Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Have Yourself an Animated Little Christmas

A while back I had posted in reference to blogging about Christmas cartoons after the movies. Well, I figured now is as good a time as any. :D
The holidays abound with wonderful animated cartoon shows for kids and adults alike.

There's a serious theme in most of them- being a misfit, an outcast- until everyone realizes how special the characters are and how their differences actually help when it really counts the most. It's all about acceptance.

Rudolph has his red beaming nose, which caused him to be ostrisized and made fun of, but in the end he saved Christmas and everyone realized how wrong they were. But he wasn't the only misunderstood one- Hermie the elf felt out of place among the other elves, simply because he aspired to bigger dreams than the others. The misfit toys weren't loved- until Rudolph made sure Santa found homes for them.

Nestor, the sad little long-eared donkey, was made fun of for his differences too. His mother sacrificed herself to save him in a snowstorm and he went on to carry Mary to Bethlehem.

Kris Kringle was shunned and considered an outlaw- a criminal, in Santa Claus is Coming To Town. He and Jessica, the Kringles and the Winter Warlock had to leave their homes and move north to escape imprisonment by Bergermeister Meisterberger- who hated toys and all that kindness represented.

Good vs. Evil, Naughty vs. Nice, Rejection vs. Acceptance.

One of my favorites is Jim Henson's Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas- a roundabout retelling of The Gift of the Magi. Ma Otter hocks Pa's toolbox, which Emmett used for odd jobs to get fabric to make a dress to enter the talent show contest with a song. She did it so she could win the contest and get Emmett a guitar for Christmas. Emmett puts a hole in Ma's washtub to be in a jugband for the same talent contest to win the money and get Ma a piano- or at least put a down payment on a used one for her. Both had good intentions but neither win. They accept their losses but end up with a paying gig at the restaurant in town after they combined their talents and music. By working together, instead of separately, they actually accomplished more.

Another favorite is 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Alfred, of the Mouse family got together with his friends and sent a letter to the paper stating that Santa was a fraud and no one believed in him. The consequences of that letter caused Santa to send all their letters back, unopened, with no intention of coming to their town at all on Christmas Eve. Father Mouse shows Alfred what his letter has done to the town- to the children in the Trundle family as well as the sick children in the hospital.

Mr. Trundle, the clockmaker, comes up with a towering clock, built in the middle of town, that will play a song of pleading to Santa to forgive the town and encourage him to come. Again, Alfred, who's full of book smarts, but not much in the way of imagination, accidently tears up the new clock and ruins it for everyone. Eventually though after seeing the Trundle family working together in hopes that Santa will still come, Alfred realizes his mistake and fixes the clock just in the nick of time and Santa comes after all.

But then, there are lots of good Christmas cartoons-
Frosty the Snowman, Frosty's Winter Wonderland, Frosty Returns
Rudolph's Shiny New Year (Happy and his big ears)
Mickey's Christmas Carol (and the other various ones that go with it- Chip N' Dale in the tree, Donald and his nephews and the snow fort, etc)
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The Year Without a Santa Claus
Jack Frost
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Garfield's Christmas
Winnie the Pooh and Christmas, Too
The Forgotten Toys
The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas
I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown
It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown
The Little Drummer Boy
Vinson's Claymation Christmas
Looney Toons Christmas

The last two were ones I'd forgotten for years, but my husband's mom had them on tape where they recorded them when he was a kid, so we all watched them last night. The claymation one was from 1987- exactly 20 years old. The tape really shows it's full of static and just about wore out. I'd love to be able to find that on DVD for my husband. Maybe not this year, but soon. It's one of his favorites.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but that was quite a bit to recall as it is! LOL

Do you have a favorite? Please feel free to share.

1 comment:

Ciara Gold said...

Too fun. I remember fondly watching most of these when I was young. Now, I rarely have time, but your reference to themes was right on the mark.