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Favorite "lost" TV Christmas special? (1 Viewer)

Polbroth

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Dear Guys

There have been many Christmas specials on television in the past sixty years. We all know the famous ones: Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, Grinch, etc. But what about the ones that were shown decades ago and have been semi forgotten? Some of them made it to DVD or digital and others didn't.
I'd like to ask my fellow DVD fans here, what "forgotten" tv Christmas special should be given attention again? That you wish could make it into the Charlie Brown "A" group. Please discount any Rankin Bass specials that have been included on their collections.

I'd like to recommend:

The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas. Voices include Tommy Smothers and Barbara Feldon. A young bear leaves his beloved BearWorld so he can experience Christmas. Cute film. Do any of you remember this? It should have come out on DVD or Blu Ray.

A Christmas Carol. Yeah! Yeah. I know, but I'm talking about the 1970 Richard Williams animated version. Won an Oscar for best short, and is considered to be the best animated version by many critics. Based on the novel's original drawings by Leech. It's short and to the point. Wish more people were aware of it.

Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Clause. Late sixties, early seventies version. Voices include Jim Backus. I love this for the quaintness of the art style, but I can't remember which studio produced it. Not sure about the more recent version.

OK. people, what forgotten holiday special deserves more notoriety? Would love to hear what you think? Does the Magoo Christmas special qualify as "forgotten?" NBC showed it a few years ago.

--jthree
Melendez is his own worst enemy as the creator of Virginia, as nothing can really touch his Charlie Brown, but Lutheran TV did a number of holiday specials featuring a young character named Benji in the early 70s.

Similar to Virginia, these are still available on the Vision Video DVD label, and perhaps YT.

The City That Forgot About Christmas is probably the best known; the design and voice work were always top notch - A list for the time animation-wise.
 

JamesSmith

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Melendez is his own worst enemy as the creator of Virginia, as nothing can really touch his Charlie Brown, but Lutheran TV did a number of holiday specials featuring a young character named Benji in the early 70s.

Similar to Virginia, these are still available on the Vision Video DVD label, and perhaps YT.

The City That Forgot About Christmas is probably the best known; the design and voice work were always top notch - A list for the time animation-wise.
Did you enjoy them Polbroth? They have their appeal, and infinitely preferable to material today. But I also have to acknowledge back in the late sixties, and early seventies there was a lack of channels and sometimes those Lutheran specials were the only thing playing in rural areas with only two channels.

--jthree
 

Bob_S.

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What does everything think of the CBS Kenner hour long version of A Christmas Carol, that aired for almost a decade on Saturday afternoons before Christmas. Some consider it to be the worst animated version, but these days I think it has its charms, and the music kind of sticks in your mind. It was part of the CBS Animated Classics done by some sort of Australian company and some Hanna Barbara, I think.

==jthree
This is the one I grew up with. Yeah, the animation isn't the greatest but certainly has that Christmas Carol feel to it. I have it on a Christmas Collections dvd but would love a remastered dvd release.

The Man in the Santa Claus Suit with Fred Astaire is one I enjoyed as a kid. It's on yt but would love a dvd release.
 

Polbroth

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Did you enjoy them Polbroth? They have their appeal, and infinitely preferable to material today. But I also have to acknowledge back in the late sixties, and early seventies there was a lack of channels and sometimes those Lutheran specials were the only thing playing in rural areas with only two channels.

--jthree
I first saw them decades after they were made & first aired, but they possess an undeniable simplicity and charm that lingers to this day.

As you say, the only reason I DID see them was because a local channel in an adjoining state with a small service area, but JUST on the fringe of what I could pick up in the city, aired them.

I imagine the cost of leasing/airing these quaint artifacts decades later was quite reasonable; the same station had a host of off-brand material they'd air for about a month prior to Christmas, including somewhat obscure Australian animated specials and various European fare.

Which reminds me (I almost mentioned this originally) of a beautiful (now PD in its US version) film made in 1957 in Russia, and released in the US in 1959 by Universal.

It aired on TV around Christmas throughout the 60s and 70s in the US, and may be remembered by Boomers.

It's called The Snow Queen, and it's exquisite, finally gaining some prestige some 60+ years later as, among other things, an enormous influence on Miyazaki.
 

MartinP.

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^^^

The 1967 version is better than the TV remake they did once. I know one used to be able to find that on VHS.
 

RobertMG

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How about this one? The Night the Animals Talked. Premiered on ABC in the early 70's, along with the Richard Williams version of A Christmas Carol. Shown twice, and than showed up a few times on the Family Channel and another cable system. Animation so-so, possibly European but it had a nice message, and a killer ending, when the animals lose their temporary gift of speaking. Perhaps not the best by today's standards, but to an indiscriminate seven year old, it was ok. Any opinions?

==jthree
Williams Carol was great and the fact he got Sim and Hordern back was great too bad Mervyn Johns was not used - did it get press that Sim was redoing his role
 

RobertMG

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I think there's a difference between "forgotten" and "lost" because the latter to me more implies that it's not available anywhere, period. Not just not on commercially released DVD or Blu-Ray but you can't even find it on YT or in general circulation which you can with the Richard Williams version of "A Christmas Carol" (and in pretty good quality). I'd certainly though rate that as something that should get a bells and whistles commercial release because it is the best animated version with the only flaw being it should have been longer.

I am still frustrated that there is no full video available of the 1960 NBC documentary "The Coming Of Christ" narrated by Alexander Scourby which was an annual Christmas staple for a decade. Parts of it were shown in an episode of the late 90s MSNBC documentary series "Time And Again" for a program on Christmas, drawing from archival NBC News material and Jane Pauley the host noted how the program had not been seen for over 25 years when these clips were shown. An LP of the narration and music can be found on YT but I still can't understand why this documentary never even got so much as a VHS release since many other NBC documentaries of this era from the "Project XX" series *were* released on VHS in the early 90s.
 

mskaye

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^^^

The 1967 version is better than the TV remake they did once. I know one used to be able to find that on VHS.
you can see the '67 version on YouTube. It was directed by the great Frank Perry and written by his wife Eleanor. The Perry's did a slew of amazing films together in the 60s-70s - like LADYBUG, LADYBUG and THE SWIMMER, DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE among others.
 

RobertMG

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On 7th Night?

We have 5 big ones yet to go!

Speaking of which, Amahl and the Night Visitors, a CLASSIC live-action opera by the legendary GCMenotti!
So many I never heard of - it is hard to give up Christmas though it truly is a wonderful time and it is made better by the hearts of so many here willing to as Scrooge's nephew said "I came here in the spirit of Bright Good Will!
 
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FilmCrazy

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you can see the '67 version on YouTube. It was directed by the great Frank Perry and written by his wife Eleanor. The Perry's did a slew of amazing films together in the 60s-70s - like LADYBUG, LADYBUG and THE SWIMMER, DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE among others.
Only saw the 1967 version. Geraldine Page was excellent. It needs a new release.
 

JamesSmith

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Which reminds me (I almost mentioned this originally) of a beautiful (now PD in its US version) film made in 1957 in Russia, and released in the US in 1959 by Universal.

It aired on TV around Christmas throughout the 60s and 70s in the US, and may be remembered by Boomers.

It's called The Snow Queen, and it's exquisite, finally gaining some prestige some 60+ years later as, among other things, an enormous influence on Miyazaki.

Yes, I remember the Snow Queen, the one with the introduction by Art Linkletter. I should try to track down a version with the original Russian. It probably loses something with the English. Interesting film, from my childhood memory, it had a grandeur that probably wasn't there. But it was visually interesting, and the change Hans went from a good boy to being under the Snow Queen's spell was slightly (slightly?) disturbing from my adolescent understanding. The shard of the devil's mirror getting into his eye, then into his heart and "freezing" it has a poetry to it. Anderson was a poet when he explained things. How do you know the SQ had an influence of Miyazaki? Both SQ and Horus: Prince of the Sun were two films that ran on weekday afternoons on Christmas week? In hindsight, they weren't like Disney. Both SQ and Horus had protagonists who went through some sort of complex character change in the films. In the SQ "Hans," in Horus, it was the girl (who's name escapes me) that Horus found in the forest. Both films not like Disney. Any other thoughts, Polbroth?

--jthree
 

JamesSmith

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Sorry but after Christmas it’s done for another year!

Sorry, but we have a few hours of Christmas week left. As for me and my family, everyone's been sick and no one has even opened up all the presents under the tree. With so many sick, and so many gone, all the Christmas joy seemed to be gone.

--jthree
 

JamesSmith

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On 7th Night?

We have 5 big ones yet to go!

Speaking of which, Amahl and the Night Visitors, a CLASSIC live-action opera by the legendary GCMenotti!

Know one of its adaptations plays on EWTN. Have the CD of the soundtrack, but I confess I need more time to absorb opera music. Hope to set down and watch Amahl completely in the future. In the fifties and sixties, one of the networks did a new version of Amahl every year.

--jthree
On 7th Night?

We have 5 big ones yet to go!

Speaking of which, Amahl and the Night Visitors, a CLASSIC live-action opera by the legendary GCMenotti!
 

Polbroth

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Yes, I remember the Snow Queen, the one with the introduction by Art Linkletter. I should try to track down a version with the original Russian. It probably loses something with the English. Interesting film, from my childhood memory, it had a grandeur that probably wasn't there. But it was visually interesting, and the change Hans went from a good boy to being under the Snow Queen's spell was slightly (slightly?) disturbing from my adolescent understanding. The shard of the devil's mirror getting into his eye, then into his heart and "freezing" it has a poetry to it. Anderson was a poet when he explained things. How do you know the SQ had an influence of Miyazaki? Both SQ and Horus: Prince of the Sun were two films that ran on weekday afternoons on Christmas week? In hindsight, they weren't like Disney. Both SQ and Horus had protagonists who went through some sort of complex character change in the films. In the SQ "Hans," in Horus, it was the girl (who's name escapes me) that Horus found in the forest. Both films not like Disney. Any other thoughts, Polbroth?

--jthree
Snow Queen was HUGE in Japan beginning with its release there some 60 years ago, and inspired not only Miyazaki but all of anime.

It's generally considered one of the greatest animated feature films ever made.

I'd love to see a restored - or just cleanest print - version of it by Criterion with the original Russian AND original US versions, as the Linkletter stuff is so lovely & odd & of its time, and the English VO is a lot of fun.

It really is a deep and stunning film, and deserving of SO much more attention and praise than it's received; it's as good or better than any Disney animated feature except the masterful Frozen. (Something about the snow that brings out the best in animators I guess!)

And Horus is one of a huge number of great Japanese features of the time, some of which became holiday staples.
 

JamesSmith

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Snow Queen was HUGE in Japan beginning with its release there some 60 years ago, and inspired not only Miyazaki but all of anime.

It's generally considered one of the greatest animated feature films ever made.

I'd love to see a restored - or just cleanest print - version of it by Criterion with the original Russian AND original US versions, as the Linkletter stuff is so lovely & odd & of its time, and the English VO is a lot of fun.

It really is a deep and stunning film, and deserving of SO much more attention and praise than it's received; it's as good or better than any Disney animated feature except the masterful Frozen. (Something about the snow that brings out the best in animators I guess!)

And Horus is one of a huge number of great Japanese features of the time, some of which became holiday staples.
Nice to hear your opinions Polbroth.

What appeals to you personally about the Snow Queen? I've given you some of my reasons. There is some thing very interesting in the SQ about the heroine's chasing after Hans. The Snow Queen herself seems a force of nature, rather than something human. She's aloof and seems like ice and is quite mysterious.

I'm not necessarily a fan of the films' animation.

Moving to Horus, I wish there had been more research into the film; or at least as much as Miyazaki's later films. Do have the soundtrack. It really is beautiful music, and seems quite a contrast to the music of today. Hilda's two-sidedness and betrays of Horus is quite unique. It makes here quite a complex character, and I wonder if Disney could try something like that. Granted, Disney and American animation have had turncoat characters in their stories before, but not necessarily like Hilda's. At the beginning she seems so indifferent to the damage done to the first village, and is quite willing to do the evil thing, until the end.

It's great that you have such an interest in the films. I'm always hoping the US networks would bring back past holiday specials rather than just forgetting about them.

--jthree
 

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