'Davey and Goliath's Snowboard Christmas' premieres Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7 a.m. on the Hallmark Channel.
When television consisted of six channels, give or take, our Sunday morning choices were news, religious services and a stop-motion animation show called Davey and Goliath produced by the Lutheran Church. So what else could we do? Go outside and play? Hah! No, we watched Davey Hansen and his talking dog, Goliath, get into trouble and learn the many ways God watches over people and puppets.
There were 65 Davey and Goliath episodes made from 1960 to 1970, and we watched these morality plays religiously. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) And we weren't alone. Most any baby boomer knows the phrases "I don't know, Davey" and "All alone, all alone, God is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere."Over time, Davey and Goliath became kitschy, enough to be the centerpiece of a Mountain Dew ad a couple of years ago. And like everything old, it's become new again. The original episodes are now available on DVD, and there's a new special, Davey and Goliath's Snowboard Christmas, premiering Saturday, Dec. 17 on the Hallmark Channel. Appropriately, the first airing is at 7 a.m.
Today's animation is better, but the new script can't touch the originals. The old Davey was a charming innocent growing up in a Rockwell-esque world; today's Davey is a dunce stuck in politically correct times. In this episode, he befriends a Jewish kid named Sam and a Muslim girl named Yasmine. They go snowboarding together, wind up trapped in a cave and learn that, hey, their religions aren't all that different, even though they celebrate differently. "We do share a lot, no matter what we call our holidays," Davey says. "God loves us all."
In his early days, Davey was well ahead of the politically correct curve. He had a black friend (Jonathan) and a Hispanic one (Cisco), and no one spoke of their differences. Now, Davey and his equally sheltered friends can't stop talking about their differences and discovering how little they know. "What's a Hanukkah?" Davey asks Sam as they await their inevitable rescue.
When Yasmine explains that Muslims fast during Ramadan, Sam says, "Not eating seems like a strange way to celebrate," apparently forgetting Yom Kippur, when Jews atone for their sins by fasting.
While the kids are getting Sunday-schooled in the cave, thank goodness Goliath is alert enough to snowboard down the mountain with a friendly bear (yes, you read that right) to get help. A bear and a dog snowboarding together without discussing their religious differences first? I don't know, Davey.