Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Rating Game Redux (19): Nice List

This time around, the Register-Mail asked for Best Animated Christmas Specials. As always, three is a cruel number, and much had to be discarded--such as the '70s Rudolph (hovering at mid-camp for the past decade or so) and the indie-'90s pleasure of (here comes a great pun) Olive, the Other Reindeer/1999 (check out those too-cool-for-school voice characterizations here). But I have committed to two masterpieces, and one cruel doodle for the kiddies.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
This captures the spirit of not only Peanuts but Christmas itself, bending low to prop up all of us, like the droopy little trees we are.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Dr. Seuss, Chuck Jones, and Boris Karloff make perfect sense together: part whimsy, part slapstick, part Gothic benevolence, all dedicated to making our hearts grow three sizes.

“A Tale of Two Santas” (Futurama episode)
In the year 3000, Santa (voiced by John Goodman as the anti-Burl Ives) is a homicidal robot convinced that everyone is on the “naughty” list, insuring that “X-mas” continues to be a time for all to gather together—in abject terror.

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