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  #1  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:34 PM
installLSC installLSC is offline
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Forgotten Christmas specials/movies

I stumbled upon "It Happened One Christmas", a remake (or perhaps ripoff) of "It's A Wonderful Life", with Marlo Thomas cast in the George Bailey role. I remember this as a very little kid, but haven't seen it aired in around 30 years. Any Christmas specials or movies you've seen in the past that seen to have disappeared?
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:38 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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"A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story"
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:40 PM
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"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" with Loretta Swit.


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  #4  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:48 PM
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The Star Wars Holiday Special.
Quote:
The Star Wars Holiday Special has never been rebroadcast or officially released on home video. It has therefore become something of a cultural legend, due to the "underground" quality of its existence. It has been viewed and distributed in off-air recordings made from its original telecast by fans, which were later adapted to content-sharing websites via the Internet.
You never said it had to be good.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:54 PM
thirdwarning thirdwarning is offline
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Mac Davis did a Christmas special one year, at least part of which centered around a time in the future when the official holiday was known as Commerce Day and celebrating Christmas was forbidden. I remember a scene where people were hiding in one room in somebody's house, singing Christmas carols and police or somebody broke in, but that's about all.
Somewhere in the late seventies, early eighties, maybe?
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:00 PM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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The Star Wars Holiday Special.

You never said it had to be good.
Sadly, that doesn't really qualify as 'forgotten'; repressed, maybe, but not forgotten.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:20 PM
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The Nutcracker on CBS (I think), narrated by Eddie "Oliver Wendell Douglas" Albert, ca. 1967.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:06 AM
Hermione Hermione is offline
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In a more just world, Ziggy's Gift would be every bit as beloved as A Charlie Brown Christmas. (Look for it on YouTube; the uploads in two/three parts are a better quality than the one in one part.) I know the comic Ziggy comes in for a lot of ribbing but this special just embodies everything that the holiday is supposed to be about--love, charity, kindness, giving selflessly to try to make others' lives better. It may be a help that Ziggy doesn't speak in the show at all--he comes off as more Chaplinesque.

And I love the fact that although his city is full of poverty, corruption and other social problems, Ziggy does not allow it to taint his outlook and ends the show having made a difference to several people.

Others--well, there are many. A rather well-animated Nativity story called The Night The Animals Talked, for one thing. And The Night Before Christmas--not the Rankin/Bass one but a fictionalized animated retelling of how Clement Clarke Moore came to write the poem.

There's also Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus--not the CGI one they aired a couple years ago (which wasn't bad in itself) but a 1974 animated retelling from the Bill Melendez studio, which made the Peanuts specials. The children's character design looks VERY Peanut-ish, although a bit cruder, and the adult design is rather wonky. Furthermore, it has quite a bit of multiculturalism for what's supposed to be a late 19th-century setting--one of Virginia's friends is African-American and another is Chinese (the son of a restaurant-owner). Still, it has its share of charm--not least in the kids' line deliveries, which, like the Peanuts specials, seem natural and unforced.
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:10 AM
Rahne McCloud Rahne McCloud is offline
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John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together. I have the cd and I remembering watching it in the 70's.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2012, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
"A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story"
That's what I came here to say. Best special ever.

Do they ever show "Olive, the Other Reindeer" anymore? I thought that was cute.
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  #11  
Old 12-06-2012, 07:44 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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"A Garfield Christmas" had the classic bit where two grown men burst into their parents' bedroom on Christmas Eve -- no, hold on, that's not quite right; they waited until one minute past midnight, which they excitedly insist is technically Christmas morning, and so let's start opening the presents!
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:03 AM
Corcaigh Corcaigh is offline
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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (the one with Burl Ives narrating) was shown once when I was a kid and never (afaik) shown on TV again, but it is now available on DVD
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:05 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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A Carol for Another Christmas, written by Rod Serling. Think of it as A Twilight Zone Christmas. It had an impressive cast, was directed by Joseph Mankiiewicz, and scored by Henry Mancini. As far as I know, broadcast only once in 1964, and never available on video. You could see it if you went to the Museum of the Moving Image in New York (now the Paleyy Center), and nowhere else.

According to Wikipedia, it's going to be broadcast this year (!):

Quote:
Turner Classic Movies has recently announced that it will telecast Carol for Another Christmas for the first time in forty-eight years, on December 16 and 22, 2012. [3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_f...ther_Christmas


Unfortunately, I don't get TCM.
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Rahne McCloud View Post
John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together. I have the cd and I remembering watching it in the 70's.
I have that CD. I thought it was just a Christmas album they made - I didn't know it was from a TV special!
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:07 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Corcaigh View Post
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (the one with Burl Ives narrating) was shown once when I was a kid and never (afaik) shown on TV again, but it is now available on DVD
This is intended as a joke, right?



The Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer that's not well-known is the Max Fleischer-directed 1948 color cartoon based on the original book by May:

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/...1a6shfd4&&tt=b
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  #16  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:09 AM
AtomicDog AtomicDog is online now
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Originally Posted by Corcaigh View Post
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (the one with Burl Ives narrating) was shown once when I was a kid and never (afaik) shown on TV again, but it is now available on DVD
Is this a whoosh?
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:27 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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The one I like best is the first made-for-TV Christmas Cartoon*, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. I've got it on VHS and DVD, so I can watch it every year. It still shows up occasionally on TV, but it's not vetry commonly shown.



Good UPA animation, and songs by Broadway songwriters Jule Styne (Gypsy, Funny Gitl, Sugar ,and others) and Bob Merrill (Sugar, Hello Dolly and 1950s novelty tunes). Surprisingly faithful (right down to including the dismissive "Walk---er!" near the end). With the voices of Jim Backus, a surprisingly amiable Jack Cassidy, an underused Morey Amsterdam, and the great Paul Frees.


It convinced TV to give us more Mr. Magoo in clasics as the series Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo, showing how badly they could misread the public -- it was more cartoon Christmas specials that were wanted, not more prime-time Magoo classics. we didn't get it until Rudolph and Charlie Brown a couple of years later




*unless you count the Disney "From All of Us to All of You" offerings, which I don't
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:30 AM
Casey1505 Casey1505 is offline
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Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas.
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2012, 08:42 AM
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I picked up a DVD of a bunch of forgotten Christmas specials, including a one-hour version of Miracle on 34th Street with Thomas Mitchell as Kris Kringle. Probably the best remake, since it keeps the original story, though it rushes through it terribly.

There's also "So-Called Angels," the absolutely amazing Christmas Episode of My So-Called Life. I watch it every year.

There's also The Great Rupert, an early George Pal film about a squirrel who saves Christmas. The special effects were some of the best for the time period and started Pal's career in Hollywood.
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  #20  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:33 AM
Hermione Hermione is offline
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Originally Posted by Casey1505 View Post
I'm not sure I'd call that one forgotten...not when so many Muppet fans adore it, and there's a live stage version at the Goodspeed Opera House that I think plays every year. (From what I'm given to understand, it's mostly good, with some good new songs from Paul Williams, but adds a human character who's hearing the story and takes part in it, which is a bit odd.) But in the sense that they don't play it regularly, then yes.

And a huge yes to the John Denver and the Muppets special. C'mon, guys, you released the Rocky Mountain Holiday special on DVD--why not this one?

It's a shame--ABC Family used to run a wide variety of old TV specials on their 25 Days of Christmas--everything from the more familiar Rankin/Bass shows to Raymond Briggs' The Snowman and way more obscure stuff that hadn't been seen in years. But now all they play is rather lame live-action movies and the more well-known R/B stuff.
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:43 AM
Uncle Jocko Uncle Jocko is offline
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Originally Posted by installLSC View Post
I stumbled upon "It Happened One Christmas", a remake (or perhaps ripoff) of "It's A Wonderful Life", with Marlo Thomas cast in the George Bailey role. I remember this as a very little kid, but haven't seen it aired in around 30 years. Any Christmas specials or movies you've seen in the past that seen to have disappeared?
I absolutely remember seeing this. The interesting thing for me was, I hadn't seen nor heard of "It's A Wonderful Life" at the time I saw this on TV, so I didn't know it was based on better material. My younger self thought it was very good. Of course, since I finally got to see Jimmy Stewart do his thing a few years later (and had the good fortune to play George Bailey onstage once myself!), I definitely feel a connection to "Wonderful Life," but still have an appreciation for Marlo Thomas as my first exposure to the story.

On topic, before the advent of DVRs and DVDs, I used to record TV Christmas specials on VHS so our kids could watch them whenever they wanted. One of the ones we taped was the Claymation Christmas special featuring the California Raisins. That has some really, really fun moments (my personal favorite is the walrus skating dance, with the penguins getting in the way). You don't see that one on TV any more, I don't think.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:43 AM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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The "Married With Children" Christmas episode that spoofed "It's a Wonderful Life". With Sam Kinison as the angel trying to get his wings.

It's still on in reruns occasionally, but AFAICT there's no effort to broadcast it near Christmas.
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:52 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Originally Posted by Casey1505 View Post
Well, if we're going Henson, how about The Christmas Toy, the hour-long Christmas special that Toy Story sorta kinda ripped off years later. Really, the plots are just about identical: the old favorite toy (Rugby the tiger) is about to be replaced by a new, space-themed toy (Meteora) that doesn't understand at first that she's just a toy.

Edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Jocko View Post
On topic, before the advent of DVRs and DVDs, I used to record TV Christmas specials on VHS so our kids could watch them whenever they wanted. One of the ones we taped was the Claymation Christmas special featuring the California Raisins. That has some really, really fun moments (my personal favorite is the walrus skating dance, with the penguins getting in the way). You don't see that one on TV any more, I don't think.
LOVED that special. Their version of "Carol of the Bells" is still one of my favorites.

Last edited by Max Torque; 12-06-2012 at 09:53 AM..
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  #24  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:55 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
Well, if we're going Henson, how about The Christmas Toy, the hour-long Christmas special that Toy Story sorta kinda ripped off years later. Really, the plots are just about identical: the old favorite toy (Rugby the tiger) is about to be replaced by a new, space-themed toy (Meteora) that doesn't understand at first that she's just a toy.

Edit:



LOVED that special. Their version of "Carol of the Bells" is still one of my favorites.
Meteora looks way sexier than Buzz Lightyear.


I've never heard of this one before. Thanks!
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  #25  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:56 AM
Hermione Hermione is offline
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Originally Posted by Uncle Jocko View Post
Of course, since I finally got to see Jimmy Stewart do his thing a few years later (and had the good fortune to play George Bailey onstage once myself!), I definitely feel a connection to "Wonderful Life," but still have an appreciation for Marlo Thomas as my first exposure to the story.
Ooh...were you in a straight play or the (sadly underappreciated) musical with music by Joe Raposo and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick?

If you guys want some interesting forgotten specials, visit Platypus Comix's Island of Misfit Christmas Specials.

There's one that originated around the Philadelphia area--The Spirit of Christmas. It's done entirely with marionettes. The first half is an enactment of The Night Before Christmas, with rather cartoony-looking (and somewhat creepy) puppets. But the second half is a dramatization of the Nativity with amazingly lifelike puppets and detailed sets. If you can get past it looking like The Gospel According to Thunderbirds it's well worth watching.
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  #26  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:01 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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A Carol for Another Christmas. . .
Unfortunately, I don't get TCM.
I have a copy.
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  #27  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:04 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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There's also Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus--not the CGI one they aired a couple years ago (which wasn't bad in itself) but a 1974 animated retelling from the Bill Melendez studio, which made the Peanuts specials. The children's character design looks VERY Peanut-ish, although a bit cruder, and the adult design is rather wonky. Furthermore, it has quite a bit of multiculturalism for what's supposed to be a late 19th-century setting--one of Virginia's friends is African-American and another is Chinese (the son of a restaurant-owner). Still, it has its share of charm--not least in the kids' line deliveries, which, like the Peanuts specials, seem natural and unforced.
And Frank Church sounds like a trombone: WAH, Wah-wa-wah, wah WAH wa Wa-wa-wah.*










That's trombone-speak, of course, for YES, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.
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  #28  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:18 AM
ZPG Zealot ZPG Zealot is offline
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Mac Davis did a Christmas special one year, at least part of which centered around a time in the future when the official holiday was known as Commerce Day and celebrating Christmas was forbidden. I remember a scene where people were hiding in one room in somebody's house, singing Christmas carols and police or somebody broke in, but that's about all.
Somewhere in the late seventies, early eighties, maybe?
OMG, I remember that. That would be interesting to see again.
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  #29  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:20 AM
MegaBee MegaBee is offline
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That's what I came here to say. Best special ever.

Do they ever show "Olive, the Other Reindeer" anymore? I thought that was cute.
I just got that.
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  #30  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:18 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is online now
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My favorite Christmas movie is Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. They played it every year on PBS and I watched it...until they stopped. I eventually got it on VHS when I was in high school and then got it on DVD in the last 10 years. Now I have 3 copies on DVD.

There was a previous Sesame Christmas special A Special Sesame Street Christmas which was stupid and has gone away.

There's a newer special called Elmo Saves Christmas which I think is pretty good. It's got a good premise and some very cute jokes. I don't know how much it was on TV, but I was already 17 when it was made and I had it on VHS. I didn't buy it on DVD.

There's an even newer Christmas special from Sesame Street featuring Abby Cadabby but...meh.
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  #31  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:24 AM
Uncle Jocko Uncle Jocko is offline
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Ooh...were you in a straight play or the (sadly underappreciated) musical with music by Joe Raposo and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick?
Straight play. Our set was awesome - we had a bridge span soaring over a corner of the stage for the "contemplating suicide" scene. I didn't know there was a musical version ... Joe Raposo, you say?
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  #32  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:31 AM
Jeep's Phoenix Jeep's Phoenix is offline
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Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
Well, if we're going Henson, how about The Christmas Toy, the hour-long Christmas special that Toy Story sorta kinda ripped off years later. Really, the plots are just about identical: the old favorite toy (Rugby the tiger) is about to be replaced by a new, space-themed toy (Meteora) that doesn't understand at first that she's just a toy.
I really liked this one! I probably have a copy in my old VHS collection.

I remember a very lengthy animated movie that aired on Cartoon Network a few times...I think it was called "The Life and Times of Santa Claus". I only saw part of it; I think it was OK. The movie ends with Santa dying in his sleep, only to be brought back by some angel/fairy because he has so much to give to the world (or something like that).
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  #33  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:36 AM
James Otto Sweet Heart James Otto Sweet Heart is offline
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I hope that Ernest Saves Christmas is never forgotten about, may Jim Varney rest in peace.

God bless you and his family always!!!

Holly
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  #34  
Old 12-06-2012, 11:47 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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Originally Posted by Corcaigh View Post
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (the one with Burl Ives narrating) was shown once when I was a kid and never (afaik) shown on TV again, but it is now available on DVD
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
This is intended as a joke, right?
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Originally Posted by AtomicDog View Post
Is this a whoosh?
Unless I'm mistaken, Friend Corgaigh is on the Emerald Isle. In such a situation, it's entirely plausible that the Rudolph special was not an annual occurrence in the household.
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  #35  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:02 PM
Telemark Telemark is online now
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I just got that.
My job is done here...
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  #36  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:17 PM
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Got it for my son years ago. Got lost in one of our many moves (cheaper than paying rent). For a few years it was a Xmas tradition for us to watch it together.
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  #37  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:26 PM
Casey1505 Casey1505 is offline
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I'm not sure I'd call that one forgotten...But in the sense that they don't play it regularly, then yes.
Forgotten in that networks fail to show it anymore. Nothing listed here is literally forgotten.

Would have mentioned Scrooged, but some station showed it recently.
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  #38  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:42 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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Would someone please explain to me how the Flintstones can celebrate Christmas?
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  #39  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:47 PM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Would someone please explain to me how the Flintstones can celebrate Christmas?
They don't live in our stone age. They live in a future stone age following some dreadful apocalypse. Hence their efforts to copy half-remembered present day technology in stone/wood/live animals and their celebration of Christmas. You really didn't know this?
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:52 PM
Corcaigh Corcaigh is offline
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Unless I'm mistaken, Friend Corgaigh is on the Emerald Isle. In such a situation, it's entirely plausible that the Rudolph special was not an annual occurrence in the household.
Correct!

I was very excited to find the fillum (that's how we say film here) on DVD and feckit no one had a clue what I was talking about!
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  #41  
Old 12-06-2012, 02:45 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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Do they ever show "Olive, the Other Reindeer" anymore? I thought that was cute.
Cartoon Network is supposed to air it on 12/16.

Barbara Mandrell had a Christmas special that ran twice on CBS; I think the only part of it that's available on YouTube is the part where Irlene saws Barbara and Louise in half.
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  #42  
Old 12-06-2012, 02:53 PM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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In the Philadelphia area, The Spirit of Christmas, featuring the Mabel Beaton Marionettes, was a holiday staple in the 1950s and 1960s. I happened to catch it last year, so I guess it's still not totally forgotten. Here is a clip.
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  #43  
Old 12-06-2012, 03:01 PM
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The Littlest Angel. I think it was Johnny Whitaker.
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  #44  
Old 12-06-2012, 03:08 PM
longhair75 longhair75 is offline
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Bob Hope in The Lemon Drop Kid
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  #45  
Old 12-06-2012, 03:34 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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They don't live in our stone age. They live in a future stone age following some dreadful apocalypse. Hence their efforts to copy half-remembered present day technology in stone/wood/live animals and their celebration of Christmas. You really didn't know this?
Ah. So Bamm-Bamm (in his later incarnation) is a Teenage Caveman?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_Cave_Man
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  #46  
Old 12-06-2012, 04:10 PM
thirdwarning thirdwarning is offline
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Speaking of A Miracle on 34th Street, there was a version done with Sebastian Cabot as Kris Kringle.
I don't remember that is was all that good. I just like Mr. Cabot.
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  #47  
Old 12-06-2012, 04:49 PM
crowmanyclouds crowmanyclouds is offline
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The Cinnamon Bear

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Originally Posted by Jeep's Phoenix View Post
... I remember a very lengthy animated movie that aired on Cartoon Network a few times...I think it was called "The Life and Times of Santa Claus". I only saw part of it; I think it was OK. The movie ends with Santa dying in his sleep, only to be brought back by some angel/fairy because he has so much to give to the world (or something like that).
The Rankin-Bass production of L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus?
IMHO the best non-Christian Christmas story.

CMC
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  #48  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:27 PM
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That one is my favorite of the Rankin/Bass specials.
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  #49  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:43 PM
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I miss the "_____(fill in name of celebrity) Family Christmas" specials they used to show. (I think PBS actually did recently air an Andy Williams Family Christmas from years gone by.) Andy Williams, Dolly Parton, Kathie Lee Gifford, Perry Como, The King Family. You know, celebs and spouses and kids and hangers-on, arriving at a snowy cabin in a one-horse sleigh, singing carols in front of a roaring fire, just One Big F'ing Happy Family. Always ends, "from our house to your house, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." Just no call for that kind of sentimental retro thing any more.

Oh, I came here to mention a Muppet Christmas show I saw years ago, the Muppets all gathered at a farmhouse for Christmas during a snowstorm, waiting for Miss Piggy to show up. I had that one on VHS, it was charming as heck.
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  #50  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:56 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Two come to mind:
(1) National Lampoon's "Savage Christmas"
(2) a long forgotten movie, starring Lloyd Bridges -"Silent Night, Lonely Night"
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