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Dec. 22 – Bump in the Night “Twas the Night Before Bumpy” – A Cartoon Christmas

Unique Air Date: December, 19, 1995

A little inexperienced monster who lives underneath a mattress units out to steal Santa’s bag of presents, destroying all his friendships in the wake of his selfishness.


In the late 1980’s, a person by the identify of Ken Pontac began his profession in graphics and results, working in commercials. Now that seems very obscure, however it will ultimately lead into the start of a artistic Saturday morning cartoon slightly over a decade later.

At the time, and in Hollywood, the path of being a filmmaker was very generic and labored virtually like a video game talent tree. In Pontac’s case, his work in graphics result in the inevitable and he discovered himself transitioning into the world of animation. In 1987, he had landed an art director place on The New Adventures of Gumby (his beginning foray into cease motion animation) creating props, characters, sets, what have you. This is able to show to be a worthwhile asset years later. After bouncing around a bit in the improvement division at Warner Brothers, he began up his own production company, Danger Productions.

Following scorching off of the heel’s of the pretty darn profitable, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Pontac proposed a Saturday morning cartoon in an identical vein. His information from his stint on Gumby helped promote the concept of animating and creating every thing in house and a yr later the cartoon, Bump in the Night (about somewhat green monster who lives underneath the bed), hit television.

Bump in the Night was a short-lived present that ran for 2 years (1994-1995) on Saturdays at 8AM. At the time everyone had re-fallen in love with the concept of cease motion animation (because of Tim Burton). It even had a Toy Story feel earlier than the world knew what Toy Story was. Every night time, creatures and toys alike would roam a few home on odd mis-adventures. The lead characters have been Mr. Bumpy, a large-eyed, little, green monster who appeared like Darkwing Duck (in all probability on account of the reality he was voiced by Jim Cummings); a blob of blue rest room water named Mr. Squishington voiced by the gifted Rob Paulsen a.okay.a Yakko Warner (or Bubsy, from the superb Bubsy recreation franchise); and Molly Coddle, a Raggedy Ann doll pieced collectively from damaged doll elements (voiced by Gail Matthius who had a task on Airplane II: The Sequel).

When you shut your eyes, it’s principally a cartoon about these individuals

There isn’t rather more to be stated about the show aside from it was most undoubtedly geared at youngsters with issues concentrating and it dealt out moral lessons to it’s demographic. Every episode all the time contained a lesson about endurance and understanding. Not lots of people have strong reminiscences of the present’s existence beyond the occasional “Oh yeah, that was a thing.”

Fun reality: Ken Pontac now writes for Completely happy Tree Pals, which should offer you some concept of what his mind is like.


I feel, Bump in the Night was one thing solely I had watched as a child and never a variety of different individuals cared about. It in all probability explains why the present fizzled out, however the unfortunate reality is that it offered something special. It was something that you can sit and watch, whereas turning off your brain, and yet be 100% engrossed in the visuals.

The workplace in all probability just obtained Microsoft Power Level

As I prepared myself to dive into one thing that I hadn’t watched since childhood, I used to be readying myself for absolute rubbish. Nevertheless, as I watched, I used to be extra intrigued than appalled by the cartoon. Wanting previous what might be thought-about The Nightmare Before Christmas’ “special” little brother nobody ever talked about, I discovered myself returning to superb days the place thought was not required and I might lose myself in this visual oddity.

There needs to be room for a piano in the price range or it’s not value it in any respect

One may assume ‘Twas the Night Before Bumpy is just another cookie cutter holiday cartoon adaptation, but nay- it goes beyond that. It’s as if the writers  determined to mash collectively a Frankenstein monster from buried story elements. One of the simplest ways to explain this 90 minute special is to name it a Christmas Adventure Musical Clip Present.

The story starts off with the show’s unusual meeting of characters decking the heck out of the halls (or at the least their little quadrant of the house) at night time. They’re finishing up a montage of vacation traditions as they put together for a pageant they’re placing on for themselves.

They have a freakin’ dive bar underneath some kid’s mattress

As every part seems to be going swell, Mr. Bumpy (our hyperactive protagonist) asks the very soft-spoken  Molly Coddle (our subplot heroin), to assist him seek for Mr. Squishington (the foil, if you’ll). His given purpose for such an endeavor? Prime secret Christmas enterprise, in fact. After a second of looking and holiday small speak, they find the blue goo character, but maybe at the flawed second. As Mr. Squishington’s identify is known as, he turns and journeys over what look like a collection of traps Mr. Bumpy had set earlier by the home’s Christmas tree.

The actual present is those eyes

There’s a second of confusion before Molly Coddle demands to know the cause for the traps and present mess. It’s then that Mr. Bumpy startlingly reveals he is as soon as once more after ol’ Santa Claus’s bag of products. As the inexperienced monster relives previous Christmas makes an attempt where he did not steal all of the presents in the world, Mr. Squishington begins to cry. It seems that this act clumsiness was the straw that broke his emotional camel’s again, as this entire time he’s been longing for a pair of ft so he can study to tap dance. Yes, the dream of goals.

Rest room water doesn’t need ft

In fact, being a egocentric green monster, Mr. Bumpy takes advantage of poor Squish’s broken goals and heart. He promises him his very own pair of tap dancing ft if he helps him sneak into Santa’s workshop in an elaborate heist to steal the bag of presents.

The rest of the Christmas special finally ends up going by means of durations of referential jokes and stolen plot factors. Take for example, The Wizard of Oz. As Mr. Bumpy and Mr. Squishington make their solution to the North Pole, they enlist the help from others who are also longing for more sufficient solutions to their body’s mishaps (I feel there’s something about self-confidence to be discovered right here). There is a worm who might or might not resemble John Waters (and seems like Cheech Marin) who only needs a pair of arms so he can do “arm things.”

“You know. Arm things.”

There’s additionally a hummingbird who’s stuck at Stonehenge only because she doesn’t have the velocity or power to journey long distances. So obviously she needs a jet pack, as a result of that absolutely is sensible. To prime off the chook’s appearance, she’s English and says the words crumpet, cheerio, and fish ‘n’ chips, all in the span of one minute.

I guess she flies on the left aspect of the street and loves tea, too

The special additionally has a “we must save the pageant or Christmas will be ruined” subplot. When Mr. Squishington- the pageant director- left with Mr. Bumpy, he left Molly Coddle- who’s afraid of being in a place of authority- in charge.

Telling individuals what to do is haaaaard

Each five minutes, the story is interrupted for a musical quantity that cleverly modifications the lyrics of holiday classics to match the plot (and uses clips from previous episodes to save lots of time in animation).

The 90s have been such inclusive years

Lastly the special takes cues from A Christmas Story, the place Mr. Bumpy’s selfish want is matched none aside from by Ralphie (who solely cares about what he needs). If any of that doesn’t be just right for you, ‘Twas the Night Before Bumpy even throws in a Raiders of the Misplaced Ark and Full Metallic Jacket reference.

It’s pretty much the similar thing

Like I stated earlier, there’s quite a bit happening. Virtually too much. However for some cause this works and brings back what I enjoyed about the present in the first place- I can simply flip my brain off and luxuriate in what’s in entrance of me. Now before individuals rise up in arms and say, “Well that’s just shitty television,” I need to say both yes and no. Take a look at the cartoon Journey Time and even going again to the Animaniacs; being nonsensical can typically be the most clever thing you are able to do. It permits for us to understand elements of something we usually wouldn’t, which is the place ‘Twas the Night Before Bumpy excels.

This special creates a dark yet brilliant world and dabs at it with holiday cheer. Although not the world’s biggest in stop motion animation, there’s one thing real about it, and seeing such hyperactive characters inhabit such a world, I must say that the special takes on the sincerest form of A.D.D..

To prime issues off, there’s additionally a humbling feeling that comes with each character’s decision that makes you recognize the season even more. A normally robust and gruff RoboCop toy rip-off named Destructo finds somebody to love his tender aspect, Mr. Squishington learns that he’s good just the means he’s, and Mr. Bumpy learns the age-old “tis far better to give than to receive” lesson.

Character resolution!


Hmm, nope. No Jesus here.

Properly they DO break into Santa’s workshop and steal his sack of presents… So I’d say he’s fairly necessary to this particular.

EVERYONE learns a special lesson. The holiday spirit is all up in this present. Bumpy does manage to steal Santa’s sack (and tear it open on the approach back residence) however doing so teaches him the most beneficial lesson in any Christmas movie.

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Regardless of it’s lack of popularity, yow will discover Bump in the Night: Twas the Night Before Bumpy on DVD. You may as well decide up Bump in the Night: Night of the Dwelling Bread, which accommodates quite a lot of episodes. When you’re on the semi-dark cease motion kick, why not grab The Nightmare Before Christmas?