The FREAKIEST Raggedy Ann Movie
January 20, 2021
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown. Then we are treated to a brand-new opening, different than the usual NC intro. It opens with a curtain opening, followed by a montage of shots of various freaky-looking pop culture characters while demented organ music plays in the background)
Announcer (Doug): Ladies and gentlemen, behold the outcast, the creepy and depraved, the bizarre creations not meant for the normal world! (pronounces it "woild") Embrace the twisted weirdness of (A sign pops up with a title on it, which the announces reads...) "Freakshow Cinema"!
(Cut to NC in his place)
NC: Yeah, I wanted to try something a little different.
(A series of posters for newer movies is shown: the remake of Mulan, Tenet and Scoob!)
NC (vo): As I get older and a lot of media gets safer, with some exceptions...
(Now we are treated to another montage, this one of freaky imagery in movies, including in Big Trouble in Little China, 9 and Rock & Rule)
NC (vo): ...I wanted to look over some of the freakier movies of cinema. Some are well-known, others not as much, but they all went for broke in giving us the strange, abnormal, yet creative handful of madness their imaginations can muster. And I wanted to praise their otherworldliness because if you can't imagine something different, you'll be stuck with the same all your life.
NC: With that said, what pops in your mind when you hear the name "Raggedy Ann"?
(A montage of Raggedy Ann memorabilia is shown, starting with a regular doll)
NC (vo): A cute little dolly...
(Next we cut to a Raggedy Ann and Andy cartoon of some kind)
NC (vo): ...an occasional special you saw here or there...
(Then we cut to another Raggedy Ann doll, this one in a glass case with a sign under it warning that the case not be opened, while ominous music plays in the background and a shot of Annabelle fades in)
NC (vo): ...a cursed gateway to evil preserved in glass, inspiring several demonic film adaptations.
NC: My guess is, the director to this (gestures toward the left, where the poster for Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure appears) thought the latter.
(The title for Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure is shown, followed by footage of the movie)
NC (vo): Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure was released in 1977 and was directed by the late, great animator, (An image of the director is superimposed...) Richard Williams, director of animation (A shot of the following is superimposed...) Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Though it did get both a theatrical and VHS release, there's not many high-end copies of it, and it's a shame because this movie is a witch's brew of bizarro. The story sounds very simple: a girl's room of toys, led by Raggedy Ann, welcome a French doll named Babette to her new home. But a snow globe pirate falls for her... (His pants rise up and down) ...and rises and falls and rises and falls... (His limp mustache springs out straight) Oh, God! ...and kidnaps her, forcing Ann and her brother Andy to save her while coming across all sorts of strange characters.
NC: (shrugs) Sounds pretty ordinary, but upon further viewing, you'll find it's anything but.
NC (vo): No matter what version of Raggedy Ann you've seen in the past, I assure you there is nothing freakier than this one! I mean, look at this! Is this the imagery you'd associate with such a simple children's doll?
(A montage of some of the more creepy scenes in the movie play)
Monster: I don't feel so well...
(Cut to a scene in Galaxy Quest)
Fred Kwan (Tony Shalhoub): That was a hell of a thing.
NC: Well, to figure out what exactly we're looking at, it'd make sense to figure out why we're look at it.
(The 20th Century Fox logo is shown)
NC (vo): 20th Century Fox assigned (An image of the following is superimposed...) Abe Levitow, a Warner Bros. animator...
(Cut to footage of Gay Purr-ee)
NC (vo): ...who directed Gay Purr-ee...
Meowrice's goons: (singing) Man, man, man, man, man, MAN, MAN...!
NC: That's...its own batch of "what".
(Cut back to the Raggedy Ann movie)
NC (vo): ...to helm the project with Richard Williams being the animation supervisor.
(Cut back to the shot of Levitow again)
NC (vo): Just to make things complicated, though, he died before they started.
(More footage of the movie is shown)
NC (vo): Seeing this as a means to get funding for his passion project (A shot of the title for said passion project is superimposed...) The Thief and the Cobbler, Williams took over directing. There was just one problem: he hated the script. He said it wasn't focused, didn't make a ton of sense, and there were too many songs. When the studio apparently said, "Film what's written," critics slammed the movie for – you guessed it – being unfocused, not making a ton of sense, and having too many songs. But Williams in no way half-assed it; he put as much effort as he could into, at the very least, giving some damn good animation, one of the few elements the critics praised the film for. As such, the film is a marvel to look at. The credits alone are ridiculously detailed.
NC: But okay, the vibe you would get from this script is that it's Toy Story before Toy Story was even a thing. And for the first half hour, it is.
NC (vo): The opening half hour is just the toys in the nursery, singing songs and not really saying any amazing dialogue, but for a little kids film, it's passable. When they go looking for the Captain and Babette, the first character they come across is a camel with wrinkled knees. He's been alone for so long, he hallucinates his family calling to him and constantly chases after them.
Raggedy Ann (voiced by Didi Conn): I don't see anything, Andy. Do you?
Raggedy Andy (voiced by Mark Baker): This is really weird.
NC: Odd, but you could just interpret him as a lost toy; it's nothing that out of the ordinary.
NC (vo): And then this...
("This" is a giant, gloppy blob...thing made of taffy and other sweets that it eats)
Blob-like thing (voiced by Joe Silver): What... What's... W-W-What's that?
NC: (throws up hand) This is the movie you're in now! (shakes head)
NC (vo): This is the Greedy, a giant monster who stuffs his face and wants to cut out Raggedy Ann's heart because it's made of candy.
Greedy: (holding up a pair of scissors) It's her heart now, but soon, it will be mine!
(Cut to a clip of a movie (I don't know what it is, though))
Character in movie: What the hell?!
(Cut back to the Raggedy Ann movie)
NC (vo): After they come across a loony knight named...Loony Knight...
Raggedy Ann (voiced by Didi Conn): Why are you doing all this to us?
Loony Knight (voiced by Alan Sues): It's easy! (cackles)
NC (vo): ...he takes them to the court of King Koo Koo, which goes something like this...
("This" sounds like noises like what Gerald McBoing-Boing would make, as Raggedy Andy tries to speak, but his voice turns out to be car noises. Raggedy Ann also tries to speak, but her voice, too, sounds like car noises and a steam whistle)
NC: (creeped out) Last time I saw them in something, they were giving (A shot of the Raggedy Ann and Andy special The Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile is shown in the corner) a pumpkin to a little kid! How do we make the leap to this?!*
- NOTE: Actually, The Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile was released in 1979, two years after Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure.
NC (vo): And none of these are like the toys seeing everyday things from a different point of view. No, no, all these freaky-ass shit just exist!
Raggedy Ann: (to King Koo Koo, who is quite tiny) Your Highness...
King Koo Koo: (looking up at her) You mean "Lowness". "Your Lowness", that's what it is.
NC (vo): King Koo Koo is very short, but he grows whenever he laughs. (A product from Pfizer called Vilafra is superimposed) Vilafra... They escape, but find Babette has somehow taken over the ship, put the Captain in chains...
Babette (voiced by Niki Flacks): I am ze Captain now!
(Cut to a clip of Captain Phillips)
Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi): Look at me.
Capt. Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks): Sure.
Abduwali: Look at me.
Babette: (audio from Raggedy Ann & Andy) I am ze Captain now!
(Cut back to Raggedy Ann & Andy)
NC (vo): ...and even trussed up our heroes, ending with the King tickling everyone, causing him to grow bigger, eventually exploding...
(After the explosion, we cut to the backyard of the house of the girl who owns the toys, which have fallen into a pond. She goes out into the pond to retrieve them and bring them back into her room)
NC (vo): ...and then they're just back home. Yeah, the girl finds them and just brings them in. The end. I don't know what script problems they're talking about; I followed all this fine once I did bath salts.