There are two follow-ups to this post so far:
You probably don't know Bruce The Moose. In fact, the only reference I can find to Bruce the Moose on the whole bloody internet is on this message-board posting by 'NorthernGrl':
When I was a child, Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, Ontario had "Bruce the Moose" He was this huge moose that played a giant piano and sang Christmas carols as you waited to see Santa. Then, in my teens, after the mall had huge renovations, Bruce was just gone.I was really upset, and still wonder where he went. I hope he was refurbished and sent to another mall, and not just trashed.I also grew up in Newmarket, and have the same story. Bruce was there on the lower level as part of the sit-on-Santa's-lap setup. Bruce was a giant furry semi-animatronic moose. He had a sidekick -- some kind of squirrel or beaver? And they played and sang along in a clackety-clack mechanical way to a prerecorded soundtrack. Sometimes Bruce malfunctioned and didn't move. Sometimes Bruce moved and there was no music.
Now, I considered ... well ... odds are Upper Canada Mall didn't commission Bruce The Moose from scratch. That'd be a mighty big project. There had to be more Bruces the Mooses. (Meese?)
Then I met Sarah Mann, formerly the morning show producer at the radio station here in Halifax. She grew up in Chatham. A mall there also had a Bruce The Moose. She corroborated my story.
The only hard evidence I have of any of this is a single Polaroid. My sister found Bruce at a mall some years ago when she was in University, well past the Upper Canada years. I don't know where the photo has gone, but if I find it, I will scan it and post it.
So, the call is out to any and all who remember Bruce The Moose from any mall ... or anywhere the moose may have roamed.
- Bruce The Moose coloring books or other handouts
- Any recordings or other renditions of the Bruce The Moose music
- Background: who made the displays?
- Epilogue: where did the Bruces go after they were done?
- More: anyone work with these beasts and have stories to tell about their maintenance and implementation?
This is only Part One. You can add more in the comments or send me e-mail. As the material comes in, I will re-post and expand, and eventually we'll compile the official Bruce The Moose Christmas Display archive on the Interweb.
Step one: I think I'll go call Upper Canada Mall to see if anyone can give me some background.
Spread the word through Facebook or MSN or whatever you people use. Let's get 'er done. Preserve the memories.