5 Holiday Specials That Deserve More Respect
Did Christmas TV specials like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas and The Grinch earn their place in the Christmas memory hall of fame by merit or was it because they were the only holiday specials we had to choose from?
I am not knocking any of these shows. I am a huge fan of all three. Let’s face it they did have a very captive audience and very little competition.
For those of us who like to wax nostalgic we remember a few other holiday specials.These were the shows that were liked but not loved. I will share with you 5 programs that if you haven’t seen, I hope you will find time to watch this Christmas Season. If only just to make you appreciate the shows you already love even more.
The Small One
This piece of Disney animation almost didn’t see the light of day. It had more to do with finances than a story line because the story of The Small One is absolutely brilliant. It is classic Disney story telling and it will leave you filled with the spirit of giving.
The story is about a young man who must sell his beloved family donkey. He searches high and low to find just the right owner who will love and cherish his beloved friend. When all hope is lost a miracle happens. He finds the perfect buyer for his dear friend. A young couple expecting their first child while on the way to Bethlehem . Your heart just smiled didn’t it?
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol
This is the first animated take on the Charles Dickens Classic. Actually this may be the very first animated Christmas Special to ever air on TV. Quincy Magoo, the nearsighted bumbler voiced by the great Jim Backus, of Gilligan’s Island fame, plays the lead role. There are some pretty cool songs that were written just for this adaptation of the ghostly tale and while the animation might seem outdated compared to the modern HD version of everything. The tale is timeless and the story telling is spot on.
The Year Without A Santa Claus
The basic plot line of this holiday special is that Santa has become disenchanted with the human race. It seems we have “a hand full of want and a pocket full of gimmie”. So Santa decides to call in sick on Christmas Eve.
What makes this such a memorable tale is the introduction of Heat Miser and Snow Miser the feuding offspring of Mother Nature. It’s up to Mrs. Claus to broker a deal between the two siblings to make it snow in a place called Southtown. It’s a very complex plot, but some great and memorable holiday fun.
Olive, The Other Reindeer
You know Olive right? Actually Olive is a dog and this rather bizarre looking holiday special is sweet in its own right. There are a lot of puns and some really quick witted writing that flies by in dialogue that moves quicker than snowflakes on a northerly breeze.
The plot line is this, Olive, a dog, thinks that she has been predestined to help Santa pull his sleigh. The story is her quest to get to Santa and do what she is born to do. Yes, that is Drew Barrymore voicing Olive and yes this is a sweet story that is something totally different for Christmas.
The Yule Log
While the action in this made for TV holiday special is certainly hot, the plot line leaves a lot to be desired. Here is the story.
There is a log in the fireplace and it is on fire. The flames crackle and pop and cast dancing shadows across your darkened living room. Yeah, it’s a video of a fireplace. If you have a fire place you won’t need this one but if you don’t there is something relaxing and mesmerizing about watching the flames. Since ancient times men have shared stories around the glow of a night time fire. That’s what makes this such a special choice for the holidays.