As Christmas draws near and the RANKIN AND BASS specials start popping up on television, I recall a particular RANKIN AND BASS production called THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY. I hadn’t seen it in over 30 years so my memories were a bit fuzzy but I was pretty sure I remembered a scene that disturbed me as a child–bandits rob the little drummer boy’s home and set it on fire, the boy escapes but his parents perish. The scene that particularly upset was the boy looking back at the house to watch his mother engulfed in flames while tears ran down her face.
Today I found the movie on Veoh.com and decided to watch it, wondering if I’d remembered that scene correctly. When it got to the part about the bandits, there was the house burning, but no weeping mother. Did they cut it out I wondered? I kept watching it and sure enough, later in the movie there is a scene where the boy is angry, remembering what happened to his parents and very quickly their faces appear on the screen, the mother with a tear on her cheek, surrounded by flames. It seemed to be more of a montage of what the bandits did, rather than an actually depiction of his mother burning to death, but as a child that’s how I interpreted it.
FYI, this and The Little Drummer Boy Book II will airing Sat Dec 13 on ABC Family at 6:00 AM Central Time (6 am, wtf?!?! Thank Jeebus for DVR!).