I have an eternally nostalgic heart and with only a few days till Christmas, I’m taken back to my years of making wish lists for Santa.
As someone who was in elementary school up in the early 2000s many of my Christmas memories are tied up in the Christmas Specials I watched during the week-long Cartoon Network Christmas Party.
Yes, I love Frosty and Rudolph but for me, thanks to the awesomeness that was kids’ programming at the beginning of the new Millennium, it’s just not Christmas without these gems:
1. Yogi’s First Christmas Perhaps it’s because it’s Yogi’s First Christmas, but when it comes to Hanna-Barbera Christmas specials I have to watch this one first. During the winter bears, even the picnic basket ones like to sleep in. But, in this movie, Yogi and Boo-Boo decide celebrating Christmas at the Jelly Stone Lodge would be more fun than hibernation. It’s a wild ride with singing and a great group of ensemble characters.
2. Wakko’s Wish
Helloooo nurse, this Animaniacs movie isn’t just hilarious but in addition to illustrating why it’s a bad idea to sing about one’s secrets out loud it shows the importance of having hope in trying circumstances. In the town of Acme Falls, the townspeople are miserable because of a tyrannical, money hungry king whose taken them all they’re worth (this movie aged well didn’t it?). Yakko, Wakko, Dot and the other regulars in hopes of achieving their various dreams go out in search of the wishing star. This movie taught me way back when not to be passive about your dreams, that sometimes your happy ending isn’t what you think it’ll be, and to cheer up and never give up hope.
3. The Flintstones: A Christmas Carol
This may be my favorite take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Thanks to the play within the movie, we’re treated quite a few eternally relevant lines from the classic. Plus, through Fred Flintstone letting his leading role as Ebenezer Scrooge in the community play go to his head, there’s no shortage of advice about self-reflection in this play.
4. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Of all origin stories about Santa Claus, without a doubt, this super underrated one is my absolute favorite. It follows the story of Nicholas a very caring human boy left in the Forest of Burzee, a mystical place where faeries, nymphs, and a host of magical creatures live. Because of his profound capacity for compassion, Nicholas chooses to spend his life making toys and bringing joy to often unhappy children of the human world. With a lot of help from his friends.
5. It’s A Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special:
I’m a sucker for cartoon spins on heavy adult movies. As the title suggests this is a take on It’s a Wonderful Life. In Tiny Toons, Buster Bunny’s having a crisis on Christmas Eve because of some scroogy interfering and wishes he was never on Tiny Toons. He nearly erases himself, but luckily an angel intervenes and shows him Acme Acres would be worse off without him. If you need something lighthearted this should be your go-to.
6. The Smurfs Christmas Special
So it’s Christmas and you get lost in the woods and your Grandfather gets hurt. Who better to save you than the Smurfs? This special is sugary sweet and shows even villains deserve a break on Christmas.
7. A Flintstone’s Christmas
Remember that time Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble took over for Santa Claus because old Saint Nick broke his leg? I do. So, while nearly missing a very important Christmas event, the dynamic duo go around the world delivering presents. This special has some of the best Hanna-Barbera original Christmas songs.