Country Bear Christmas Special

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The Country Bear Christmas Special is a special holiday edition of the Country Bear Jamboree attraction at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort. The show premiered at the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland during the 1984 holiday season due to overwhelming popularity of the original shows' success. The show also premiered at Tokyo Disneyland as Jingle Bell Jamboree in 1988.

The Country Bear Christmas Special was the first time an attraction at any Disney theme park that became interchangeable during the year.

At the Disneyland Resort, the Christmas Special stopped in 2000 since the Country Bear Playhouse closed on September 9, 2001. At Disney World, the Christmas Special stopped in 2005 for unknown reasons, like copyright issues with some of the songs performed in the show like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (song). Another reason was that the cost of changing the shows' format to Christmas and back didn't match the attendance needed for the show. It's been rumored that it might return in the future.

Characters[edit]

Because the show was a Christmas Special, the characters in the show were put into Christmas outfits for their various acts.

Bears[edit]

Henry-The "ringmaster" of the show, Henry is a welcoming and friendly brown bear. He wears a grey top hat with a red trim and a light green scarf. In some parts of the show, he plays a yellow guitar. He is voiced by Pete Renaday.

Liver-Lips McGrowl-Liver Lips is perhaps the funniest-looking bear. He's a brown bear who gets his name from his very large lips. He becomes an Elvis impersonator in this show, playing a Christmas tree-shaped guitar. In this show, he is voiced by Imagineer Dave Durham.

Wendell-Wendell is a brown bear with a massive overbite and buck teeth. He carries a squirrel gun, which he accidentally fires a couple of times throughout the show. He wears a hunter's hat and jacket. In this show, he is voiced by Dave Durham.

Teddi Barra-Teddi Barra is a unique bear because she never appears onstage. Instead, she descends from a hole in the ceiling on her swing. She is a brown bear who holds a pair of skis, has a cast on her leg and is dressed in ski gear. She is voiced by Genia Fuller.

Ernest-Ernest is a brown bear who plays the fiddle. He wears a beanie cap and sweater with a trim in the middle with reindeers. There's also a sled next to him. He's voiced by Mike Weston.

Terrence-A tall bear who plays a guitar. In this show, he wears a scarf and earmuffs and has white fur to resemble a polar bear. He is also joined by a penguin encased in ice. His singing voice is provided by Harry Middlebrooks.

Trixie-Trixie is a very large brown bear who wears a blue bow on her head, a blue tutu around her waist, a pair of skates hanging from her neck and holds a pair of mittens in one hand and a mistletoe in another. She is voiced by Suzanne Sherwin.

Big Al-Big Al is the fattest bear. He is grey with a light grey belly and plays the guitar. In this show, he's dressed as baby New Year (sash and diapers(diapers only used in the U.S.version) and wears an icepack and a party hat on his head. A banner hangs above him. His voice is provided by Peter Klimes.

The Sun Bonnet Trio

  • Bunny-Bunny stands in the center of the stage. Because she and her sisters are triplets, they all have brown fur. She wears a green hood and sweater with her name on it. She's voiced by Dianne Michelle.
  • Bubbles-Bubbles stands to the audience's left between Gomer and Bunny. She wears a red hood and sweater with her name on it. She's voiced by Lori Johnson.
  • Beulah-Beulah stands to the audience's right. She wears a red hood and sweater with her name on it. She's voiced by Holaday Mason.

Gomer-Gomer never sings, but instead plays his piano, which has a small Christmas tree on top of it and Christmas decorations. He is considered Henry's right-hand bear. He is tall and brown and wears a heavy winter coat and sunglasses.

The Five Bear Rugs

  • Zeke-Considered the leader of The Five Bear Rugs, Zeke plays a banjo and taps on the dishpan with "a real ol' country beat". He is a grey bear with glasses who wears a black hat with snow on top of it and yellow scarf. He's voiced by Harry Middlebrooks.
  • Zeb-Zeb is brown bear with a light brown stomach. He plays the fiddle as well and wears a bandana around his neck and a winter hat. His feet are in a hot bucket of water, due to having a cold, and sneezes several times throughout the show. He is voiced by Curt Wilson (speaking) and Rod Burton (singing).
  • Ted-Ted is a tall, skinny bear who blows on the cornjug and plays the washboard. His fur is brown and he wears a white vest and a red Santa Claus hat.
  • Fred-The biggest of The Five Bear Rugs, Fred ironically plays the smallest instrument: the mouth harp. He is a brown bear and wears blue jeans held up with red suspenders as well as a red Santa Claus hat and a green tie with a candy cane on it.
  • Tennessee-Tennessee plays the "Thing", which has only one string. He is brown and wears a hunter's jacket and red hat. His now-deep voice is provided by Lee Dresser.

Baby Oscar-Oscar appears with The Five Bear Rugs, but plays no instrument. He is a brown bear and always has his teddy bear to keep him company. Oscar wears white earmuffs and red boots and holds a candy cane. His teddy bear has a tag with his name on it.

Rufus-Rufus is not a performer, but instead runs the projections and lights. He is never seen, but can be heard from time to time running backstage, constantly out of breath.

Other animals[edit]

Buff-Buff is considered the leader of the animal heads and is also the largest. He is the head portion of a buffalo, wears a red Santa Claus hat and is voiced by Disney legend Thurl Ravenscroft.

Max-Max is the head portion of a stag. In this show, he has a small red light bulb sitting on his snout, making him look a bit like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He's voiced by Mike West.

Melvin-Melvin, a moose head, is the Dopey of the animal head trio. He often makes good-natured jokes and, in this show, he has lots of Christmas lights hanging on his antlers. He's voiced by Frank Welker.

Sammy-Sammy is Henry's raccoon pal, who cuddles around Henry's top hat. He acts like a coonskin cap for Henry. He wears a piece of a Christmas leaf next to his right ear. He's voiced by Bob Gardner.

Show[edit]

The show includes many different traditional Christmas carols, more modern songs, and original Christmas "bear-ols" all sung by the bears in a country twang.

The show begins as always with Buff, Max, and Melvin. As the three argue over who gets to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", Henry appears onstage and begins the show!

Songs[edit]

American version:

  • "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Melvin
  • "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" - Henry and Gomer
  • "Tracks in the Snow" - The 5 Bear Rugs and Henry
  • "12 Days of Christmas (Oh What a Christmas)" - Wendell
  • "The Hibernating Blues" - Trixie
  • "Deck the Halls" - The 5 Bear Rugs
  • "Rock and Roll Santa" - Liver Lips McGrowl and Gomer
  • "Blue Christmas" - Terrence (with his penguin)
  • "Sleigh Ride" - The Sun Bonnets, Melvin, Buff, and Max
  • "Hungry as a Bear" - Ernest and The 5 Bear Rugs
  • "The Christmas Song" - Henry and Teddi Barra
  • "Another New Year" - Big Al
  • "Let It Snow/ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer/ Winter Wonderland" - Cast (except Ernest & Trixie as she is on the opposite side of the performing Henry and Ernest is opposite Big Al's stage)

Japanese version:

  • "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Melvin (sung in Japanese)
  • "Jingle Bells" - Henry and Gomer(sung in Japanese)
  • "Tracks in the Snow" - The 5 Bear Rugs and Henry (sung in Japanese)
  • "12 Days of Christmas (Oh What a Christmas)" - Wendell (sung in Japanese)
  • "Merry Little Christmas" - Trixie (sung in English)
  • "Deck the Halls" - The 5 Bear Rugs (sung in Japanese)
  • "Rock and Roll Santa" - Liver Lips McGrowl and Gomer (sung in English)
  • "Blue Christmas" - Terrence (with his penguin) (sung in Japanese)
  • "Sleigh Ride" - The Sun Bonnets, Melvin, Buff, and Max (sung in English)
  • "Hungry as a Bear" - Ernest and The 5 Bear Rugs (sung in Japanese)
  • "The Christmas Song" - Henry and Teddi Barra (sung in English)
  • "Auld Lang Syne" - Big Al (sung in English)
  • "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town/ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer/ Winter Wonderland" - Cast (except Ernest & Trixie as she is on the opposite side of the performing Henry and Ernest is opposite Big Al's stage) (sung in Japanese until Winter Wonderland which is in English).

Trivia[edit]

Until 1988, the show ended with the following dialogue from Buff, Max, and Melvin:

MELVIN: Well, I think we did just fine!

MAX: You would!

BUFF: If you two don't straighten up, I'm gonna pull the plug on both of you! Now say goodbye!

MAX & MELVIN: So long everybody!

BUFF: Happy holidays!

For unknown reasons, this bit of dialogue was cut from the show.

Even though Big Al sings a parody of Auld Lang Syne in Tokyo's version of the show, it has never been heard on New Year's Eve in Tokyo as they always revert to the Original show in both theaters the Saturday before New Year's.

References[edit]