Celebrating the Original Christmas Classics
December 4th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

I'll have a Blu-ray Christmas without you

The beloved television holiday specials known as the Original Christmas Classics ("Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Frosty the Snowman" are the most well-known) are now available on Blu-ray.

"Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," celebrating its 40th anniversary this year (and packaged with Rudolph and Frosty as part of "The Original Christmas Classics" Blu-ray box-set) tells the story of how Kris Kringle became Santa Claus and various holiday traditions came to be - such as gift giving, the origin of the Christmas tree, why people hang stockings, why Santa wears a red suit, why he keeps a list, and why children write him letters. The special features the voices of Fred Astaire as Special Delivery ("S.D. for short") Kluger and Mickey Rooney as Santa. (Incidentally, Rooney went on to portray Santa Claus six more times.)

For many people, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without at least one viewing of these specials that remain among the top-rated year after year, often beating out more recent specials, which are arguably more sophisticated. Just goes to show that while it's easy to make a holiday movie or TV special, it’s hard to make one that will go down in history (like Rudolph!).

"Rudolph" was considered ahead of its time when it was produced in stop-motion back in 1964. The characters and sets in it, along with "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," were created using wood and plastic, not clay.

Of course, with the advent (pun intended!) of new technologies like Blu-ray and TiVo, we no longer need to rely on network broadcast schedules to enjoy them. But many people insist on watching them on TV for the holiday commercials (the M&M's bumping into Santa Claus "He does exist"/"They do exist!" commercial comes to mind).

Why do you think these specials (along with the equally popular "A Charlie Brown Christmas") remain fan favorites after all these years?

What are your favorite holiday specials? No judgments here! If you have a cheesy, guilty pleasure favorite we want to know what it is. Is there a particular scene that gets you every time?

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Filed under: television

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. autom

    I already have this set on DVD. Is the blu-ray any better? Does it have special features? I would imagine the picture from the old film stock can only be so good. Maybe they cleaned it up in the computer for the blu-ray release? Is it worth upgrading?

    December 11, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Honest Abe

    "What are your favorite holiday specials? No judgments here!"

    Really? Well... in that case, my favorite holiday-themed special is "Christmas Cuties 12" ... nothing like a little adult-themed cinema to get "Santa sliding down that chimney" if you know what I mean!!!

    December 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Smck

    A Christmas Story! Love watching it on and off for the 24 hrs it plays on Christmas Eve.

    December 5, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Doodlebug

      All you losers are soooo addicted to TV that you can't spend Christmas eve doing quality relational things with your family and friends. SAD!!!!!

      December 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Network 23

      I collect cats.

      I dress my pretty kitties up like the Kardashians and we put on our own reality shows!

      PRETTY KITTIES!

      Kardashians eat a clambake at my desert hootenanny every 3rd month. We listen to 3rd bass and watch 3rd rock from the sun!

      I have three cats named John Lithgow!!!

      December 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Martin2012

    "Robbie the Reindeer" (with the original English actors' voices) and "Olive, the Other Reindeer" are favorites here.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Haburnyaliptz

      I collect cats.

      I dress my pretty kitties up like the Kardashians and we put on our own reality shows!

      PRETTY KITTIES!

      Kardashians eat a clambake at my desert hootenanny every 3rd month. We listen to 3rd bass and watch 3rd rock from the sun!

      I have three cats named John Lithgow!

      December 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • abe

      IM PRETTY SURE ITS "ALL OF THE OTHER REINDEER", DUH!!!!!

      December 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |

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