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There have been numerous animated Christmas specials over the decades, some of which have basically required viewing each holiday season. Here are 10 of my favorites:
10. The Polar Express (2004): Tom Hanks plays multiple roles (including Santa Claus) in this adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's book about a boy who finds his holiday spirit when a mysterious train appears at his doorstep one Christmas Eve night.
9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966): Boris Karloff lends his grand voice to this adaptation of Dr. Seuss's beloved story about the Scrooge-like Grinch, who plans to spoil Christmas for the residents of Whoville, only to learn a lesson about Christmas himself.
8. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965): The first of many TV specials featuring Charles Schulz's beloved Peanuts gang has Charlie Brown determined to celebrate the holidays via the Christmas play he's directing without falling victim to its commercialism.
7. Mickey's Good Deed (1932): Disney basically paved the way when it came to Xmas specials & the first of these was this sweet tale in which Mickey is forced to part with Pluto to help a poor family on Christmas. The way he is repaid for that favor still brings a tear to your eye.
6. Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol (1979): This enjoyable romp has our favorite animated bunny teaching a lesson to Yosemite Sam's Scrooge (perfect casting if I ever heard it).
5. A Garfield Christmas Special (1987): Of all the strips Peanuts inspired, Garfield was the one which achieved similar success. Naturally, this success led to TV specials, including this one where Garfield reluctantly spends the holidays with Jon and Odie as the farm where Jon grew up.
4. Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983): This take on Charles Dickens's classic book A Christmas Carol has Mickey as Bob Crachit, Goofy as Jacob Marley and (naturally) Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge.
3. It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown (1992): I guess we shouldn't be surprised that A Charlie Brown Christmas would eventually get a sequel. This time we actually get more than one plot line, such as Charlie Brown trying to get a present for his lady friend, Peppermint Patty trying to get out of writing a book report, and several of the gang trying to get through the Christmas play.
2. Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952): Although they were usually paired with Donald Duck, Chip and Dale this time must contend with Pluto after Mickey takes their tree down to use for Christmas and the chipmunks realize that, after their home has been decorated, they like their tree's new look.
1. Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales (2002): Peanuts again. This is actually a collection of shorts with the gang preparing for the holidays.