Top 20 Animated Christmas Features

Some of my earliest memories involve watching that great animated Christmas specials year after year.  Somehow, it just would not seem like Christmas without Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus and the Grinch.  So, I decided to put together a list of the great holiday animated specials.  I came up with 19, so that will have to suffice.

 

19. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year- This one, of course, is not about Christmas, but it has Rudolph in it.

18. Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol- This is a decent retelling of the old Dickens classic with Mr. Magoo in the role of the Scrooge.

17. Garfield Christmas- Time Waste. 

16. Olive, the other Reindeer- Nice effort.

15. A Wish for Wings That Work- I’m a big Bloom County fan, and you will find a lot of Bill and Opus in this.

14. Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas- very cute.

13. Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey- Not terrible.

12. Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol- Another decent retelling of the Dickens classic.

11. Mickey’s Christmas Carol- Yet another decent retelling of the Dickens classic.

10. Frosty Returns- The second of the Frosty series, and not nearly as good as the first.

9. The Polar Express- A very good movie, but it is still a little new to place too high on the list.

8. The Year Without a Santa Claus- A classic story about a year when Santa was did not come to town.

7. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas- Cute rendition of the classic story.

6. Santa Claus is Coming to Town- Classic that explores the Origins of Santa Claus.

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas- The Peanuts classic about a group of kids that try put on a Christmas program with a tiny little tree.

4. Frosty the Snowman- Classic story of a snowman that comes to life by magic.

3. The Little Drummer Boy- One of the greatest Christmas tales ever told that is centered on the birth of Christ.  This story gives all parents the opportunity to explain to their children where the little drummer boy is when they see a nativity.

2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- It is a close call between #1 and #2.  It does not get much better than Rudolph.

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas- A truly great Christmas tale in which a grumpy guy finds redemption through the Christmas spirit of others.

 

Here is an amazing site that has a lot of links to these specials and others.

Top 10 Live-Action Christmas Movies

I decided that I would put together a list of great Christmas movies, but I quickly realized that I have some serious deficiencies in my knowledge of Christmas movies.  So, I decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite Christmas movies.  I did not include animated films or specials except for The Polar Express (which did not make my top 10 anyway).  After the top ten, I included a list of other Christmas movies that I have seen (most of which I actually like), and finally I included a list of Christmas movies that I have not seen, but probably should see.  This Christmas season, I will make an effort to see several of the movies that I have somehow missed in my life, and see if they deserve to crack the top 10.

10. Muppet Family Christmas- The Muppets just seem to go with Christmas.

9. The Nativity Story- This movie makes it because it is important to remember the reason for the season, and it was not a bad attempt to tell the story.

8. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation- Perhaps the most underrated of the live action Christmas movies with the most enjoyable appearance by the Griswold family since the original.  I really enjoyed it.

7. Elf- Underrated as a Christmas movie and a Wil Farrell film, this is a very enjoyable Christmas tale.

6. The Grinch- This film could easily have been a disappointment.  It would have been hard to improve upon the original animated version of the Dr. Suess classic.  However, Jim Carey is great as the Grinch, and he carries the film very well.

5. White Christmas- This deserves to be in the top 10 if only for the title song which is the best Christmas song of all time even though it is not the first time it was sung on film.

4. Miracle on 34th Street- A nice Christmas classic about believing in Santa Claus.  Greatness.

3. A Christmas Carol- There are a host of versions of the great Dickens tale out there, and most of them are very good.  The story keeps it at the top of my list.

2. A Christmas Story- Honestly, I enjoy watching this film more than any on the list.  I watch it every year a couple of times on TNT, and it is one of my favorite comedies regardless of the fact that it is a Holiday movie.  I have most of the dialogue memorized.

1. It’s a Wonderful Life- To have put A Christmas Story above this movie would have just been wrong.  This movie has become an American icon of the Christmas season, and it deserves to hold the top spot.

 

The movies below are other Christmas films that I have seen, and may have enjoyed.  The ones toward the bottom I liked less.

The Polar Express

Scrooge

Scrooged

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Sound of Music

Ernest Saves Christmas

Bad Santa

The Santa Claus

Santa Clause 2

Babes in Toyland

The Christmas Shoes

Home Alone

Jingle All the Way

The Ref

Very Brady Christmas 

Christmas with the Kranks

Jack Frost

 

The following is a list of films that I have not seen but probably need to see (except for Black Christmas).

Holiday Inn

Preacher’s Wife

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Christmas in Connecticut

Black Christmas

Mary Christmas

Christmas Comes to Willow Creek

Home for the Holidays

A Holiday to Remember

The Bells of St. Mary’s

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

The Bishop’s Wife

The Christmas Box

Meet Me in St. Louis

Surviving Christmas

The Man Who Saved Christmas