December 13th………“DURING YOUR YOUNG YEARS, ON YOUR FARM IN MINNESOTA, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE POPULAR CHRISTMAS CARTOONS YOU ENJOYED WATCHING ON YOUR BLACK & WHITE TELEVISION”??
Nestled within the chambers of a child’s imagination are sparkling embers of fantasy. Then, when an inspiring artist, like Charles Schultz, comes along, those happy embers are fanned into a joyous blaze of wonderment.
Like a meal for the mind, you add music, gentle animation, voices and magic-infused story telling and combine them together to create a sweet moment that makes an indelible mark in the lives of every child who treasured the television premiere 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 a majority of ways.
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 in his place, there on the school stage, while he shared the beauty of the Holy Scriptures. He told the Christmas Story from the New Testament Book of Luke. I am moved, even to this very day, with that touching moment. Cartoon? Yes. But powerful?……another resounding YES!
During 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 and yet moving story of animation that all us kids could cringe and giggle at, at the same time. And who but the “master of malice”, Boris Karloff, could create the convincing narrative voice that was synonymous with evil intent as the Grinch, himself. Dripping with malevolent overtones, The Grinch spoke of all the terrible things he’d do to the Who’s of Whoville. The deep, bass voice used to sing “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” belonged to none other than voice actor/singer, Thurl Ravenscroft, as he rendered that deep, despicable voice of his for this song. That gripping, unique Christmastime melody is stuck within the psyche of many a “Baby Boomer” (those born between 1946 to 1964) kid to this present day.
These classic Christmas cartoons, and many others, still hold a warm place in the heart of this HO HO HO Norwegian Farmer’s Son.