The holiday season has begun! It’s time to wear your Christmas pajamas, make hot cocoa, and start your holiday countdown with these classic claymation Christmas specials.
There’s something magical and nostalgic about holiday movie nights. You cozy up on the couch with friends and family for the annual rewatch of a holiday classic. Many films stand the test of time, even almost 60 years later and the claymation TV specials from the 60s and 70s still reign as the top Christmas films each year. Here is your guide to claymation Christmas classics to watch this holiday season!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 4, 2018
This film has aired every year since its release in 1964, making it the longest-running TV special in American history. Audiences fell in love with Rudoplh’s memorable character and the relatable residents of the Island of Misfit Toys. People universally connect with Rudolph’s insecurity about being different. Despite his insecurity, Rudolph overcomes adversity and uses his red nose for good. The stop-motion special is based on the famous Christmas carol of the same name and is a must-watch every holiday season.
Watch the film during Freeform’s “25 Days of Christmas” on Dec. 20 at 8:15 p.m. EST/PST, Dec. 21 at 5:15 p.m. EST/PST, Dec. 24 at 5:35 p.m. EST/PST, and Dec. 25 at 3:30 p.m. EST/PST.
The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
The Little Drummer Boy (1968) is about an orphan who has his life changed when he meets three wise men on their way to Bethlehem. Classic film star Greer Garson narrates the program. The program has a history of #TV network showings. #TCMParty pic.twitter.com/g05hlq0pdN
— Hollywood Remembered (@ridethepastlane) August 14, 2021
The Little Drummer Boy is another TV special based on a Christmas carol. Unlike most holiday films, this one focuses on the religious side of Christmas rather than the commercial side. A young orphan boy disappointed by humanity has a life-changing moment when he meets three wise men en route to Bethlehem. The special is heartwarming and highlights the spiritual side of the holiday season.
Catch the film during Freeform’s “25 Days of Christmas” on Dec. 16 at 7:00 a.m. EST/PST.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)
Watching the little Rankin/Bass film Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
Love this film. It’s so fun and heartwarming, and helps makes it feel like Christmas. ☺️ pic.twitter.com/12rKSByGMM
— 🦃🍂🍁♜ Kali (she/her) ▴🍁🍂🦃 (@SuperGrobanite) December 13, 2022
Fred Astaire voices a mail carrier who tells the magical tale of the origin of Santa Claus and describes how he built and cultivated this joyous holiday. He informs the audience why Santa lives at the North Pole, why he delivers presents, and how his operation started. The film gave us the iconic and memorable song “Put One Foot In Front of the Other,” which leaves audiences whistling the tune days after.
You can watch the film during Freeform’s “25 Days of Christmas” on Dec. 4 at 5:10 p.m. EST/PST and midnight PST/EST, Dec. 20 at 9:55 p.m. EST/PST, Dec. 21 at 3:35 p.m. EST/PST, Dec. 25 at 10:30 a.m. PST/EST and 5:00 p.m. EST/PST.
The Year Without Santa Claus (1974)
The movie “A Year Without a Santa Claus” is the best Christmas movie and I’m not sure it’s close. It’s because of these guys. pic.twitter.com/OL4p18Mrxv
— Kyle Dawson (@RealKyleDawson) December 25, 2019
What if Santa Claus never delivered presents? This stop-motion film highlights a year when Santa has lost all motivation to do his job. Worse than that, he is no longer the jolly man we know him to be. Mrs. Claus, his hardworking elves, and his reindeer set out to restore Santa’s faith in people and reignite the spirit of Christmas within him! This film introduced audiences to the iconic Heat Miser and Snow Miser characters. This special reminds us all of the importance of holiday cheer.
You can watch the film for free on TNT with a cable subscription or rent it from multiple streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Apple TV, and a premium Hiulu subscription.
Jack Frost (1979)
“Jack Frost” cartoon, 1979. ❄️ pic.twitter.com/1wWwQcu84r
— Groovy History (@GroovyHistory) December 14, 2020
When an immortal winter sprite, Jack Frost, saves a human girl from an evil Kubla Kraus, she professes her love to him, and he falls in love with her. Jack becomes a human and helps a brave knight win over his maiden love, bringing out the theme of generosity and selflessness of the holiday season. The character Jack Frost has since been seen in other Christmas films, including The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.
You can watch the film for free on Tubi or with an Amazon Prime Video subscription.