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Lacking in the plot department…
If Mad Monster Party? isn't the direct ancestor of The Nightmare Before Christmas, I'll eat my Victorian cape. I don't know why I've never heard of this Rankin-Bass full-length feature, but I found it entirely delightful despite some pacing problems (padding and sometimes slow action) and unremarkable songs. Dr. Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) wants to retire and assembles all the classic monsters to his castle to announce he's leaving it to his timid nephew (who looks like Ron Howard, but which Allen Swift voices - he's essentially a one-man-cast - as Jimmy Stewart). Tons of monster gags, both visual and verbal, ensue as the monsters decide to take matters into their own claws and not let this travesty happen. Co-written by Harvey Kurtzman with character designs by Jack Davis, this thing has Mad Magazine's fingerprints all over it (though the "Mad" in the title is unofficial branding). There are a lot of sets, a lot of characters, a lot of effects, Phyllis Diller, a sexy puppet, and some great lighting to boot. Had it been shorter, it might have become a better-known holiday classic like Rudolph, and the Internet would still be abuzz with discussions on the ramifications of that ending.
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