It has been said that children these days are so overwhelmed with different distractions and various forms of entertainment via smart-phones, tablets and the ease of television streaming, that the animated Christmas specials of years ago have absolutely no meaning for them.
The very shows that most of us grew up with (Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown) are still broadcast every year, but the demographic for those shows are now the adults that fell in love with them to begin with.
With that in mind, and totally aware that it is a little off the topic of books, we here at the “Tampa Bay Books Examiner” have decided to celebrate these classics and create a list our “5 Favorite Animated Christmas Specials”.
This list is for everyone who still actively pursues the time and day their favorite show will be on, those people that have memorized every catchy song and all those who know the Grinch’s dog is named Max and Rudolph’s girlfriend is named Clarice.
We hope the list brings back some wonderful memories that we hope you’ll share with us and we also hope it will encourage you to make some new memories with all the children in your life, as well.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss is one of those wonderful animated shows that combine the best of the author’s vision with wonderful music and lyrics.
The story of a creature who hates Christmas but is forced to live among the “Who’s” who love and celebrate the holiday stands out for teaching us that Christmas is more than the pretty lights, wonderful food and great gifts. It also teaches us that we are never too old to change.
A treat for Dr. Seuss and Christmas fans alike it is a treasure for young and old. Has there ever been a cuter animated character than Cindy Lou Who?
Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the Snowman based on a children’s song by Walter “Jack” Rollins and Steve Nelson and originally sung by Gene Autry tells the heartwarming story of a snowman made by children from the first fall of winter snow, who magically comes to life when you place an enchanted top-hat upon his head.
Narrated by Jimmy Durante, the show was originally broadcast on December 7, 1969 and continues to touch the hearts of children of all ages.
I’m not ashamed to say, when Frosty has that unfortunate incident in the green house, I still shed a tear.
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
Santa Claus is Coming to Town is another classic, originating from an old Christmas song. From the magical team of Rankin and Bass and using stop motion animation, just like they did with “Rudolph”, the show has found a place on television since 1970.
It is narrated by Fred Astaire and answers all those questions about Santa that every child has ever asked; Where did Santa come from, how did he get his name and how do reindeer fly are all ingeniously answered within the show.
The songs are another example of the perfect pairing of story and music. With voice-overs by Mickey Rooney and Fred Wynn, this Christmas classic remains as entertaining today as it was the first time it was broadcast.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, based on a song by Johnny Marks and famously sung by Gene Autry has enchanted children and adults since it was originally broadcast December 6, 1964.
The story of a young reindeer born with a shiny red nose that makes him different from all the other reindeer but then goes on to lead Santa’s sleigh and save Christmas is a wonderful story about how everyone feels like a misfit at one time or another.
The music is especially catchy and the animation adorable. A true Christmas classic and “can’t miss” television every year no matter how old I get.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas based on the “Peanuts” cartoon strip by Charles Schultz, has been a favorite of young and old since its original broadcast in 1965.
Using Schultz’s familiar cast of characters, Bill Melendez, the director, created a masterpiece, merging story, words and music into a simple tale about the true meaning of Christmas.
Always a cut above the other animated Christmas classics, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” continues to stand the test of time and enchant anyone who has ever watched it.
In the spirit of complete honesty, Schroeder’s piano solo during the pageant rehearsal, is the Christmas ring-tone for my phone.
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Coming up, more holiday themed lists like 5 books about Christmas.
See ya next time!