Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Who’s got a nose for Christmas? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! Just in time for the holidays, here comes Rudolph in the most beloved special of all time! Packed with a sleigh full of memorable songs and unforgettable characters, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer lights up the hearts of young and old alike.
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
Where does Santa’s suit come from? Why does he slide down the chimney? Why does he live at the North Pole? The answers to all these questions and the origins of our favorite holiday traditions are revealed in this delightful classic about Kris Kringle, the world’s most famous gift giver.
Frosty the Snowman
Look at Frosty Go! What’s become a bigger holiday tradition than building a snowman? Watching the original Christmas classic, Frosty the Snowman! Grab your scarf, bundle up, and get ready for the incredible adventure of a magical snowman who’s got enough personality to win over the whole family. You can’t go wrong with Frosty!
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol
Bah Humbug, Mr. Magoo! In this first-ever animated holiday TV special, the bumbling and loveable Mr. Magoo is Ebeneezer Scrooge in a hilarious and heartwarming musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic, "A Christmas Carol".
The Little Drummer Boy
This story has touched the hearts of families everywhere. In this holiday classic, the true spirit of Christmas is revealed when a lonely orphan stumbles upon the birth of the baby Jesus and affirms what the holidays are really about – giving and love. Featuring a beautiful soundtrack by the Vienna Boys’ Choir, this timeless tale of generosity makes the perfect addition to your holiday collection.
Cricket on the Hearth
A delightful, animated musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Cricket on the Hearth, tells the story of a poor toymaker and his daughter whom a helpful Cricket named Crocket befriends on Christmas morning. When tragedy strikes the family, it’s Crocket who comes to the rescue and restores peace and happiness.
This classic 1964 television special featuring Rudolph and his misfit buddies set the standard for stop-motion animation for an entire generation before Tim Burton darkly reinvented it in the early 1990s. Burl Ives narrates as Sam the Snowman, telling and singing the story of a rejected reindeer who overcomes prejudice and saves Christmas one particularly blustery year. Along the way, he meets an abundance of unforgettable characters: his dentally obsessed elf pal Hermey; the affable miner Yukon Cornelius and his motley crew of puppies; the scary/adorable Abominable Snow Monster; a legion of abandoned, but still chatty, toys; and a rather grouchy Santa. In addition to the title song that inspired it, this 53-minute tape is crammed with catchy tunes such as "Silver and Gold" and "Holly Jolly Christmas." Those who grew up looking forward to watching Rudolph every Christmas season will undoubtedly be able to recite the quotable quotes ("I'm cuuuute. She said I'm cuuuute." "Herbie doesn't like to make toys.") as well as any Casablanca cult audience. --Kimberly Heinrichs
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town:
This 53-minute, 1970 animated film may be the most delightful of those sundry, stop-motion animated Christmas perennials that show up on television during the holidays. The clay animation production, boasting a wonderful musical score and art direction that occasionally underscores the flower-power era in which it was born, tells the story of Santa's origins, in which Kris Kringle decides to get toys into the hands of poor children in gloomy Sombertown. Charmingly narrated by Fred Astaire and featuring voices by Mickey Rooney and Keenan Wynn, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town presents a nice bridge between two generations of entertainment, the classic and the hip. --Tom Keogh
Frosty the Snowman:
Jimmy Durante narrates this Christmas story that is based on the song of the same name. To make up for the fact that her students are in school on Christmas Eve, the local schoolteacher hires the magician Professor Hinkle to entertain the kids. Unfortunately, he's not a very good magician. Frustrated in his attempt to pull a rabbit out of his hat, he throws it away in anger. Outside, the kids build a snowman (what to call it? Harold? Oatmeal? Frosty!), and when the hat blows onto it--Happy Birthday!--it comes to life. Professor Hinkle decides he wants the hat back so he can make money off of its newfound magical properties, but the kids want to save Frosty. When the temperature starts to rise, a new problem threatens Frosty's existence. Karen, the leader of the children, comes up with a plan to save him: take him on a train to the North Pole, where it's always cold. With a cameo by Santa Claus, and the promise of Frosty's return every year, this story of life, death, and holiday cheer is glazed with the sweet frosting of hope and happiness. A true holiday classic. --Andy Spletzer
n the same way that many a Hollywood sequel has little to do with the first film, Frosty Returns has almost nothing in common with the original Frosty the Snowman, aside from a man made of snow. The biggest difference is that this Frosty doesn't need a magic hat to come to life. The story: In the town of Beansboro, old Mr. Twitchell has invented an aerosol spray that can remove snow without the hassle of shoveling or plows. This frightens Frosty, who enlists the help of amateur magician Holly and her friend Charles to stop the old coot. Made in 1992, Frosty Returns has an animation style that looks like a cross between the old Schoolhouse Rock and Peanuts cartoons, with voice talent that includes Jonathan Winters, Andrea Martin, Jan Hooks, Brian Doyle-Murray, and John Goodman as Frosty. The story may be divisive, pitting children against adults and a pro-snow contingent against anti-snow people, but the songs are catchy and the message is one that ultimately empowers kids. Like a hero from an old Western, this Frosty is a wanderer who leaves when his job is done so he can work his magic elsewhere. --Andy Spletzer
Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol:
Little Drummer Boy:
The model animation techniques in this 1968 Rankin and Bass TV chestnut are primitive by today's standards, and picky kids may reject them out of hand. The story, however, which elaborates on the popular Christmas song about a shepherd boy who plays his drum for the baby Jesus and makes the animals dance, is a little more tough-minded than you might expect. The kid begins the story as what we'd now call a neglected child, a surly urchin who says he hates all people. He's pulled back from the brink, first by learning to make music, and then by his encounter with the Christ child. The underlying message alone--that everybody has something worth contributing--qualifies the show for holiday-perennial status. The big-name voice performers, Jose Ferrer and Greer Garson (who narrates), may be a little too ponderous for the occasion, but the familiar cartoony tones of Paul Frees (aka Boris Badenov) and June Forey (aka Rocket J. Squirrel) help liven up the proceedings. It's only 23 minutes long, so it's worth a shot for younger children. --David Chute