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5 Best Holiday Christmas Songs - Animated Specials

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Santa and Rudolph

The restored original stop-motion puppets of Santa and Rudolph used in the 1964 Rankin/Bass holiday special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

The restored original stop-motion puppets of Santa and Rudolph used in the 1964 Rankin/Bass holiday special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Favorite Christmas Songs

Many Christmas songs come to mind when thinking of favorites. All of us have enjoyed the cartoons and animated specials that air during the Christmas season. We can watch them at will now because of streaming services and physical media. During the 1960's and 70's they were only available once a year. Children waited with great anticipation for their favorite holiday show.

Each of the songs I share I'm sure that have inspired us with the Christmas mood. And still spark our imaginations during this festive season. These are my top five Christmas songs from animated cartoons or stop action productions. I'm sure you have your on your own 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 and the internet.)

Sam The Snowman

Sam The Snowman

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.

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 released in 1965. 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 while the gang is ice skating on a pond in a rural setting, with Snoopy performing his ice-skating 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's Christmas

Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown and Linus

Charlie Brown and Linus

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.

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

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.

The Chipmunks

The Chipmunks

Alvin, Simon and Theodore.  Oh ya, and Dave Seville

Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Oh ya, and Dave Seville

Watching Christmas Specials

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!

Merry Christmas!

© 2013 ajwrites57

A Long

© 2012 AJ Long

Comments

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on February 02, 2015:

Kenneth Avery I just noticed I never answered your last comment. I should take time to do more as you suggest. Thanks!

Kenneth Avery on July 11, 2014:

I also love Christmas, and please, seriously, do more Christmas-related hubs such as the history behind the Chipmunks "Christmas" song and the work going into that iconic hit.

And I do not take your following lightly. I will send you, in a few days, a personalized email of Thank You for I value each follower more than they know.

I am serious, Dave, oops, I mean aj.

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on July 11, 2014:

OK Dave, I mean Kenneth Avery! I love Christmas!

Kenneth Avery on July 11, 2014:

Hey, aj!

Thanks, man. I appreciate your comment, but I like your holiday mindset.

And no, I cannot sing like Alvin.

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on July 11, 2014:

Kenneth Avery, I think you are a bit more prolific in producing Hubs for Hubpages! You have a great sense of humor. :o)

Good Luck!

Kenneth Avery on June 30, 2014:

You are very welcome. I just told you the truth.

Are you following me? If so, thank you and if not, I would love to have you follow me so some of your talent would rub off on me.

Thanks in advance.

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on June 30, 2014:

kenneth avery, I appreciate all the kind praise! Glad you enjoyed the Hub! Thanks for all the votes! :o)

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on June 28, 2014:

Hello, aj,

This is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing, to be quite frank with you. You nailed it, my friend. My type of story.

I loved every word--and the lay-out was superb. Interesting, in-depth, helpful, and very informative. Great job.

Voted up and all the choices because you deserve it.

You have such a gift for writing. Just keep writing and good things are bound to happen to you.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on December 24, 2013:

Thanks so much for reading and commenting jeanwader618! Yes, reminiscing and watching as a child is good for the soul! Merry Christmas! :o)

jeanwader618@gmail.com on December 24, 2013:

What a pleasant surprise accidentally finding this site! It brings out the child in all of us with Santa, Rudolf, Frosty the Snowman to name a few.

Thank you very much!

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on December 14, 2013:

Ya was on a winter mood the other day and worked on several winter themed poems-just posted on on Blogger! lol :o) Thanks friend!

Peter Noah Thomas from Wyoming, U.S.A. on December 14, 2013:

Oh no! I hope you find that poem again. I want to read it.

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on December 14, 2013:

I agree peternoahthomas! Love Burl Ives! I started a poem about Rudolph somewhere-misplaced it lol! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Peter Noah Thomas from Wyoming, U.S.A. on December 14, 2013:

Christmas wouldn't be quite the same without these songs. Watched Rudolph tonight...humming "Holly Jolly Christmas as I write this.

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on November 19, 2013:

Thanks so much reading and commenting Vellur! I appreciate the feedback and I'm so glad you enjoyed reading!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 19, 2013:

A great selection of Christmas songs. Enjoyed reading.

AJ Long (author) from Pennsylvania on December 24, 2012:

Thanks so much peachpurple! (Love your name.) Glad you enjoyed it. I have had the radio on the past few days and have heard all five played. Merry Christmas!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 24, 2012:

wonderful hub. I love rudolf the red nose reindeer. I remembered that when i was still a child, i watched every years rudolf 3d animated films without fail. Now, TV program doesn't air them anymore. Voted up