Picks and Pans Review: The Christmas Raccoons

updated 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/19/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

The two half-hour tales on this animated tape feature the raccoons Bert, Melissa and Ralph and their shaggy-dog buddy, Schaeffer. Made originally for Canadian television, the stories are smoothly drawn and literately, if not exactly hilariously, written. In "The Raccoons on Ice," the stars have to save their lake from being filled in by the villainous tycoon Cyril Sneer, who looks something like a shrunken elephant and wants to build a sports arena on the site and call it the Cyril Dome. The confrontation ends up neatly on a team-work note as the raccoons, Schaeffer and Cyril's nerdy son Cedric defeat Cyril's goonish bears in a winner-take-all hockey game. Cyril is also the bad guy in the other story, this time because he wants to chop down all the trees in the forest, not even thinking about replanting until the raccoons and the ecologically hip children of a forest ranger set him straight. The narration is by Rich Little, for a change sounding amazingly like Rich Little, and there are sweet incidental songs sung by Rita Coolidge, Rupert Holmes and Leo Sayer. (Congress, $14.95; 800-847-8273)

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