It’s December, it’s almost Christmas and it’s time to dive into watching holiday specials. If you are still not feeling the Christmas spirit bubbling inside you, then these cartoon Christmas specials can certainly help. Cartoons capture the essence of the festive season perfectly. They are colorful, musical and symbolize deep morals that Christmas is all about. These classics have been around for decades and are a part of the holiday tradition at many households. If they are not on your holiday to-do list, then it’s time you find some space. Here are three of my favorites that you can start with:
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965)
The program made its debut on CBS on Dec. 9, 1965, and is based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. The story revolves around Charlie, a boy who approaches the Christmas holiday with a sense of dread and is struggling to understand the commercialization of Christmas. But soon, Charlie catches the Christmas spirit with a little help from his friend Linus, and the “Peanuts” gang gets together to celebrate, knowing that the holiday isn’t just about flashy decorations and extravagant presents. Full of social metaphors and satirical references, the show has become an annual broadcast and is traditionally aired during the Christmas season.
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (1966)
The original musical, animated TV special brings life to the children’s story by Dr. Seuss of the same name. The central character is the Grinch, a surly, grumpy creature with a heart “two sizes too small.” He lives atop Mount Crumpit and is devotedly opposed to the idea of Christmas, so one year he decides to disguise himself as Santa Claus and steal Christmas from the townsfolk of Whoville. He empties the town of all its decorations, food and gifts, only to realize later that Christmas is not about merchandise. Christmas is a state of mind, a joyous feeling which cannot be foiled. With this realization, the Grinch is won over by the spirit of Christmas and the “Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.” Since its debut on CBS on Dec. 19, 1966, the show has become a perennial holiday favorite.
“Frosty the Snowman” (1969)
In this Christmas special, based on the song “Frosty the Snowman,” Jimmy Durante narrates the story of Frosty, a warmhearted man of snow. Frosty is brought to life on the day before Christmas by a magic hat which belongs to a notorious, inept magician named Professor Hinkle. To avoid melting, Frosty undertakes a journey to the North Pole, along with a little girl Karen and a rabbit named Hocus Pocus, while Professor Hinkle tries his best to hamper the journey. That is pretty much the entire story. The fun lies in seeing it play out with the Christmas card-like visuals and the peppy “Frosty the Snowman” song playing in the background as the story unfolds. The special first aired on CBS on Dec. 7, 1969, and has spread the joyous message of Christmas ever since.