Holiday Classics from Warner Bros!
In case you’re looking for some additional fun, classic cartoons to share with your geek kids this holiday season, Warner Bros Entertainment has a handful of great holiday short features available. I vaguely remember seeing most of these when I was little but, as I grew up, I forgot how enjoyable these holiday classics could be around this time of year.
The first is ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Deluxe Edition) [Blu-ray]. The official synopsis:
A holiday sourpuss brings Santa to the rescue of a small town’s Christmas. For some unexplained reason, letters to Santa Claus are being returned to the children of Junctionville. It seems some resident has angered St. Nick, calling Christmas ‘a fraudulent myth!’ Skeptical Albert Mouse has to be brought to his senses and let up a little on the wonder why. How Albert is persuaded to change his tune paves the way for Santa’s jolly return to town and the joyous finale of the animated fable inspired by Clement Moore’s poem and produced by the merrymaking conjurers of Rankin/Bass Studios. The voice talents of Joel Grey, Tammy Grimes, John McGiver and George Gobel make this festive fable even more fun.
The voice work on this movie is top notch and the story as a whole is very cute. I think it is hilarious that the skeptic also happens to be the nerd of the family/village. I suppose it’s accurate that the book-ish one would also be the one least likely to believe in Santa Claus, but I also happen to know quite a few nerds (this one included) who love fantasy and wouldn’t mind believing that someone like Santa Claus is real. Regardless, this tiny nitpick doesn’t effect the enjoyability of the story nor does it change the fact that this is a fun movie for any little kid to watch. The songs are a little cheesy but fun nevertheless and the mice are just ridiculously adorable. Plus, Joel Grey is awesome.
Second up is The Smurfs Holiday Celebration. Honestly, this was easily my favorite of the three, but I’m also a sucker for these little blue guys (in their original animated form, not necessarily the recent movie). Official synopsis:
Deck the halls with Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy, Jokey and all the other true blue friends in these absosmurfly charming animated specials from The Smurfs TV series. In ‘Tis the Season to be Smurfy,’ young Sassette Smurf discovers the true meaning of the season when the Smurfs befriend an elderly human couple who have no money to celebrate Christmas. Then, in The Smurfs Christmas Special, the wicked Gargamel plots to ruin Christmas for the Smurfs and with the help of an evil stranger, he destroys the Smurf’s village. But even with no Christmas decorations or holiday feast, the Smurfs still have a smurfy song in their hearts. Will Gargamel feel the Christmas spirit this year? Dash through the snow to give your family the smurfiest gift of the season!
Of the two Smurf features on this DVD, my favorite was by far The Smurfs Christmas Special. It is the older of the two and, as a result, has far fewer Smurf characters (just the originals, ie only one female) and a much less sophisticated animation style. It has a fairly unique team-up between Gargamel and another villain, which I don’t remember seeing very often in the original Smurf cartoons. Additionally, it has possibly one of the catchiest, most well-intentioned Smurf songs I’ve ever heard. I can’t say that I loved it personally, but I think it’s the perfect song for any young kid to hear around this time of year. These two specials serve as nice reminders for children that Christmas is not all about Santa and snow and presents, but also about giving and sharing with others less fortunate than us. Yes, I know that sounds a little preachy/canned, but isn’t the cheese-factor one of the best parts of all holiday films?
Last but certainly not least we have Frosty’s Winter Wonderland. Official Synopsis:
From beloved song to animated holiday classic: Frosty meets his match in a glistening Remastered Deluxe Edition! Andy Griffith, Shelley Winters and Jackie Vernon lend their voices to this captivating cartoon about the Snowman’s winter return to the children of a small town for a winter season of fun and games. But he’s lonely at night when left by himself. So the grateful kids build him a beautiful snowlady companion. Jealous of the attention given Frosty, Jack Frost blows up a blizzard and swipes Frosty’s magical, life-giving hat. Only true love can bring Frosty back to his old fun-loving self. Two songs that have proven to be enduring seasonal favorites highlight the soundtrack: Frosty the Snowman and Winter Wonderland.
This film was the one I remembered the least out of the three. Of course I remembered the first Frosty movie, but I only vaguely remembered Frosty’s wedding and “Crystal”. This movie has all of the classic songs and voices, but is the least like a ‘morality’ tale of the three cartoons mentioned here. I love the animated Andy Griffith, and even I have to admit that the wedding between Frosty & Crystal was kind of cute (although I don’t particularly love that she is wearing an apron). Now if only I could build snowmen/women as quickly and effectively as the children in this village…
Of course, all of these films are intended for children, but that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy them. They have old-fashioned Christmas morals/lessons, memorable characters, and catchy songs. They’ve also made me want to go track down my other favorite Christmas cartoons from when I was little. Do you have any suggestions? What were some of your favorites?
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