Top Five Christmas Songs - Animated Specials
Santa and Rudolph
Favorite Christmas Songs
Many Christmas songs come mind when thinking of favorites. All have enjoyed the cartoons and animated specials that air during the Christmas season. We can watch them at will, now, now but during the 60s and 70s they were only available once a year. Children waited in anticipation of their favorite holiday show.
Each of these has several songs that have inspired us. And spark our imaginations during the festive season. These are my top five Christmas songs from animated cartoons or stop action productions. I'm sure you have your on your list. Please enjoy and reminisce as you read about mine.
Rudolph and Clarice
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph is delightfully portrayed in this Rankin and Bass, stop motion animation production from 1964, called Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. All the characters in the story are humorous and witty.The song is sung at the very end of the animated story, by Burl Ives (a popular folk singer and actor). He narrates the special as Sam the Snowman and with his wonderful voice, carries us through the story.
We all know the story of Rudolph. With his glowing nose, he is asked by Santa to guide his sleigh through the snowy, Christmas night. The song itself is humorous, quick-paced and shorter than the one sung by Gene Autry--the singing cowboy (the most popular version of the song, released in 1939). I thoroughly enjoyed the animated special, and equally appreciate the climactic delivery of the song at the end. I never wanted the show to be over and wished I could watch it again. (Of course, kids today can--thanks to DVD.)
Sam The Snowman
A Holly Jolly Christmas
This song is also from the Rankin and Bass, stop motion animation production from 1964, called Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This song was also sung by Burl Ives. This song has become a great hit and we still sing with joy at Christmas-time. As Sam the Snowman, he sings us right through the story. This animated Christmas special holds a special place in my heart. It's the best time of the year--so have a holly, jolly Christmas.
Charlie Brown's Christmas
Christmas Time Is Here (Vocal)
This song is written and performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. It is featured in A Charlie Brown Christmas, a cartoon TV special. Based on the Charles M Schulz comic strip Peanuts, the Peanuts gang confronts the true meaning of Christmas. (As we all must!) Linus sets us all straight by narrating the story of Jesus' birth from the Gospel of Luke.
This song is sung in a segment while the gang is ice skating on a pond in a rural setting, with Snoopy performing his antics. According to Wikipedia this song and two others in the TV special were performed by members of the choir of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Rafael California. There is also a longer instrumental version on the CD of this soundtrack. This is one of my all time favorite songs!
Charlie Brown Christmas
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
This song is also from a stop action animated TV special from Rankin and Bass (originally telecast December 14, 1970 by ABC). It is narrated by a famous actor, Fred Astaire. (He is better known for his singing and dancing in many movies, such as Top Hat with his co-star and dancing partner, Ginger Rogers.) He narrates the story, as mailman named Special Delivery "S.D." Kluger (bearing resemblance to Fred Astaire). He relates how Santa Claus became who he is today. Mickey Rooney voices the role of Kris Kringle/Santa Claus.
The theme song is sung by S. D. Kluger (Fred Astaire) and the Westminster Children's Choir. I selected this song because I remember my mother singing this to me as a small child, introducing me to Santa Claus. And, because I thoroughly enjoy the way the tale of Santa Claus is developed in this special.
Thomas Nast's Santa
The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)
Okay, I'm going to cheat a little on this one. This one is not originally from an animated cartoon. It was released in 1958 as a song. A line from the song mentions a hula hoop--one of the toys every child wanted that year for Christmas. I remember I was very little and my Aunt Gerry played the song over and over on her record-player.
I was so enamored by the chipmunk voices and I couldn't get enough of them.The Chipmunks were popular in the 1960s and released other recordings and even starred in a short-lived TV show. The Christmas special was not produced until 1981.
Watching Christmas Specials
How many of these animated Christmas specials have you watched?
My Five Favorite Songs from Animated Specials
How I enjoy listening to these top five songs and watching these animated Christmas specials. I enjoy everything connected with them!
These songs take me back to the days when there was magic and excitement at Christmas--the days of childhood. Maybe watching and listening to them will help me rekindle that magic once again this year.
I hope it does for you, too!
© 2013 ajwrites57
© 2012 AJ