Now that the grandbabies are bigger, I’m taking a new look at animated Christmas movies. These films created treasured memories for me when I was young. I’m hoping they have the same magic now. If you have kids or grandkids, grab a bag of popcorn and a cup of hot chocolate and revisit some of these classics.
T’was the Night Before Christmas – (1974) – I remember the feeling – wondering if Santa might forget the date … might forget our house … might forget me. I’d close my eyes for nights before Christmas, silently praying, “God, please let him know I believe in him.”
The characters in this movie know it, too. Put off by a letter from Albert Mouse, Santa decides to skip his town. The inhabitants have to work together to convince the Jolly Ol’ Elf that they do believe, and do want him to visit their town. As if the plot isn’t clever enough to make you tune in, the film has a winning soundtrack, including “Even a Miracle Needs a Hand”. Watch for a happy ending, making this a wonderful seasonal movie.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol – (1983) – There is probably no one better suited to play the role of Ebenezer Scrooge than Scrooge McDuck … in the animated version anyway. Throw in Mickey Mouse as faithful and loyal Bob Cratchit and the rest of the Disney gang to round out the cast and you have a Christmas winner. Another animated Christmas movie with a super soundtrack. With Goofy, Jiminy Cricket and the Giant as the Ghosts, it’s not too scary for the little ones and enjoyable for all ages. A lovely adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale.
A Charlie Brown Christmas – (1965) – This has to be one of the all-time best animated Christmas movies. Full of traditional Peanuts animation and music like the wonderful Charlie Brown Christmas song, “Christmas Time is Here,” this movie is a real charmer. Schultz had to fight to keep in some aspects of Charlie Brown’s search for the true meaning of Christmas, such as Linus’ center-stage recitation of Luke 2 (the story of the nativity), and fortunately his wishes won out over the reservations of network TV executives.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – (1966) While the Whos in Whoville prepare for a big Christmas celebration, the Grinch does not like Christmas one little bit. The trouble that ensues makes for one of the most beloved animated Christmas adventures ever created. In an effort to stop the special day, Grinch schemes and dreams and devises a wickedly elaborate plan that involves turning the Grinch’s dog Max into a reindeer. Even though I’ved watched this show since it first came to TV, I still wait in anticipation for the Grinch’s heart to grow when he discovers Christmas is about more than the presents.
Pick one, or watch them all. These family holiday movies are as much a part of Christmas as Santa, Christmas candy canes and the nativity. And, while new animated Christmas movies may appear, none will take the places of these beloved favorites.