Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree is a CBS special, based on Robert Barry's 1963 book of the same name, that premiered on December 6, 1995, as a Nabisco Family Theatre presentation. It stars Robert Downey, Jr., Leslie Nielsen, Stockard Channing, and a family of Muppet mice who had previously appeared as minor characters in The Muppet Christmas Carol, with narration by Kermit the Frog.


The special begins with the song "The Perfect Tree", which features both Mr. Willowby singing about his desire to find the perfect Christmas tree and, within his house, a father mouse singing that he will go out to get a tree and his two children decide to come with him. After the song is finished, Mr. Willowby asks his butler, Baxter, where his tree is.

The special then follows the mouse family out in the woods looking for a tree. Eventually, the father spots “the perfect tree,” but it is far too large to fit into their tiny living quarters, so they climb it so that he can chop off the very top. Right when they reach the top, however, Mr. Willowby’s lumberjacks arrive at the scene and cut the entire tree down (as they sing the song “We’re Lumberjacks”). The mouse family hold on to it as it is brought to Mr. Willowby’s house.

The tree is set up in the house, and Mr. Willowby notices it is slightly too tall. He has Baxter cut off the very top, and then tells him to bring it up (which the mouse family is in) to his maid, Miss Adelaide, whom he describes as being a very lonely person who doesn’t even come down for Christmas.

Baxter does so, and while he is meeting with Miss Adelaide, she describes her family’s traditions at Christmas. While they are talking, a romantic interest between them is insinuated at. At one point, Baxter notices the father mouse on the floor, but Miss Adelaide says it's Christmas and thus would be wrong to kill him at this time. She places him up on a banister, and he returns to the top of the tree with his children.

After Baxter leaves, Miss Adelaide notices that the tree in her room is slightly too tall, so she cuts off the top and throws it out the window (with the mouse family in it). Before the father mouse can cut off the top, a bear picks it up and brings it home to his den and family to use as his own Christmas tree.

The bear family engages in their Christmas festivities, and eventually notices that the tree is too tall. They cut off the top (which once again has the mouse family in it) and throw it outside. The mouse family laugh at all they’ve been through that evening, only to then be picked up (along with the tree) by an owl.

The owl's family set up the tree in their own den, and then engages in an angelic chorus (the mouse family speculates that they never knew owls could be so musical). Eventually, they too notice that the tree is too tall, and so they cut off the top and throw it (along with the mouse family) outside.

The father mouse then raises his axe to cut off the top of the tree, but then realizes that it's actually the perfect size for his own home. He and his children return home with it. At the same time, Mr. Willowby’s Christmas ball is taking place. Miss Adelaide comes down this time, and begins to dance with Baxter.


Actor/actress/Muppeteer Character(s)
Robert Downey, Jr. Mr. Willowby
Stockard Channing Miss Adelaide
Leslie Nielsen Baxter
Kevin Clash Father Mouse
David Rudman Ned Mouse
Julianne Buescher Beverly Mouse
Steve Whitmire Kermit the Frog
Bill Barretta Bear
Bruce Lanoil Bear
Kevin Thompson
Sari Weiser
Tracey Thompson unknown


The special won the 1996 CSA award for "Best Casting for TV Nighttime Special".[1] The song "The Perfect Tree", written by composers the Silvershers, also garnered the special a nomination for the 1996 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Song, which it lost to "Let's Settle Down" from the 1995 adaptation of Bye Bye Birdie.



External links

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Jim Henson Productions and Related Shows
Sesame Street and related shows Christmas Eve on Sesame StreetA Special Sesame Street ChristmasElmo Saves ChristmasElmo's World: Happy Holidays!A Sesame Street Christmas CarolElmo's Christmas Countdown • "Peter Alexander präsentiert Spezialitäten" • "Christmas Special (Barrio Sésamo)" • Christmas with Ernie & Bert • "Jul med Jeppe, Marie og Elmo" • "A Christmas Present in Summer" • "Boot" • "Monster Monster Day" • Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas • "A Furchester Christmas" • "Holiday at Hooper’s" • Sesame Street: The Nutcracker Starring Elmo & Tango • "Yip Yip Tree Tree" / "The Snowman Scarecrow"
The Muppets John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Muppet Family ChristmasThe Muppet Christmas CarolIt's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie • "Christmas (From the Balcony)" • A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa • "Ringing of the Bells" • Lady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular • "Single All the Way" • "Ho Ho Ho!" • "Christmas" (Muppet Moments) • "Santa Claus" (Muppet Moments) • "A Very Muppet Babies Christmas" / "Summer's Super Fabulous Holiday Surprise" • "It's a Wonderful Elf-bot" / "A Merry Litter Christmas"
Other shows and specials The Jimmy Dean Show: Episode 114The Jimmy Dean Show: Episode 214The Jimmy Dean Show: Episode 314Santa Claus Routine with Arthur GodfreyChristmas ReindeersThe Great Santa Claus SwitchEmmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas • "The Bells of Fraggle Rock" • The Christmas Toy • "Refrigerator Day" • Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree • "Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton" • "The Siberian Tiger and the Reindeer" • "A Berry Bear Christmas" • "Holidays" • "Hooblebumper Box Day" • "Oh Christmas Tree" • "Sid's Holiday Adventure" • "Cretaceous Conifers" • "Don's Winter Wish" • "The Annoying Orange Generic Holiday Special" • "Orange Carol" • "Joy to the World (Pajanimals)" • "War on Christmas (No, You Shut Up!)" • "A New York Christmas to Remember" • "A Song For Everyone" • "The Holiday Tree" • "Whitebeard/Coral Day" • "Traditions on Ice" • "Night of the Lights"
Christmas Eve on Sesame StreetMerry Christmas from Sesame StreetJohn Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Sesame Street ChristmasElmo Saves Christmas: Holiday FavoritesA Green and Red ChristmasBob! from Sesame Street: Christmas Sing AlongHoliday Classics . It's Christmas Time