Spend some time over the holidays bonding with friends and family while watching these classic and funny TV Christmas cartoons. Here's a list of my favorite animated holiday specials, starting with the most sentimental.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
is the most popular and classic of all Christmas cartoons that have ever aired on TV. I defy anyone not to get a little misty in the eyes when that tiny tree comes to life, or when those tiny round mouths form perfect o's to sing Christmas carols.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is another classic Christmas cartoon, but a little more on the devilish side. Though I love the Grinch himself (especially when he smirks), Max is my favorite character. The moral of this story has lasted for decades: "Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more."
Based on the traditional Christmas carol, Frosty the Snowman
tells the story of some buck-toothed children helping Frosty the Snowman enjoy his day alive. Talented Jimmy Durante lends his voice to the narration.
"I'm mister heat miser, I'm mister sun." Sing with me! The tale of two cranky brothers at opposite ends of the weather is told in this classic DVD. In order to deliver toys to the world's children on time, Mrs. Claus must reconcile the feuding syblings, Heat Miser and Snow Miser, whose mama is none other than Mother Nature.
Another stop-motion cartoon from Arthur Rankin, Jr., The Little Drummer Boy
is a more religious holiday special. Based on the Christmas carol, the story tells of the little boy who journeys to pay tribute to the newborn king. As a child, I found this holiday special terribly depressing, because I felt sad for the little boy who had nothing but his song to give. As an adult, I see that The Little Drummer Boy
offers a message for the true meaning of Christmas.
This DVD packs a lot of holiday-themed episodes of The Simpsons
into one neat package. It includes the first Christmas special, titled "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," along with "Mr. Plow," "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace," "Grift of the Magi" and "She of Little Faith." What's fun about these episodes is that each one searches for the meaning of the holidays in a different way, but comes up with pretty much the same sweet answer. ("Grift of the Magi" is probably the weakest of the bunch.)
Though this cartoon is fairly new, and almost feature length, it stands out because it offers humor and insight for children and adults. Olive, the Other Reindeer
works on many levels, much like The Simpsons
, which is no coincidence since Matt Groening produced both shows. Drew Barrymore's performance (one of her first voiceovers) as Olive is spot on. And the style of the cartoon is unique and lovely.
My list would not be complete without including South Park
Christmas episodes, especially "Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo." Needless to say, these are holiday cartoons to enjoy once the kiddies are in bed. The Christmas Time in South Park
DVD collects all the classic South Park
Christmas episodes onto one DVD.
I am becoming more and more fond of SpongeBob SquarePants
. So, I've included this charming collection of episodes on this top picks list. The "Christmas Who?" episode is riotous and double-length. I especially enjoyed "Snowball Effect," spending a lot of my time laughing at the idea of snowball fights in the ocean--can't happen! Some of the other episodes are not necessarily Christmas-themed, but still very funny.