons to the Peanuts gang? I’m almost curious as to what their second hour-long special would have entailed.

Oh, and supposedly, there’s a storyline. Here is supposedly all the information we have regarding what that hour-long masterpiece was about:

Ricky thought that he had the perfect gift for his classmate, Nicole. After all, his teddy bear, slightly soiled, is his most precious possession. Nicole, however, is slightly spoiled well very spoiled.Her version of value is where was it bought? How much did it cost? Ricky’s teddy bear scores very low on the Nicole scale of worth and she tosses it in the trash. Nicole later learns that the bear was the last thing Ricky’s mother gave him before she died.
Not wanting to name names, but my guess is Nicole is that Britney Spears wannabe/look-a-like holding the upside-down can of Pepsi in the image above. As to who Ricky is, I can only assume it’s the kid in the number 17 shirt, holding onto the Spears wannabe’s arm. How the other 6 kids fit into the show, noone can really tell. I do also wonder how adding that Ricky’s teddy bear is slightly soiled would help the studio’s case that this show had to be seen by the masses. Kind of reminds me of how the promoters of The Human Centipede 2 kept mentioning the main character’s use for sandpaper…to which I’ll just stop right there.

Rapsittie Street Kids – Believe in Santa definitely feels like the ‘Bigfoot Sighting’ of Holiday specials. I seriously doubt anyone I know actually saw it, though now you know about one of the Holiday’s deformed stepchildren, that was let out into the light for a few brief moments, before being locked back inside with a bucket of fish heads to eat.

Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Roly-Poly Fish Heads.

Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Eat-Them-Up, Yum!

__________

*UPDATE – 9/13/15*

Early the other morning, I was contacted by the owner of The Lost Media Wiki, a little site that often tries to find obscure shows and music. The owner of the site, had some amazing yet disturbing news: he had found a copy of Believe in Santa, and had deemed me worthy enough to know of it!

He provided a link in the comments, but I thought I’d put it here:

Rapsittie Street Kids – Believe in Santa

If you have 42 minutes of your life you’ve been dying to get rid of, click the link above. Dare I say this could become The Room of animated Christmas Specials? The Nostalgia Critic almost lost his mind over the absurdity of a special called The Christmas Tree, but compared to that ‘film,’ this makes that one look like A Charlie Brown Christmas.

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About MWH1980

Growing up in the state of Iowa, one would assume I'd be enamored with pigs and corn. Well, I wasn't. Instead, I grew fascinated by many things that were entertainment-related. Things like movies, animation, toys, books, and many more kept my attention. This blog I hope to use to express myself regarding my varied obsessions. (P.S. There's no Photoshop involved in that Gravatar-I really am holding an Oscar)

7 responses to “Holiday Musings: Rapsittie Street Kids – Believe in Santa”

  1. Wasserball says :

    I am sorry to say, ^^; But that show gave me nightmares XD I can’t tell it otherwise, but it is true XD How can people do that for kids? 😛

    Like

  2. Claude says :

    I saw this entirely by chance the one time it aired. I was playing a video game to bide my time until Christmas, and ended up playing until around 1AM. Turning the game off, I was greeted by this abomination. I had to watch it – how could I not? Reboot had better graphics than this show and it predates it by at least 10 years! It’s such a terrible piece of TV history, even slotting it into the wee hours of Christmas morning doesn’t explain how something this bad managed to slip in. I tell everyone I know about it, hoping that one day the full thing turns up on youtube so I can say, “I told you I wasn’t crazy!”

    I still remember the junkyard scene, it was the 3D equivalent of a Hanna-Barbera chase scene: stilted animation, overly long, and repeated backgrounds. They certainly were setting this one up as a “classic.”

    Like

  3. Anthony Foglia says :

    Not only did I see it, I tuned in to see it. I got notice via a mailing list. I don’t know whether it aired twice, or it was an email from a TV critic that saw a screener. Either way, I was warned it was the worst Christmas special ever. So I had to tune in the weekend afternoon when it aired, and I was not disappointed. It was everything you describe and more.

    Like

  4. Steve says :

    I saw this too when it aired. I just had my first child a few months before and I was sitting with him watching his first Christmas specials. It was so bad I couldn’t stop watching it. I searched for so long to find a copy of it but never was able to. I still search for it every year to see if it surfaces. If anybody ever comes across a copy please post a link here so I can get a copy.

    Like

    • MWH1980 says :

      Oh my gosh, I’m 12 minutes in, and this is definitely prime ‘roasting’ material.

      The character movements, let alone Ricky ‘rapping out every other line,’ let alone everyone moving just as stiffly as that demo reel video I saw!

      If you posted this, may I ask how you obtained it? I have a feeling I’ll do a full review of it in a month or so.

      Like

  5. dycaite says :

    Can I chat with you through email? I can explain how I got it there. Also, as it happens, I’ve actually been trying to get a hold of you for a while to ask you about an old Pinwheel short you wrote about. My email is lostmediawiki@gmail.com.

    Like

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