Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Nostalgia

I have yet to do anything fun for Christmas so today I thought I'd share some of my favorite Christma television specials. Unlike most of my friends, I wasn't really into the Rankin/Bass specials, but there are still plenty of yearly Christmas specials I used to watch. Not as many as there for Halloween, but I decided to continue my nostalgia posts for Christmas.

A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)
Kermit and the gang head to Fozzie's mom's house for a country family Christmas, but she's already rented her house to Doc and Sprocket (of Fraggle Rock) with plans to head to Hawaii for the holidays. They all decide to spend Christmas together, with plenty of singing and sentimental moments. The special features all 3 of the main Muppet groups, with the Fraggles spending some time with Kermit and his nephew Robin and the Sesame Street gang showing up as well. Jim Henson even makes a cameo at the end, helping Sprocket wash the dishes. I was born just too late to remember seeing it on TV, but my parents taped the original ending and my sisters and I used to watch it ever year. I don't know what happened to the tape, but fortunately for me Youtube was invented.

Nester, The Long Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
The only Rankin/Bass I really enjoyed as a kid. Also probably the only Christmas special I enjoyed that actually went back to the origins of Christmas. The special followed Nester, a donkey with ridiculously long ears. Kinda like Rudolph, he is mocked and ridiculed for this, but does his best to hide it. Mary and Joseph find him and choose him to carry Mary to Bethlehem. It's sweet and kinda cheesy and I watched it ever year when I was younger. More recently, though, it's only been on once a year and always seems to be when I'm busy. Then again, Youtube.

The Christmas Toy
Youtube link in the title. Another Henson special. Hosted by Kermit, The Christmas Toy tells the story of Rugby, a stuffed tiger that was the Christmas Toy last year and wants to be this year's Christmas Toy as well. In his attempt, he sets free this year's Toy, Meteora, a crazy doll. Rugby also has to be careful, because if a toy is seen out of place then they basically die. There's also a cat toy named Mew. Sing the first few words of the main song and either of my sisters will immediately join in.

The Toy That Saved Christmas
The most recent of my nostalgia items, as I first saw it in high school (I saw it about a decade ago, so I think that's long ago enough to count). It's a VeggieTales production that follows a toy, Buzz-Saw Louie, that becomes sentient and wants to find the true meaning of Christmas. Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber and Junior Asparagus help him take on Wiley P. Nezzer (brother of Nebby k. Nezzer from Rack, Shack and Benny), the owner of the toy factory that spawned Louie. It also has the mini-feature "Oh Santa," in which Larry waits to give cookies to Santa, only to have them all taken before Santa shows up.

Mickey's Christmas Carol
I'm not gonna link this one, because I don't want Disney to sue me. A retelling of Dicken's A Christmas Carol with Scrooge McDuck as Scrooge and Mickey as Bob Cratchit. Aside from maybe Scrooged, it's my favorite version of the story.


  1. I seem to be a fan of the obscure Christmas specials, or at least of ones that few people have heard of.

    A Garfield Christmas Special is one particular one I used to love to watch as a kid, but it's no longer shown on tv and I haven't found the dvd yet (I'm sure I could if I actively attempted). Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas is my alltime favorite and I watch it every year, it's even narrated by Kermit the Frog!

  2. I remember the Garfield one, but not enough to be nostalgic about it. Same with Emmet Otter. Neither are specials I looked forward to every year like the other two Henson specials or Nester.