Revisiting Christmas Specials
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

Revisiting Christmas Specials

Time to break those Rankin/Bass specials again! Or not.

30
Revisiting Christmas Specials
Rankin/Bass/quoteimg.com

It's the holidays once again, which means that it's time to break out the DVDs (or VHS tapes, if you still have a VCR) of all the old Christmas specials. Of course, with it being christmas, we musn't forget the old Rankin/Bass specials. Recently, the YouTube channel Screen Junkies did a screamingly funny "Honest Trailer" of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. In light of this, it might be time to revisit these specials and see how they hold up.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

You truly need to watch the "Honest Trailer". Not only is it hilarious, but this special did kind of deserve it. Apart from being weird (it's hard not to think that the inspiration for Scar from The Lion King came from King Moonracer), it also carries some of the worst traits from the 1960s: bad clay animation, at least one awful song whose sheer amount of treacle borders on self-parody, and weirdly sexist attitudes (there's no reason why the female characters in this are treated/come off so poorly). Clearly not the best of the bunch, but good for some laughs. (And yes, the sequel mentioned in the "Honest Trailer" is just awful.)

Frosty the Snowman

In the same class as Rudolph: bad, but it has some laughs to it. Like the former, Frosty is narrated by an old Hollywood star (Burl Ives and Jimmy Durante, respectively). Fortunately, the only song is the eponymous one. And admittedly, the villain is pretty funny. Unfortunately, the sequel doesn't have that same kind of camp, also with much worse animation.

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

This one is peak Rankin/Bass. More clay animation, another schmaltzy narrator from the olden days of Hollywood (this time, it's Fred Astaire), and more. The female characters are more involved in this one (though one of the main characters in Frosty is Karen, and its sequel also has a female lead character), but it doesn't make it any less silly. Also, this is worth watching if only for possessing the single greatest musical number in the Rankin/Bass catalog. Drippy, psychedelic, and strange to the extreme, it's easily the best and worst scene in any of these Rankin/Bass specials, not to mention the most dated thing ever (it was released in 1970).

The Little Drummer Boy

Abjectly, given its more religious subject matter and more serious presentation, this is one of the best specials they made. Even the choice of narrator (Academy Award winner Greer Garson) is a more somber choice. Of course, it's not without its silly moments, but if you're suffering from burnout by the other specials, this will be a good antidote. (Warning: There's a version that have some sound effects, such as Aaron drumming in a flashback, and a version that doesn't have those. Be wary of which one you're watching.)

The Year Without a Santa Claus

Of the "silly" Rankin/Bass specials, this one's the best, though it's not without a syrupy 1970s musical number. There are a number of reasons why it's the best: a good voice cast (including Mickey Rooney, who also voiced Kris Kringle in Santa Claus is Comin' to Town; and Academy Award winner Shirley Booth as the narrator/Mrs. Claus), some good characters, and of course, the winning combo of Snow Miser and Heat Miser, who lay claim to the best musical number(s) of any of these specials. Though, you could say there's a give-and-take of good and bad in this. On the one hand, the sequence where children around the world are giving Santa Claus a Merry Christmas is horribly racist and stereotypical with its depiction of children from different areas of the world. On the other hand, their version of "Blue Christmas" is actually genuinely sad (or overly 70s, depending on your bent) compared to Elvis Presley's country version. Overall, perhaps it's alright, but worlds better than the others in this bent in terms of quality.

What's your favorite Rankin/Bass special? Please leave your comments below. Until then, permit me to allow Krusty the Clown to send me off.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

How Long Would It Take To Mine A Bitcoin?

No one will give you the correct answer to this question because there are a lot of details that they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

35610
Mine A Bitcoin

they need to know. But, you can roughly estimate it based on the equipment you have a few more factors. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that mining has changed a lot over the years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cakes You Need to Try This Winter

Spending the winter trying different cakes can be a great way to combat seasonal depression. Lift the spirits of your entire family by trying these five cakes.

42918
Try This Winter

The winter can be a dull time spent indoors with very little change. But, it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to spice up your daily routine, and dessert is one of them.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Reasons to Consider a Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty."

111161
Career as a Defense Lawyer

Lawyers are supposed to be unbiased. Lawyers are trained to look at both sides of an issue and give equal weight to each side. It is meant to be their mantra, "My client is innocent until proven guilty." But if you're thinking about becoming a defense attorney, it's not this pretty simple. Defense lawyers argue that their clients are innocent because they don't want their actions to seem suspect in any way. They essentially say for the sake of the argument itself. If you're trying to decide whether or not becoming a defense attorney is something you would like to do, here are five reasons why it's worth considering:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What Everyone Should Know About Online Degrees

Nowadays, many working adults, high school graduates, and retired lifelong learners are choosing to advance their careers, lives, and personal knowledge by completing school at home.

206323
Online Degrees

The rising popularity of online college and graduate school degrees has completely changed the face of education and student life. It's no longer necessary to pack up all your belongings and head off to a distant locale in order to earn a diploma. Nowadays, many working adults, high school graduates, and retired lifelong learners are choosing to advance their careers, lives, and personal knowledge by completing school at home.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What I am thankful for

I am saying one thing that I am thankful each day for until Thanksgiving. You try it to it will bring you joy.

151693
It's Thanksgiving time
Element5 Digital

November 1st, I am thankful for God and Jesus. I put my faith in them, they protect and help me through the happy and the sad in life. I could not imagine a world without them.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments