CC-licensed, Dickens-based, Pastifarian Christmas Carol kids' special

Robbo sez,

Puppets, songs, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Charles Dickens - all that and more are in our internet video holiday special: "Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol". Not just for kids, it's an unusual half-hour take on Dickens's classic - released under a Creative Commons License. Funded partly through IndieGoGo and a lot of sweat equity from the performers (total budget just a little over $5,000) we shot this thing in 4 days in my living room. All the puppet characters were shot against green screen and then combined with CG virtual sets and a pantload of special effects.

The music and songs were composed by JP Houston (Big Comfy Couch). We released this online yesterday, right after we had a screening at the old Revue Cinema in Toronto with box office proceeds going to the Toronto Public Library Foundation. Free to watch. Free to download. Free to share.

Ruffus The Dog's Christmas Carol



    1. Guilty as charged but not by design nor intent.  Within the Carol story itself Dickens didn’t give us a lot of female characters to work with – and our use of the one female character in the Bookshop sequences was due to lack of suitable characters in our stock supply of puppets.  I’m always bugged by the Smurfette Syndrome whenever I see it (all too often) in the works of others and I cringe now when you point that out in our own work.  All I can say is at least, unlike the Muppets and others, we always insist on female characters being played by by female puppeteers.  We’ll do better in future episodes.  Thanks for giving us the Zen rap on the noggin for that.

  1. Good eye Cory!

    I was lucky enough to attend the screening at the Revue Theatre.  

    I have been a cheerleader for Ruffus the dog for over a year now, since I watched one of the earlier episodes and immediately saw its value.

    Rob is a super nice guy too, he made a quick custom Ruffus video for me a few months ago and refused any sort of payment, said it was just the sort of thing he enjoys doing.

  2. That was very cute, but the FSM content was rather low.

    Of course, ANY FSM content makes if infinitely more pastafarian than, say, Pinnochio’s Christmas or a Very Special Christmas Episode of Breaking Bad.

    1. Ah hah!  You recognized it.  Ze was kind enough to let us use that – we loved his Show and keep trying to find opportunities to reference it in our own stuff.

  3. One of the awesomest things about this project is that it features the work of some of Canada’s greatest and most experienced puppeteers doing it just for the love it.  

  4. I know someone already asked, but no one has answered…  Is there a download link?  Anyone??

    I would love to put this on my ipod for my son to watch while we’re traveling.

    1. I posted saying we’ll have links soon but it didn’t come out as a reply to you – so this is me replying to you – I’ll let you know when we have some download links for you.  Thanks for your interest.  :)

    1. The show was Ruffus The Dog.  We were on the air back in the late ’90’s – and still showing in some territories.  The rights reverted back to us and we’ve been posting all the original shows to the net – and prepping new ones like this.

  5. There will be download links very soon for an SD version and the larger HD file.  We’d love for people to share this four ways from Sunday.  I’ll repost here when the links are ready.  Thanks for your interest.

  6. Cool.  But why does Ruffus look like Rocko, the sociopathic dog puppet,  from Puppets Who Kill? :D

    1. Well, actually, Ruffus came first and then there was Rocko – and while I was Executive Producer on Puppets Who Kill for the first season it was creator John Pattison who decided what he wanted Rocko to look like.  Distant cousins perhaps.  :)

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