Friday, December 11, 2009

30 Days of Christmas: The Animated Favorites...

Animation, CGI, and other forms of non-live action entertainment have come a long, long way since the 1960s when Rankin-Bass released a stop-motion animation Christmas film based on the popular song of the same name, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Everyone knows the story of the reindeer outcast with the bright red-nose who was picked on by all of the others in Santa's employ until he was called upon to virtually save Christmas one year. However, what makes this simple story with even simpler FX the classic that networks insist on airing year after year for brand new generations, is its wholesome family fun message and sweet and adorable characters. When the substance is there, the style doesn't have to be so flashy!

The same goes for Frosty the Snowman, Rankin-Bass' few-years-later cartoon tale of the lovable snowman who comes to life to play with the children who created him. The snowman and his pals are drawn in "old-fashioned" 2D animation (though over time the colors have been boosted with new technology to avoid the "aged and worn" look that could so easily date the production), but to this day, everyone still loves to sing along and make friends with Frosty. He even has his own pages on MySpace and Facebook!

Now, I wasn't born yet when these specials first aired, and in all truth, I didn't get to experience them until about two decades after they initially premiered, but the magic still held up. And thanks to the wonder of DVD, the magic can exist for many more years to come, even if television stations begin to become a bit more cynical and start replacing these long-time favorites for some new flashes in the pan holiday fads.

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