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By Ashley Cooper | April 4, 2004

Ah, what child or parent of the 1980s doesn’t remember our beloved Teddy Ruxpin? You know, the teddy bear that would tell you a story if you put a tape in his back and had good batteries. And who didn’t, at least once, put a rap tape in ol’ Teddy just to see what would happen. Sadly, Teddy wasn’t down with 2 Live Crew.

Anyway, this animated short is a little like what would have happened if that tape had played. Well, maybe more like if a Tom Waits (with a bad hangover) tape had played. The story of “Teddy Huggsbeary” follows a lonely little girl with no one to play with. Even her own parents ditch her. So the girl wishes very hard, and out of nowhere her fairy gnome arrives to grant her wish. Before she knows it, her favorite teddy bear comes alive! The thing is, he’s not particularly interested in playing with the little girl either.

This is an hilarious idea. God knows with those of us who survived the various sickeningly sweet atrocities thrown at us by mass marketing in the ‘80s such as “The Care Bears”, “The Gummy Bears” and the all time worst human creation in the form of the sappy and sucky “Get-Along Gang” (whose damned theme song haunts me to this day) that something needs to be done. Thank you, Oaks Town Animation, for taking up this yoke.

What happens to the little girl and the teddy bear from here is pretty much what you would expect. That’s the problem, it doesn’t really surprise you very much. The writers get credit for the bear’s one-liners, like his first words that he’s “gonna take a dump”, but there’s not much that you don’t see coming. Come on guys, you’ve made yourself tons of material to work with. Your animation is spot on and your music absolutely perfect. Give us a little more!

Though it may not fully live up to expectations, “Teddy Huggsbeary” is still a fun morsel of a short film.

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