Wow, 2 TV Special Showdowns in 1 month? It’s a Christmas miracle!
Remember those 2 whimsical, wonderful TV specials from the late 1980’s about a kindly dragon who makes lollipops in a magical candy land?
But lets devote a TV Special Showdown to it anyway. Today we’ll be taking a gander at Lollipop Dragon.
Lollipop Dragon is here to kick ass and lick lollipops. And he’s just run out of lollipops.
The Scaly Lolly One has actually graced 2 specials: The Great Christmas Race (1985) and The Magic Lollipop Adventure (1986). If you’ve never seen these specials, then you’re not alone, as they’ve basically dropped under the radar after their initial debuts, but if you have seen them, then you’ll never forget them. Ever. It’s not that the Lollipop Dragon specials were really that bad per se, it’s just that they were among the trippiest darn things ever captured on celluloid. Many of those who remember these specials (all 2 of you) tend to remember these specials as 1 giant TV movie, with The Magic Lollipop Adventure taking up the first half of the “story”and The Great Christmas Race bringing up the rear, even though chronologically Christmas Race was made first. as many syndicated packages and VHS releases showed them together as a singular story. As such, this is how we’ll be going over these mini-masterpieces.
“Mmm. I love the smell of lollipops in the morning. They smell like…lollipops!”
I’m getting cavities just looking at this.
Lollipop Dragon lives in the land of Tum-Tum (sounds like a stomach medicine), some outer-dimensional fantasy land which resembles a cross between the board game Candy Land, Pepperland from Yellow Submarine and a Peter Max painting. It is here that our favorite green Sucker-sucker lives, frolics and works in some sort of factory which seems to be made of cotton candy making and distributing lollipops (Tum-Tum’s primary import and aphrodisiac), assisted by a trio of child dragons (are they his children? Siblings? Cousins? They just gloss over that), each with a special power: there’s a pink dragon named Blue-Eyes who can fire blue energy beams from her eyes (nifty, but a dragon possessing laser vision seems kind of redundant somehow), a blue dragon named Glider with power to fly (this reeks of Meaghana of the Bratzillas; don’t most dragons fly? being a dragon boasting the power of flight is a bit like a human boasting the power of pointing their finger) and a yellow dragon named Cuddles, whose power is…well, we’ll get to that in due time. They’re also aided by one Harry Troll (get it?), a cool troll musician who looks like a brown ball of hair in a farmer’s hat and six arms, so he can play the keyboard and make rude posts on internet message boards at the same time.
The dragons apparently do the pop thang in the service of the kingdom’s benevolent royal family: the young kiddie Royals Princess Gwendolyn and her brother Prince Hubert (interestingly, I seem to remember Hubert being chubby and was surprised to discover while doing research for this special that he wasn’t; I guess I just assumed he was fat due to the prodigious amounts of junk food cluttering the landscape) and their parents who are imaginatively named King and Queen (yes, you heard right: there’s a Queen. Not only is the queen of the family not just straight-up dead–so you know this isn’t a Disney special–but she’s not evil; taking notes, Hasbro? make Celestia and Frostine queens like they should be already!). Queenie is a tall, regal beauty, while the King is short and squat (it must be love if he’s cool with mating with someone taller than he is) and apparently he has the same dialogue coach as Mayor McCheese.
The giant magic lollipop is used once a year to purify the water in Tum-Tum. The citizens can then use this purified water to make delicious lollipops. But oh noes! There is EEEEVIL abound.
Even in a land where the populace eats tons and tons of candy, this guy is no looker.
It seems that some villainous green-skinned dude named Baron Bad Blood (really? Was the name Major Mean-Guy already taken?) wants to steal the giant magic lollipop for his own nefarious purposes. It seems that Mr. Green-Spleen’s evil plan is to take over Tum-Tum so he can make his own brand of liver-flavored lollipops. Yes, I kid you not: he wants to make liver-flavored lollipops.
When Shredder and Krang are laughing at how dumb-ass your villain plan is, you’re not very good at this. Move over Sogmaster, with your plans to ruin breakfast, there’s someone gunning for your title of Lamest Bad Guy Plan ever.
Anyway, the Baron and his henchman, some talking bright red ball of lint named Cosmo (there are Technicolor lollipop making talking dragons, a six-armed hippie troll and a royal family in this special, so why not?) swipes the magic lollipop, and Lollipop Dragon and pals (specifically the baby dragons, Harry and the Prince and Princess;
“Sure”, say the King and Queen, “take our underage kids on a dangerous quest to face an evil despot where they could be seriously injured or killed. Have a ball!”) give chase, facing down the Baron in his barren wasteland (these idyllic storybook lands always seem to border some kingdom of darkness, don’t they?) where they get briefly captured, get free again, sing some songs about thinking happy thoughts, the Power of Friendship, the Magic of Dreams or the Heart of the Cards or something similar, and the kid dragons help out by using their special abilities. It is here where we finally get to see Cuddles’ power: when the Baron’s henchman Cosmo attacks, Cuddles puts the whammy on him, causing him to fall in love with the Baron, with hearts sprouting out all around him and him saying, “Aw, I just ADORE ya, boss! Gimme a kissee!”
So THAT’S Cuddles’ power?? Wow. Just wow. No wonder the Xavier Academy won’t return his calls.
Anyways, the gang retrieves the magic lollipop and escape. The Baron gives chase and tries to zap them with a bolt of dark magic, but he instead hits one of the mirrors in his mirror maze (just go with it) and gets turned into a tree. Yes, a tree.
“I actually had a pithy comment right on time for this turn of events, but that’s not what you fanboys want to hear from me, so I’ll just say what you’ve been waiting for: I AM GROOT. Happy??”
So Lollipop and pals return home safely, Hubert and Gwendolyn are reunited with their parents, the magic lollipop is returned to its’ rightful place and the day is saved. Lollipop tops everything off by singing a psychedelic song about love, luck and lollipops, accompanied by Harry on keyboard, Gwen on guitar and Hubert on drums.
“We were Pop Sugar before it was cool!”
“What a bunch of tree-huggin’ hippie crap!”
For the “second half” of Lollipop Dragon’s outing, it’s suddenly wintertime in Tum-Tum (wink, wink) and there’s a big sled race under way, the winner of which will get their fondest desire granted. So the Baron is back and enters the race himself so he can finally fulfill his wish of mass marketing his liver flavored lollipops. Uh…didn’t the Baron get turned into a tree in the first story? Not gonna offer any explanation of how he came back? Nobody? Just sweeping this under the rug, huh? Okay…
You can guess the rest: Lollipop and friends enter the race so the Baron won’t win, Baron cheats, Baron fails, the good guys win, then Lollipop suddenly remembers that this is supposed to be a Christmas special and sings us another hippie song, this time about how special Christmas is. Here’s the opening number of the Xmas special:
“Lads, I think we’re still on acid!”
So that’s Lollipop Dragon. And if you’re not down with that, he’s got 2 words for ya:
(Lollipops, that is.)