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Cricket on the Hearth

3.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Cricket on the Hearth
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  • Rankin/Bass TV Holiday Favorites Collection
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Total price: $35.57
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Editorial Reviews

A delightful, animated musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Cricket on the Hearth, tells the story of a poor toymaker and his daughter whom a helpful Cricket named Crocket befriends on Christmas morning. When tragedy strikes the family, it’s Crocket who comes to the rescue and restores peace and happiness.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Classic Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2012
  • Run Time: 49 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to over 75 destinations outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000R7G6JK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,403 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cricket on the Hearth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
"Cricket on the Hearth" is a heart warming excellent version of the Charles Dickens tale. Granted is it not the full book, but it does dramatize a significant part of the story - the toymaker who falls on hard times and his daughter whose fiance is lost at sea. When Bertha agrees to marry the miserly toy factory owner who is forcing them to live in poverty, the future seems grim - until the good luck cricket on the hearth steps in. The voices are great - Danny Thomas and his daughter Marlo as the toymaker and his daughter and Roddy McDowell, perfect as the cricket. The music is wonderful with a real gem of a Christmas song - "The First Christmas" that should be a classic holiday song if only some well known singer would record it. For years this production was unavailable and thought lost, but was rerelased last year and is a real treasure. A different Christmas story that is still full of the warmth and music of the season.
I am amazed that a previous review got so many of the facts of the story wrong. There is no "prince" to save the girl. There are no slow spots. It is a fast moving completely delightful story. People who rush to write reviews should really check their facts and not give misleading information.
This is a production that can easily appeal to adults as well as children. It could prove a wonderful introduction to the works of Dickens for children.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The cover looks nice BUT Should say A RANKIN/BASS Classic at the top BUT CLASSIC MEDIA and SONY WONDER continue to package the RANKIN/BASS catalog in a very generic way (NOT sure why, it only hurts sales). Anyway, this was originally a 1967 TV Special, which features a very nice LIVE introduction and closing by DANNY THOMAS. Not one of the better Cel Animated RANKIN/BASS specials BUT not bad either. The soundtrack is enjoyable and it is GREAT to hear MARLO THOMAS work with her dad. For this price, I definitely recommend it to any RANKIN/BASS fan!
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
PLOT: Danny Thomas stars as Caleb, a toymaker who discovers a cricket (delightfully played by Roddy McDowell) on his fireplace hearth at Christmas which is supposed to be a sign of good luck. His daughter Bertha, (played by his real life daughter Marlo Thomas who makes her first musical performance in this show), is sadly seeing her fiance Edward off to war so luck is not with them yet. Edward is gone for months, and finally news arrives that he is dead, but the grief strikes Bertha blind. Caleb who was already very poor only seems to do worse. He is forced to work for Grugg Tackleton (voiced by Hans Conried who also voiced Captain Hook for Disney), a mean Scrooge like character, who only pays room and board. He is a crow named Caw (voiced by Paul Frees who also voices the Sea Captain). Since Bertha cannot see, the toymaker tells his daughter they are in luxurious surroundings and he is being paid very well. He meets an old and hungry stranger and brings him home to eat. The evil Tackleton decides he wants to marry Bertha, and the cricket joins with the toys that are brought to life to defend her honor. Songs include "Don't Give Your Love Away", "Smiles Go With Tears", "Through My Eyes", "The First Christmas", "That Was Yesterday", "Fish and Chips", "Parade of the Toys", and "A Waltz for Christmas".

BACKGROUND INFO: This one hour format television special was first aired on NBC on December 18, 1967. It was created by Rankin/Bass Studios in association with Aaron Spelling and Danny Thomas. Music by Maury Laws, and lyrics by Jules Bass.
This was the 5th television special from the studio, and the first holiday show after Rudolph that they released. This was the first time Danny and Marlo Thomas appeared together for a television show.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
This film is just plain weird. Because it is based on Dickens, I'm going to the source (free kindle edition here on Amazon), as otherwise it is so convoluted and bizarre that I just shook my heads in wonder at it being a "Christmas classic." It seems to end so abruptly, too. Talking crickets & talking toys are the heroes, working together to solve a conundrum: Marlo Thomas' blind character has been gently deceived by her father into believing the life around them is better than it is, so she is prepared to marry an ogre, because she has believed her father's lies about him as a good man, when the one she truly loves was lost at sea, but is alive. In swoop the heroes. I'm not clear on why the cricket is credited with bringing good luck, when so much bad luck comes along first--while he is a part of the family. If he came along in the nick of time to change an otherwise messy situation, sure, you could attribute the good fortune to him, but the way this was laid out, he just happens to be present through the bad and the eventual good. Also, my kids wondered at the end, did the blind gal regain her sight? There were lots of leaps in logic, which could have been better fleshed out in an extra 15 or 20 minutes, so it was in some ways too short to be enjoyable...in other ways, too long for the weirdness of character development between the cricket and his keepers. I just ended confused. Why was this a Christmas story? And, while Danny Thomas tried to tie the Christ story in . . . somehow . . . that was awkward, b/c it wasn't a traditional Christian narrative at all, yet it was written with this theme of "Christmas is about more than . . . "

Really? Just awkward.
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