I have another cool A Cosmic Christmas item to share with you…

Les Trois Mages Du Cosmos
VHS cover.

Here’s a little something I picked up on eBay in my quest to corner the market on A Cosmic Christmas memorabilia. A French language VHS tape version.

I wanted to grab it because, one, it’s cool, and two, because I wanted to compare the English and French versions, to see if there was any different content. I digitized both versions and laid them on top of each other in Adobe Premiere. Same. Same length exactly, no cuts, no edited. It was nice that the French had the proper title card in French instead of just subtitles over top of the English, but other than those small things, the content was the same. Also nice that the music was recorded in French, presumably not Sylvia Tyson though, and unfortunate that the closing credits didn’t seem to reflect the French voices and singer.

But after I’d gotten through comparing them, it made me thing, what about the version that’s been floating around YouTube for a number of years, and I was quite surprised to find that that version is in fact several minutes longer. I now how questions about where this longer version came from since it’s never been released on DVD. Where did this longer cut originate? I really want to know…

I added the YouTube version in Premiere as well and cut up the VHS version to match the scenes, and you might be able to tell that in the top row, these are the scenes that are in the VHS tape (English and French) but there are gaps where there is content that’s on YouTube that’s not on the tape. Nothing crazy there, most was cut for timing and pacing I’m sure. No censorship or anything radical. Here’s a basic rundown of the cuts:

0:29 More zooming in on the Earth and landscape
0:48 More unhappy shoppers
0:52 More unhappy shoppers (Raggedy Ann doll)
01:14 Peter runs into the mayor
04:05 Musical Montage: “Why Can’t They Look To The Sky” (This is surprising this was removed)
04:55 Peter trips and falls while seeing the space ship
08:18 More panning views of the town
10:30 Peter and Lucy sneak up on the kids in their hideout as they decide they want roast goose
16:57 Longer chase to save Lucy

I’m amazed the musical montage didn’t make it to the video tape. Considering that’s also the closing theme, it seems to be pretty important. This just makes me realize I now need to compare this to the LP version of the story that was released. And it’s another great case for Nelvana putting out a definitive BluRay someday. 2027 will be the fiftieth anniversary… I’d love to see a retrospective look back, putting A Cosmic Christmas in rightful place in the history of Canadian animation. One can always dream…

VHS back cover