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Just wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! I hope you are able to enjoy your families and friends today and tomorrow.

I know many of us will be watching our favorite movies and specials. Here is a little holiday cheer to remind us of what Christmas is all about while the hustle and bustle all around us tries to wear us out today.

Enjoy!

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Well, it's December 1st. Already, the folks in my fair city are decorating their houses and it's time for the annual Christmas parades and parties.

So far, the clear favorite for my Scrooge poll is Alastair Simm. A favored second is Albert Finney.

I hope everyone takes time this season to spend with family and friends and not get caught up in what ole' Charlie Brown calls "commercialism".

Joyus Noel!
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This is considered by most to be the definitive film version of A Christmas Carol and I would have to agree. This version stars Alastair Sim as Ebeneezer Scrooge and features a cast of some of England's best character actors such as Kathleen Harrison.

The film was directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and the film itself was approved by one of the granddaughters of Charles Dickens. The film was not widely known in the US until the early 1970's when it had begun to be played on PBS. Until then, the most widely popular version was the 1938 MGM adaptation starring Sir Reginald Owen.

The film represents the much bleaker vision that the original story had. Sim's Scrooge also represents a real man as opposed to a cookie-cutter "baddie" who shows no reason for being bitter and unkind and then suddenly changes his ways. This Scrooge has a past with bad circumstances and choices made along the way. His redemption at the end is understood and even The Ghost of Christmas present acknowledges that Christmas itself is about the birth of Christ and that Scrooge has refused to seek him in his heart.

This movie is the epitome of what is considered a "Dickensian" style Christmas setting.


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This movie was ironically shown in May of 1947 as head of Fox studios Daryl F. Zanuck reasoned that more people went to the movies in the summer.

In fact, the trailer did everything it could to hide the fact that it was a Christmas movie. It was directed by George Seaton and starred Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne and a very young Natalie Wood.

The movie was indeed a showcase for Macy's department store as well as Gimble's. The backdrop for the movie was the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade which had just come off of hiatus during WWII.


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What else can you say about this movie? Directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, this perennial favorite was shown every year on just about every station in America about 100 times every Christmas and people never grew tired of it.

The story for this movie was originally a short story written by Phillip Van Doren Stern. He had about 200 printed up as Christmas cards and sent to family and friends. RKO pictures got a hold of the idea and bought the rights for $10,000. They had writers work on the story but nothing ever really developed out of the three of four scripts. Frank Capra heard about the idea and decided he wanted a crack at it. So, he bought the idea from RKO for the same $10,000 they paid. He even got the scripts thrown in for free. Capra began work on the film and came up with "It's a Wonderful Life". He wanted Jimmy Stewart right away and also wanted his co-star from two previous Capra films, Jean Arthur. Jean was already committed to a Broadway show and had to turn the role down. So Capra settled on a fresh-faced MGM contract player named Donna Reed. The rest, as they say, is history.

The story of George Bailey is a story that resonates within each of us. If you've ever felt useless or unimportant to people, then you can appreciate George as he sees what life would really be like without him. We never realize how we affect the people and, thereby, the world around us for good or evil. Each person is important and makes a difference.

From horrible old Mr. Potter to ZuZu's petals, this is probably the favorite Christmas movie of all time.


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White Christmas was supposed to be a sequel of sorts to Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn which starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. In fact, the set for General Waiverley's Inn is an exact remake of the Inn from Holiday Inn.

After reading the script, Astaire turned down the role. Donald O'Connor was originally tapped to replace him but had to bow out due to illness.

So producers at Paramount turned to Danny Kaye and so was born White Christmas. The cast also included Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney. It also had great character actors like Dean Jagger and Mary Wickes.

White Christmas was produced by Paramount Pictures and was directed by Michael Curtiz who directed such classics as The Adventures of Robin Hood and Casablanca. It features a musical score written by Irving Berlin including the perennial favorite, White Christmas. This was the first movie to be released in Paramounts VistaVision™ which was a new wide screen filming process at the time. This movie is filled with vibrant colors which were an integral part of musicals in the 1950's and adds to the holiday theme of the picture.

Here is a number from the film featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, and Rosemary Clooney.

Enjoy!



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I almost forgot to mention some cartoons that were not part of the classic camp but were, in fact, Christmas Specials of some favorite characters.

Whether you were a fan of Scooby Doo or of Yogi and Boo Boo, each cartoon at one time or another had a Christmas special. From Mr. Magoo to The Flintstone's Christmas Carol, there are plenty of obscure cartoons that we look forward to each year.





My personal favorite is Bugs Bunny's™ Looney Christmas Tales. It originally aired on CBS television on November 27th, 1979. It featured Bugs and the gang in three shorts with Holiday themes intercut with Bugs trying to get the group to sing Carols properly.

I've included a short with Bugs Bunny™ and Yosemite Sam™ doing their version of A Christmas Carol©.

As always, Enjoy!


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The Bishop's Wife stars David Niven, Lorretta Young, and Cary Grant. It centers around the story of the angel, Dudley. Dudley is sent to earth to help Niven's character deal with building a new cathedral and the stresses involved as well as his wife (Young) and the toll Henry's work has taken on their marriage.

This is a great movie. It's simple and never leaves the Christmas background. David Niven's rousing sermon at the end can even rival those of well known clergymen today. It's underlying tones of human frailty and the tendency of human beings to focus on the less important things in life while ignoring the most important ones is brought out in Dudley's relationship with Julia (Young).

The movie was released by RKO in 1947. Niven was originally cast as the angel, Dana Andrews as the bishop, and Teresa Wright as his wife. However, Wright had to bow out due to pregnancy. According to Robert Osborne, Andrews was lent to RKO in order to obtain Loretta Young. Koster then brought in Cary Grant, but he wanted to play the angel, so the role of the bishop was given to Niven.

from Wikipedia™



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I am reprinting this via one of my blog followers as I think many of us missed this one. This happened last month. Thanks to The Blue Carbuncle for this story. Please check out his blog.


Arthur Ferrante, one half of the piano duo Ferrante and Teicher whose lush orchestral recordings of 1960s movie themes propelled them to popular and commercial success, has died. He was 88.

Ferrante died of natural causes early Saturday at his home in Longboat Key, Fla., his manager, Scott W. Smith, said Sunday. Lou Teicher died in August 2008 at age 83.


"Although we were two individuals, at the twin pianos our brains worked as one," Ferrante said last year after Teicher's death. ... (continued...)
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I just wanted to encourage you to participate in Operation Christmas child this year. This is a great organization that ships Christmas gifts around the world to war torn countries.

Here is a brief video of the fun we had last year building these shoeboxes.

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Now a cult classic in it's own right, A Christmas Story was released in 1983 by MGM/UA and was based upon the short stories from the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

It starred child actors Peter Billingsley and Scott Schwartz as well as seasoned actors Darrin MacGavin and Belinda Dillon who most remember from her role in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The movie is a depression-era story about a 9 year old boy's quest for what he deems to be the perfect Christmas Present: A Red Ryder 200 shot range model air rifle. The movie is a farce of sorts and wasn't that well received when first released. It has since gained cult classic status with constant airings every holiday season on TBS and TCM (Turner Classic Movies).

The movie was directed by Bob Clark who up until that point had been famous for directing the Porky's© movies.

Here is one of the most famous clips from that movie: The tongue on the lightpole scene, enjoy!


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Scrooge is a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol starring Albert Finney and Sir Alec Guinness.

It was directed by Ronald Neame and musical score by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley who also brought us the score for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory the next year. In 1971, Albert Finney won a Golden Globe award for best actor in a musical/comedy.

Here is a number from that movie.

Enjoy!


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In 1969, Rankin/Bass produced an animated feature based on the song written by Steve "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson and recorded by Gene Autry. Frosty the Snowman featured the talents of comedians Jackie Vernon and Jimmy Durante.

The story tells of Frosty coming to life and the children's quest to get him to the North Pole before he melts. Frosty and Karen, one of the children, board a train bound for the North Pole and are chased by the owner of Frosty's magic hat, Professor Hinkle - a magician who threw it away because he thought it defective.

The special has remained popular over the years and has spawned a few sequels including Frosty's Winter Wonderland with Andy Griffith and Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July.


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As it is slowly winding down to the end of the classic specials, I'm going to move into classic Christmas movies. I would love to hear what you think of each one and what they mean to you.

I have also added a couple of polls just to see what people think of various things so look for them as well. By official count, it's only 97 more days until December.
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I uploaded some video to The Little Drummer Boy post, so enjoy!
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Every television show has a Christmas episode every year. Probably the most favorite of all is an episode of The Brady Bunch called "The Voice of Christmas".

In the episode, Carol loses her voice and can't sing at Church on Christmas morning. Cindy goes with Mike to see Santa Claus and in a moment of selflessness, asks Santa to bring her mommies voice back. It's a perennial favorite and people watch it over and over again every year.

I have uploaded the entire episode here for you to enjoy.


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Now, I know some people out there may not think of this as something that should be put up here. But I grew up watching this show and the Christmas shows were just as much a part of it as Bing Crosby.

The Osmonds were first playing at Disneyland in California when they were discovered by Andy Williams. They then appeared on his show for the duration and on all of his Christmas shows. Donny and Marie Osmond then branched out into their own TV show in the late '70s. Their Christmas specials were reminiscent of the Andy Williams shows Donnie had appeared in for years.

This is the opening to the 1978 special which was filmed entirely in Utah where the Osmond family had built a TV studio to produce the Donny and Marie show during it's final run.

Enjoy!



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Touted as the "unofficial" start of the holiday season, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is watched by millions every year on Thanksgiving Day. The parade itself began in 1924 at Bamberger's in Newark, New Jersey and then transferred to Macy's in Manhattan. The employees, most of whom were new immigrants to the US, wanted to show their love for their new country.

The parade continued to grow through the '30's where the use of balloons first began. The parade was suspended during WWII to use the rubber for the war effort and resumed in 1945.

In 1947, the parade was the backdrop for a Christmas favorite - Miracle on 34th Street. The movie is a perennial favorite and starred Maureen O'Hara, Edmund Gwen and a young Natalie Wood.

The parade first began its' network coverage on CBS in 1948. NBC became the official broadcaster in 1955. At first, the broadcasts were only one hour long. In 1961, it expanded to two hours and, by 1969, all three hours were broadcast. Lorne Greene hosted the show with Betty White from '63-71. Ed McMahon took over with various co-hosts and from '87-'97 Bryant Gumble and the great Willard Scott hosted the parade along with various co hosts that included McMahon and Katie Couric. Al Roker joined in 1995 and since 1998 Matt Lauer took over duties after the depature of Willard Scott.

Since 2006, Matt Lauer, Meredith Viera and Al Roker have been the hosting team for NBC. I have uploaded the opening for the 1981 Macy's Parade and it features Ed McMahon as host.

Enjoy!


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Joining my fellow bloggers in mourning the passing of a guitar legend, Les Paul. Les was single-handedly responsible for the modern electric guitar. We would've never had Jingle Bell Rock if it hadn't been for Les.
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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a stop-motion animation special produced by Rankin/Bass for NBC. It first aired on December 6, 1964 and was based on the song by Johnny Marks and loosley based on the short story by Robert L. May who, incedentily, was the brother-in-law of Marks.
The special began airing on CBS television in 1972 and is currently only one of four original CBS 1960's specials still airing annually.

The show's featured star was folk singer Burl Ives who voiced Sam the talking Snowman. It featured a musical score by Johnny Marks and a list of memorable songs by Burl Ives and chorus:
Jingle, Jingle, Jingle
We're a Couple of Misfits
*Fame and Fortune (which replaced Misfits in later versions)
There's always tomorrow
We are Santa's Elves
We're on the island of misfit Toys
Holly Jolly Christmas
Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer


Holly Jolly Christmas
became a hit for Burl Ives while Mark's other standard, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree was used as a background instrumental piece for the show. Rudolph spun off a few sequels including Rudolph's Shiny New Year and Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July.
Here by request, is the opening 10 minutes of this show. Enjoy!


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The now famous commercial featuring singers on a hillside. This is the Christmas version that they played every year when I was a kid. I wish Coca Cola would play this one instead of the overly commercial one with the trucks.

Enjoy an ice cold Coca Cola while watching this one!


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Here is a holiday commercial from Kmart. I really remember this jingle very well. I am trying to find other commercials from companies such as Coke, Sprite, and McDonalds that had their own holiday jingles.

Enjoy!


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How the Grinch Stole Christmas originally aired on CBS television on December 18, 1966. It was an MGM animated feature created by Chuck Jones. The special was narrated by Boris Karloff and featured a musical soundtrack that included the voice of Thurl Ravenscroft who was famous for creating the voice of Tony the Tiger for Kellog's frosted flakes commercials.

The music for the special was composed by Albert Hague who many may remember as the demanding music professor from the movie and television show Fame

The cartoon was based on the book by Theodore "Ted" Geisel aka Dr. Suess. Here is the opening for that special as it appeared on CBS television. Included is a short bumper from a local CBS affiliate.

Enjoy, this one gave me goose bumps!


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Bob Hope hosted his Christmas special every year on NBC since the inception of television. His specials were sponsored by Texaco and ran up until Christmas of 1994. Here is the opening to the 1983 special. I apologize for the bad start, but I made up for it by adding a little something special at the end.

If you've ever wondered who the first person to sing "Silver Bells" was, here's your answer!

Enjoy!


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This is a holiday ad from the Miller Brewing Company. It seems to be a clone to the famous Budweiser Clydesdale commercials but it's still a nice spot.

Enjoy!


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This is an ad for two upcoming specials on CBS. It follows a bumper for the movie White Lightning with Burt Reynolds. I tried to edit that part out but it reduced the quality.


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Any of us who are fans of Rudolph, Charlie Brown, or Frosty the Snowman will remember little things about watching those specials. For instance we remember that during the 70's and 80's Dolly Madison snack cakes sponsored the Charlie Brown specials. One little thing that is gone now is the lead in that proceeded all of our favorite holiday specials on CBS.

Here for your enjoyment is that lead in.


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As I said in the earlier post, I have a few bumpers (lead-ins) that give a peak into our culture during Christmases past. This is an NBC bumper that, judging from the content, was probably from 1979.

I hope you enjoy these.


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In the future I will be posting some bumpers that appeared on various networks during the holiday season. They help give a peek into Christmas past and give you an idea how things have changed over the years.

I also plan to try and post the opening to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade from 1981 featuring none other than Ed McMahon.

I don't have any of these available for download. I am leary of doing so because of trademark infringement issues. But I wanted to put them here as a sort of vault for everyone to enjoy.
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Bing's Christmas shows first began on the radio with his hosting of the Kraft Music Hall and the Philco Radio Time amongst all of the radio shows he hosted over the years.

From 1962 through to his death in October of 1977, Bing hosted his annual Christmas show on CBS. The first featured Andre' Previn and Mary Martin, the star of the broadway production of Peter Pan (and who was also the mother of Larry Hagman who would go on to star with Bing's daughter Mary Francis in Dallas). Later, the specials featured his second wife, Kathryn and their three children Harry, Mary Francis, and Nathaniel. The shows were a big hit every year and always showcased a cross-section of show business talent.

In October of 1977, Bing filmed what would be his final Christmas show entitled Bing's Merrie Olde Christmas. It featured the talents of Twiggy and, to show Bing's appreciation for all musical talents, David Bowie. Shortly after filming ended, Bing flew to Spain to hunt and do a little golfing. Bing suffered a heart attack on the course just after he and his partner defeated another duo at 18 holes. He died on October 14, 1977 at the age of 74. Here is what has now become a perennial favorite perfomance featuring Der Bingle and David Bowie singing The Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth).

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In 1974, Rankin/Bass produced an animated special for Television based on the Clement Moore poem. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas tells the story of Joshua Trundle, a local clock maker who tries to entice Santa Claus to come back to the small town of Junctionville after a letter questioning his existence appears in the local paper.

The special stars Joel Grey, star of such movies as Cabaret and comedian George Goebel, whom some may remember from a series of mattress commercials for Sealy posturpedic. The special ran on CBS until the early 90's and currently appears on ABC family television. ABC family was originally CBN, a christian broadcasting network owned by Pat Robertson. The version I have uploaded here is the one edited by CBN because they felt the song "Give your Heart a Try" held too many references to other fairy tales such as leprechauns and the Easter Bunny. They felt since Santa Claus was based on St. Nicholas, that would still be appropriate. As a christian, I think it's silly because kids can distiguish between fantasy and reality and why show it at all if you deem it inappropriate?

Anyway, I have uploaded the entire cartoon here for your enjoyment.
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One of the "Big Four" in the Rankin/Bass stable, Santa Claus is Coming to Town tells the story of the origins of Santa Claus and includes the voice talents of Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, and Fred Astaire. 

 At the start of the film, a brief newsreel (narrated by Paul Frees) is shown, depicting kids worldwide awaiting Santa Claus. Then, Special Delivery "S.D." Kluger (Astaire) is introduced. His mail truck breaks down, so he begins to tell the story of Santa Claus, in order to answer children's letters to Santa. The show presents a bleak world where children aren't allowed to play with toys until Kris Kringle (adopted son of the Kringle family, a group of elves) brings his toys to the children upsetting the Burgermiester Miesterburger who then makes Kris an outlaw. Kris then changes his name to Claus, a name he had with him when found by the Kringles. The burgermiesters sort of "die off" and Kris, now Santa Claus, is free to distribute his toys to all of the children. But, he has to pick one night of the year due to the amount of requests from children. So, he picks the holiest night of the year, Christmas Eve. 

 The film ends as S.D. Kluger reflects on what Santa's real meaning is all about. Just then, though, S.D. remembers that he still has a load of letters to deliver to Santa. Then, joined by a parade of children, S.D. begins to sing Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. The film's closing scene has Kris and Jess (Mrs. Claus now) in silhouette, as he puts his old hat back on his head. Then, Santa steps out of his Palace, revealing himself in full splendor. 

 The special airs on ABC television and currently on ABC Family during it's 25 Days of Christmas.



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Bringing the Peanuts characters to television was not an easy task. The strip's creators, with funding from sponsor Coca-Cola, presented the CBS network with an idea for a Christmas television special starring Schulz's characters.

At first, the CBS big-whigs didn't like the special. They felt it needed a laugh track or else the audience wouldn't know where the jokes ended and began. They also felt the jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi wasn't right for a children's program. They finally felt that Linus' speech from the gospel of Luke wouldn't sit well with audiences as they wouldn't want to sit through a reading of the passage. Charles is said to have responded "If we don't tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?".

The special first aired on December 9, 1965. It was soley sponsored by Coca Cola and, to the surprise of Network executives, was a smashing success. 50% of TV viewers tuned in to watch the special. It went on to win the prestigous Peabody Award and an Emmy.

The track "Linus and Lucy" has become synonymous with the Peanuts characters and the soundtrack album by Vince Guaraldi continues to be a success.

Trivia

  • The main titles have Linus crashing into a Coca-Cola sign after Snoopy has spun both him and Charlie Brown around with Linus' blanket. In the versions currently available, the viewer never sees where Linus' trajectory lands him. Instead, they see Charlie Brown landing towards a pine tree which causes more snow to fall on top of him.
  • In the "fence" scene, where several of the Peanuts gang are attempting to knock cans off a fence with snowballs, Linus is seen knocking down a can with his blanket. In the original airing, this was a Coke can, but it was later replaced with a nondescript can.
  • The final end credit originally had a voice-over saying, "Brought to you from the people in your town who bottle Coca-Cola." This is why the "Hark!" chorus sung at the end trails off oddly before the song would normally end, as an announcer originally did a voice over at this point in the credits to repeat and reemphasize the local bottler's well wishes to the TV audience (watch clip here: Clip 1 ).



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In the fall of 1950, The Frank Sinatra Show joined CBS' schedule. At the time, Sinatra was at the top of his career, so the show's success was practically a given. CBS saddled the series with tough timeslots against the hits Your Show of Shows and Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theater, though, and the series was cancelled after only two seasons.  



Sinatra was lured back to television in 1957 by ABC. With his film career in full swing, Sinatra decided that his new The Frank Sinatra Show would follow a loose format. Some weeks it would be a variety show, other weeks a dramatic show, and some weeks he would simply introduce episodes in which he would not appear. This show, too, was a failure, and was cancelled after one season


When the special was recorded, Bing felt that he sang better in the evening while
Franks sang better during the day. So, Bing recorded his part of the duet separately while Frank sang it live as the scene was recorded. The style of the show gives the viewer the feeling of two hep cats sharing a bit of Christmas cheer with each other and the audience. The show ends with Frank and Bing singing a rousing duet of Crosby's most famous hit, White Christmas.
In 2001, Sinatra's daughter Nancy, herself a pop veteran with the variety special Movin' with Nancy under her belt, began to examine old film canisters as part of her role as family archivist. While trying to determine which parts of the family's large film library were in danger of decomposition, she stumbled upon a theretofore unknown color print of Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank, the 1957 series' Christmas special. Happy Holidays was broadcast for the first time in over forty years on the cable channel Trio in December of 2001, and now it is available on DVD.


Here is an excerpt from that special. Keep your eye out for the carolers as one of them is Don Williams, older brother to Andy Williams.

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Before we get started down this road exploring all of our favorite Christmas Cartoons and Specials, I thought it would be important to start out by writing a little about the team that is foremost responsible for bringing us some of the greatest memories from Christmas Past.

That team is none other than Arthur Rankin, Jr and Jules Bass. They started their production company in the early 1960's as Videocraft International. They were famous for creating productions using "Animagic", a stop-motion animation technique. Amongst the stable of contributors throughout the catalog of shows were people such as Romeo Muller who contributed to many of the specials as a screenwriter and Maury Laws, who served as musical director for almost all of the animated films.

Their first holiday special production was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, produced for NBC and sponsor General Electric in 1965. Based on the song by Johnny Marks, the special featured Burl Ives as Sam, the talking snowman and contained an orchestral score also written by Marks. Rankin/Bass then began producing a string of holiday hits starting with The Cricket on the Hearth (1968) featuring Danny Thomas.

Others that followed were:


The Little Drummer Boy (1968) -featuring Greer Garson and Jose Ferrer
Frosty the Snowman (1969) featuring Jimmy Durante and Jackie Vernon
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (1970) featuring Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn, and Fred Astaire
The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) - featuring Shirley Booth and Mickey Rooney
The Little Drummer Boy, Book II (1976)- featuring Miss Greer Garson
Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977) - featuring Roger Miller
Jack Frost (1979) - featuring Buddy Hackett
Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976) featuring Red Skelton
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979) - featuring Mickey Rooney and Ethel Merman
'Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974) - featuring Joel Grey and George Goebel
Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976) - featuring Andy Griffith
The First Christmas (1975) - featuring Angela Landsbury
Pinocchio's Christmas (1980)
The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold (1981)- featuring Art Carney




Mickey Rooney appeared as Santa Claus in three Rankin/Bass productions making him the most used popular actor of the genre. Two of the most recognizable voices from the specials were voice actors Paul Frees and June Foray. June may be best known as Rocket J. Squirrel from the adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. She also portrayed Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

It was in those days that no matter how big a star you were, if Rankin/Bass asked you be in a Christmas special, you did it.

The team of Rankin/Bass are honored here for the tremendous contribution to all of our childhood Christmas memories.



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The series, The Andy Williams Show won three Emmy Awards for outstanding variety program. Among his series regulars were The Osmond Brothers. He gave up the variety show in 1971 while it was still popular and retrenched to three per year. His Christmas specials, which appeared regularly until 1974 and intermittently from 1982 into the 1990s, were among the most popular of the genre. Andy's specials were famous because it featured his three brothers; Bob,Don,and Dick whom he sang with in the early part of his career. It also featured his wife,Claudine and their three children Noelle, Christian, and Bobby. Andy Williams has recorded eight Christmas albums over the years and has been penned as Mr. Christmas - an obvious rival for Bing Crosby.

Here is the opening to the 1966 show.

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In 1968, Rankin/Bass produced a stop motion animated feature based on The Little Drummer Boy. The film names the drummer boy Aaron and expands the song's storyline to include events before the birth of Jesus. It stars the voices of Greer Garson as "Our Storyteller" and Jose Ferrer as Ben Haramad; it also features the Vienna Boys Chior singing the title song.

It aired for many years on NBC (under original sponsorship of the American Gas Association(AGA) before entering syndication). It currently airs in the U.S. on the ABC Family cable channel. A television sequel, titled The Little Drummer Boy, Book II, premiered in 1976, also on NBC, again sponsored by the AGA, again narrated by Greer Garson, and also currently airing on ABC Family.



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This is my first post. This is a blog about the numerous Christmas Cartoons and specials that most of us have known since our childhood. Some you may remember and some you may not.
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