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Classic Cartoon ChristmasFor those of us born in the mid-fifties or later, our first Christmas favorites generally came from animated Christmas specials. Rapt and amused, we watched these programs year after year, and the tunes lodged in our brains like bubblegum in curly hair. The shows, which featured songwriting of the highest order, include Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (starring Burl Ives, 1964); A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965); Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1966); Frosty The Snow Man (starring Jimmy Durante, 1969); Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (starring Fred Astaire, 1970); and Year Without A Santa Claus (1974). A Classic Cartoon Christmas (1996), a Nickelodeon release, compiles many highlights from this sacred cartoon canon, plus a couple from the less-than-classic Muppet Family Christmas (1987)

A second volume, A Classic Cartoon Christmas, Too (1997) is fun but far less impressive - despite featuring the wonderfully malevolent "Heat Miser" from Year Without A Santa Claus and Burl Ives' immortal "Silver & Gold" from Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. The rest of the meager 10 tracks are mostly second-tier songs from the same TV shows, plus three contemporary songs that suffer badly in comparison. And, while I give Nickelodeon points for including something from Ren & Stimpy's Crock O' Christmas, it's not the album's best song - though even I would admit that the poisonous "I Hate Christmas" is inappropriate for a children's album....

Albums Albums

SongsSongs

  • Christmas Time Is Here (Vince Guaraldi Trio, 1965)
  • Frosty The Snowman (Jimmy Durante, 1969)
  • Heat Miser (soundtrack cast, 1974)
  • Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives, 1964)
  • O Tannenbaum (Vince Guaraldi Trio, 1965)
  • Put One Foot In Front Of The Other (Mickey Rooney & Keenan Wynn, 1970)
  • Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Burl Ives, 1964)
  • Silver & Gold (Burl Ives, 1964)
  • Welcome Christmas (soundtrack cast, 1966)
  • You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch (Thurl Ravenscroft, 1966)

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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