Written by Ed Castle.
The Christmas Toy (1986)
Best known role…
Doll; playroom leader; The Christmas Toy the year before Rugby Tiger.
WHO IS APPLE?
For those who aren’t familiar with this special, think of it as a precursor to Toy Story, where a community of toys come to life when humans leave the Jones’ family playroom. Apple, a doll, is one of the leaders and main characters from the special.
Thinking herself displaced or replaced by Rugby the year before, Apple becomes a main character throughout the rest of the special. She tries to show Rugby that others have gone through the same feelings he has when Christmas comes around and a new Christmas toy is introduced to the group. When Rugby decides he wants to be this year’s Christmas toy a second time, she rallies the rest of the toys for a daring rescue mission. After finding Rugby near the tree, she forcefully scolds him, “What will Jamie think when she opens her present and finds you there instead of where she left you?” Apple is able to drive her point home for Rugby to accept his lot when they then have to convince Meteora that she is a toy and get her to reassume her dormant form inside the wrapped box.
Funnily enough, Apple did get replaced in the spin-off series The Secret Life of Toys in 1994. Although most of the characters from the original special returned now located in a children’s playroom in the United Kingdom, for some reason there was a different doll named Raisin taking over Apple’s role.
WHY DO THE TOYS NEED APPLE?
Someone once compared Meteora as Buzz Lightyear’s mom. In that same vein, Apple could be thought of as Woody’s equal. As we watch the special, this comparison holds true. Apple is a wonderful character, demonstrating a diverse range of emotions from sad to cross to bossy to sympathetic to confused and back to happy as the story unfolds. The fact that a simple doll can emote so perfectly is a testament to the acting talent of her veteran Muppeteer, Kathy Mullen.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org