"... and it was on that day I made the snowman." In 1982, the film adaptation of Raymond Briggs 1978 children's book The Snowmanwas released on British television. The original release begins with a short narration by the Briggs, but a later version replaced him with David Bowie gently rocking a toy horse in an attic. Besides the opening narration, the film is without talking and is accompanied by a score by Howard Blake. It yielded the hit We're Walking in the Air which peaked at #5 on UK pop charts when Aled Jones covered it in 1985 (here he is many years later on This Morning Programme singing along with a video of himself as a boy). Last year, a sequel called The Snowman and the Snowdog was released to mixed reviews.
Sponsored by Xerox and the United Nations, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, scripted by Rod Serling, scored by Henry Mancini, starring Sterling Hayden, Eva Marie Saint, and Robert Shaw, and featuring Peter Sellers as a post-apocalyptic pseudo-Randian cult leader in a spangly hat—it's A Carol for Another Christmas, the rare 1964 television special in which three ghosts teach a melancholy industrialist a Christmas lesson about the virtues of multilateral peacekeeping!
This year's festive Doctor Who Christmas episode will feature a new companion, a new theme tune and title sequence and a new look to the Tardis interior! But look out for those scary Snowmen! [more inside]
In honor of Christmas, Splitsider's Mike Drucker runs down twenty Christmas TV episodes, new and old. It all starts with The Dick Van Dyke Show... [more inside]
Sure, we all know that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is broadcast every year in the US as a Christmas tradition, and that Sweden basically closes every year from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on December 24th to watch Donald Duck, but what about other countries? [more inside]
For television stations around the world, December is the season of the Christmas tape. Unlike ordinary blooper reels, Christmas tapes (also known as goof tapes) are produced as entertainment for the staff Christmas party, with the intention that they will never be seen by the general public. Tropes of the genre include cruel practical jokes, after-hours misuse of the studio's green screen, in-jokes about unreliable equipment, sarcastic assessments of colleagues' work habits, and the usual piece-to-camera screwups. The B-B-C's tradition of in-house production, however, has ensured that its Christmas tapes contain such oddities as indecent daleks, Nazi weather presenters and on one occasion, a rather bad sci-fi film. Most links mildly NSFW.
80s era holiday television complete with antenna, TV guide, and remote.
Time to kill while waiting for Santa to arrive/dinner to digest/family to leave? Well, here's a Very Special Holiday Episode fpp just for you. God bless us, every one. [more inside]
Park your carcass in front of the TV for the next six weeks. Here is the upcoming broadcast schedule for every show that has even the tiniest connection to The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Merry Christmas, Interweb! Though it's become part of a larger media conglomerate, the Chicago T.V. station famous for Bozo the Clown has dusted off some old footage from its archives. Among the goodies converted to Flash format are a Frosty the Snowman cartoon which inspired a bit of online detective work, as well as a more recent holiday favorite, The Yule Log.
The Ten Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time. From An Algonquin Round Table Christmas to Noam Chomsky: Deconstructing Christmas, these are the worst Christmas specials ever. I'd pay good money to see the Ayn Rand one for real.
'tis the season for ... Rankin-Bass TV specials! The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass is a fan-site devoted to the distinctive animation of Arthur Rankin, Jr and Jules Bass. In addition to extensive and interesting background information on your favorite Christmas specials (like Rudolph), you can also learn about lesser-known specials such as The Ballad of Smokey the Bear. The site also includes some rare video clips, including a pencil-test from Frosty the Snowman. There is also a very complete section on the Rankin-Bass TV series, Thundercats. Please also see additional note inside....
The Best Thing on Television in 2002 The WPIX Yule Log makes its triumphant return.
Commentary on the state of morning TV? A New York TV station ran a two hour video of a burning piece of wood on Christmas day and it beat Good Morning America, etc. in the Nielsens.
Was Christmas TV really ever all that special? 'Off The Telly' reviews three decades of Christmas Day television in Britain. "It's funny...that Christmas time is actually an excuse for some of the worst TV atrocities of the year to be inflicted upon us. Christmas telly does not equate with quality. And yet, never does TV become a more integral part of our own family or personal routines and traditions. And never are we so receptive to a gathering of disparate middle-of-the-road celebrities and their stale party pieces." And for the ultra-cynic, TV-Go-Home's Charlie Booker presents an alternative schedule.
Christmas movies: I have noticed that Christmas movies, especially made-for-TV Christmas movies, come in two flavors: someone discovering the "true meaning of Christmas", or somebody saving Christmas. Sometimes the two are combined. Are there Christmas movies out there without these plots?