December 14th…“WERE THERE POPULAR CHRISTMAS CARTOONS YOU ENJOYED AS A CHILD?”
Nestled within the chambers of a child’s imagination are sparkling embers of fantasy. When an artist like Charles Schulz comes along, those happy embers are fanned into a joyous blaze of wonder. Music, gentle animation, voices and story-lines combined to create a sweet moment that makes an indelible mark on the lives of every child who treasured the television premier of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” back in 1965. Granted, I was a whole 11 years old that year, but hey, I was still a kid in the majority of ways and this delightful cartoon story made me smile and even caused me to become introspective of what Charlie Brown’s quest was all about.
What a deeply poignant moment it was when little Linus called for the house lights to be dimmed and a spotlight was brought to focus on his place there on the school stage while he shared the beauty of the Holy Scriptures. He told the Christmas Story from the book of Luke in the New Testament. I am moved, even to this very day, with that touching moment. Cartoon? Yes, but powerful?….. a resounding YES!!
In the following year of 1966, another team of creative artists brought to life a cartoon version of the Dr. Seuss book, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. The cartoon genius of Mr. Chuck Jones, and fellow artists, created a delightful moving animation that made all us kids cringe and giggle at the same time. And, who, but the “master of malice”, Boris Karloff, could create the narrative voice that was synonymous with evil as the Grinch spoke of the terrible things he’d do to the Who’s of Whoville! The masterful singing voice of Thurl Ravenscroft rendered the deep bass and growling sound to that classic song, “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. That unique Christmastime melody is happily stuck in the psyche of many a Baby Boomer Kid (those of us born between 1946 and 1964) to this present day.
The combination of these classics, and other fine Christmas entertainment, still hold a happy place in the HO HO heart of this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.