Animated Christmas Classics: Welcoming a fourth generation

Can anything bring back the nostalgia of childhood faster than watching one of the animated Christmas specials from the 1960’s? They have become a Christmas tradition in families where three generations have grown up watching them and great-grandchildren are beginning to reach viewing age. Isn’t that the definition of…timeless?

 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:

The longest running Christmas special on US network TV (50 years), it features the voice of Burl Ives as Sam the singing Snowman and fun characters like the Bumble,  Hermi… the elf who’d rather be a dentist, Yukon Cornelius, Santa, Mrs. Santa, the elves, the reindeer, Clarice, and the hero, Rudolph. And if the endearing characters were not enough, there is a fun sound track as well, with songs like Holly Jolly Christmas, Misfits, and the Most Wonderful Day of the Year. No wonder it’s become a classic. 1964, 47 minutes 

A Charlie Brown Christmas:

Do they still make wooden Christmas trees?”

charlie brown tree

Can anyone forget the moment when Charlie hangs a single ornament at the top of his tiny tree, the weight bows the tree top down to the ground, and a horrified Charlie laments “I’ve killed it!”? “Isn’t he the cutest thing!”  We all of us, even as adults, have our Charlie Brown moments. The first of the Peanuts animated specials, it won a prime-time Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program and is the second longest-running Christmas special on US network TV (49 years). 1965, 25 minutes. 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas:

Based on the writings and illustrations of the Dr. Seuss’ book, the animated film features the voices of Boris Karloff as the Grinch and Thurl Ravenscroft singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. I still laugh out loud when the Grinch ties the branch (reindeer antler) to the top of Max’s head and Max tips forward until his nose touches the ground as his bottom rises high into the air. 1966, 26 minutes.


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