posted by @HeyItsKamo
‘Tis the season to sit inside and watch television… especially here in Buffalo where the snow is starting to pile up and the temperature is dropping like a poorly executed Ryan Fitzpatrick pass. What better way to pass the time than by watching Christmas cartoons!? …with a few beers maybe.
There’s been a lot of animated Xmas flicks over the years, so here are my personal Top 5- I’m sure some, if not all of these, will show up on your favorites list as well.
Charlie Brown was a bit before my time (more than 20 years really…), but I still enjoy this holiday classic and can’t help but watch it when it inevitably comes on TV each December. Written by Charlie Brown/Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, the story follows the Peanuts gang during their Christmas-time season. Charlie Brown is worrying (of course, right? what the fuck else does this kid do?) that Christmas has become too commercial and no one knows the true meaning of the holiday anymore. Stupid Lucy suggests Charlie take over the annual Christmas pageant, which will this year touch on the Nativity, but nothing really goes as planned- everyone just wants to dance or whatever the hell it is that the Peanuts characters love to do. Linus saves the day by reading from the Gospel of Luke and telling everyone what Christmas is really about- the birth of Jesus. This is also the only movie on this list to be sponsored by Coca-Cola, win an Emmy and Peabody Award, and feature a human-like dog that wins a Christmas decorating contest.
Who wouldn’t love a giant talking snowman come to life via a magical hat? Actually, now that I think about it that sounds pretty horrifying, but this animated short from way back in 1969 (lol) has been a holiday staple for over 40 years. Frosty follows a giant, man-eating snowman that comes to life and terrorizes a small town and its inhabitants… what? That’s not how it goes? It’s actually an adaptation of the famous song of the same title about a snowman named Frosty that is really nice and is loved by one and all? Interesting…
The story in the movie actually follows a young girl named Karen who finds a magical top hat discarded by the half-ass magician Professor Hinkle. When Hinkle realizes his hat has turned a snowman into a living thing, he tries to steal it back. The snowman (Frosty, if you didn’t catch on by now…) and Karen try and escape to the North Pole due to the increasing temperature- global warming truly affects us all. Along their trip, Hinkle is constantly trying to get the hat back, until finally Santa shows up and saves the day (as usual). The moral of the story? Never throw out a good hat.
…fucking ruled and I could probably stop right there. But admit it right now: you absolutely love this film. Tim Burton’s 1993 (Wow, it’s really that old?) stop motion masterpiece is a combination of horror, fantasy, family, holiday, comedy… the list goes on. Despite the genre blend, The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of those flicks that comes along and is instantly a classic. The story follows Jack Skellington (The Pumpkin King) and the citizens of “Halloween Town” as they prepare for their annual Halloween bash. But Jack is bored with the same old routine and, after a sobering trek through the woods, discovers a door leading to “Christmas Town”. Jack decides to take over Christmas for Santa and… well, things don’t go as planned. Some might argue that this is strictly a Halloween film, and for those people I say, “why do we only need to watch this awesome movie in October?”
Also, Oogie Boogie is a cool dude + awesome looking .
Another stop-animation classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has given us some of our favorite holiday characters (besides Santa and Frosty, of course). The story follows Rudolph, a reindeer with a red glowing nose. He tries to hide his fucked up and weird nose, but his condition is soon discovered and he runs away to the forest because he’s embarrassed and the forest is free of ridicule. It is here that he meets up with Hermes, an elf who wants to become a dentist (what the hell? Of all the professions to give a character…) instead of making toys. They have an adventure, meeting a reindeer-eating monster (the Abominable Snowman), a gold obsessed prospector named Yukon Cornelius, and venture to the Island of Misfit Toys. Everything eventually turns out for the better, Rudolph is accepted after he guides Santa’s sleigh on a particularly snowy Christmas, and Hermes opens up a dentist office. What a weird ending to a movie, right?
Fun fact: Romeo Muller wrote both this television short AND Frosty the Snowman- the man was good at holiday stories. He also co-wrote the 1977 made-for-TV short The Hobbit based on the story of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Shut up, you knew this was coming. And no, I’m not talking about the live action/Jim Carrey creep-show from 2000. We’re dealing with the old-school, animated version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas here, and it is awesome. Boris Karloff lends his velvety, baritone voice as both the narrator of the tale and the dastardly Grinch himself. If you’re not familiar with it, the Grinch follows a mountain-dwelling creature who is so hell-bent on destroying happiness that he literally steals Christmas from his neighboring town, Whoville. With the reluctant help of his dog, Max, the Grinch forms a plan to descend on Whoville, dressed as Santa, and steal all the holiday spirit with a makeshift sleigh and several impossible vacuum hoses – from presents, to Christmas trees to decorations, he took everything from those poor Who’s… even the roast beast! While this would give a normal person 25-to-life, the Grinch learned his lesson and returned everything after he saw that no matter what he did, he couldn’t break the Who’s spirit. If this film doesn’t warm your heart, you’re a
hippie Communist jerk, and that’s why it’s No. 1 for me.
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