Ol’ Blue Eyes would be celebrating his centennial this year
Rankin/Bass has been a holiday household name for 50 years, starting with Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. We’ve all seen Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town and The Year Without A Santa Claus (my personal favorite) a hundred times but there are quite a few other animated features. With just a few days till Christmas why not check out one or two of these to top off the holiday!
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1985)
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus was the last stop motion animation that came from Rankin/Bass Productions. It is based on the book that Jules Bass and Frank Baum wrote of the same title. The story follows Santa as a child and into his adult years. The forest council convenes and must decide whether or not Santa Claus should become immortal.
The Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold (1981)
The Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold takes an Irish spin on Christmas when a sailor accidently releases a Banshee. He discovers the Banshee is out to steal the leprechaun, Blarney Kilakilarney’s, gold and has to be stopped. As with most Irish folklore, this special is a tad darker than the other festive features but it still has a great story and happy ending.
Pinocchio’s Christmas (1980)
Pinocchio has saved up all his money to buy Geppetto a great Christmas gift, but Cat and Fox trick him out of the money before he can buy something. Soon Pinocchio is working in a Christmas Marionette show to make the money back. Before he leaves he manages to steal a girl puppet from the show, and they both escape into the forest.
The Stingiest Man In Town (1978)
In case you didn’t think there were enough renditions of A Christmas Carol, here’s another!
Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
This by far is my least favorite Christmas story from Rankin and Bass, but it does have quite a fan following. Poor Nestor is orphaned after his mother freezes to death keeping him warm in a winter blizzard. Don’t worry, it all ends happily for Nestor but I don’t recommend breaking this one out for all the nieces and nephews. Unless Christmas tears are traditional.
Frosty’s Winter Wonderland (1976)
The kids who built Frosty bring him back again but this year it would seem that Frosty needs a Christmas companion. The children build Frosty a girlfriend, Crystal (voiced by Shelly Winters), but soon the evil Jack Frost finds out and tries to ruin Christmas for everyone.
The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975)
Getting struck by lightning and going blind probably aren’t things your think of around Christmas time but hey that’s what we have Christmas specials for! A young boy named Lucas is, you guessed it, blinded after he is struck by lightning. He is taken in by some friendly nuns who describe snow to Lucas, who has never seen it before. Although, that’s cruel isn’t it? Not only is he missing things he had already seen but now he has to miss something he had never gotten a chance to see. Thank you, Christmas nuns. However, the first snow does fall and ends up performing its miracle.