There are certain movies that are required viewing this time of year. Whether it be classic like It’s a Wonderful Life, or more contemporary fare, like Elf, certain movies just go together so well with the holiday season. Then of course there are the real holiday specials. Each year these gems pop up on your TV and help remind you of great Christmases of your past. These specials have lasted generations and are still watched by people of all ages today. So enjoy some Christmasy nostalgia with these annual specials you can’t miss.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charlie Brown, everyone’s favourite melancholy adolescent, seems to make an appearance on any given holiday, but this Christmas special is the best. As a child you may have only watched the program for the colorful imagery and Snoopy’s shenanigans, but now you might be able to appreciate the cleverness of the writing that sets it apart.
Frosty the Snowman
Not a lot of substance to this one, but you have to admire how they stretched out a two minute song to a pretty enjoyable half hour special. The tale of the titular snowman who is magically brought to life and then journeys North for more forgiving climates is more very much geared for the very young, but it’s still a pleasure to watch this time of year.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas
The king of all Christmas specials. No Christmas season would feel complete without a viewing of this Dr. Seuss all-time great. While the animation is dated and the story is minimal, there is so much to cherish about this one. The songs are wonderful and will stay in your head, the narration is spot-on perfection, and the message, while familiar to many, is still an important one. Watch this and your heart will grow 10 sizes.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Pick any television show and I have no doubt you’ll be able to find a Christmas Carol episode to watch, but out of all the short-form versions of this Charles Dickens classic, this Disney animated short is the best. Appropriately casting Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge, the well-known tale is told with energy and humour while popular Disney characters like Mickey, Donald and Goofy fill in the supporting roles. You know the story but it’s still a classic to enjoy.
Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer
The Rankin-Bass animated specials have become synonymous with Christmas over the years. It’s true that the quality of the programs are not entirely something to be praised and the claymation characters can look a little creepy at times, these are the perfect mindless holiday cheer the season needs. This special has a lot of unintentional comedic aspects, but it’s still charming in its own way.
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
This is a better display of what Rankin-Bass can offer during the holidays. This origin tale of how Santa became the folk hero he is today is filled with memorable songs, a solid story and a great vocal performance by Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle.