Friday, December 16, 2005

PK's Top Ten TV Holiday Specials Of All-Time !


I've revealed two of my all-time TV Christmas specials in previous blog entries ("A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas") and I promised to reveal a third. I'm going to up the ante here and give you my all-time Top 10 TV Holiday Specials!

First I'll let you in on what the third of my BIG 3 specials is..."Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town"!

"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" is one of many holiday classics to be put together by the team of Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass. You probably see the "Rankin-Bass" name attached to some of your favorite specials as well. They're basically the Lennon-McCartney of holiday specials! Anyway, if you've never seen it..."Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" is one of the specials made using stop-motion animation. It tells the complete story of Santa from when he was a little baby all the way to the present time (or 1970 when this was made!). The story is told from the perspective of the North Pole mailman "S.D" (short for Special Delivery) who is played by the legendary Fred Astaire. He does a wonderful job narrating the story and taking us from scene to scene. S.D. tells the story of Santa to answer all the questions that kids ask Santa in their letters to him. We find out why he wears a red suit...Why he comes down chimneys...Why he only comes once a year...Why he has a beard...Why he laughs like "Ho Ho Ho"...How reindeer began to fly...as well as the answers to many other questions. The songs are instantly memorable. The most popular being "Put One Foot In Front Of The Other".

What I really like about "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" is that while it's all about the history of Santa, they don't ignore the religious history of Christmas - including references to the 3 wise men, Mary and Joseph, the "holiest night of the year", and the birth of a special baby. In my view, this special is every bit as good as "Rudolph" (another Rankin-Bass classic), which gets much more attention.

OK - here's my complete Top 10!

10. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas
09. Frosty's Winter Wonderland
08. The Little Drummer Boy
07. The Year Without A Santa Claus
06. Frosty The Snowman
05. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
04. The Fat Albert Christmas Special (Hey Hey Hey!)
03. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town
02. Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas
01. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Happy viewing!

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