11 cartoon Christmas specials you forgot existed until now
There are a lot of traditions that come along with the holidays. Eating too much, spending too much, drinking too much, saying too much to that family member you hate once drunk, decorating too much. Anything that ends with us hating ourselves come New Year’s? We are all over it like ornament glitter on GODDAMN EVERYTHING.
For decades, one tradition that has taken root is gathering around the light of the television to watch Christmas specials. As such, certain ones have risen to the top of our frenetic desire to CHRISTMAS HARDER. Anything claymation from the 1960s (Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus), the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, and somehow the California Raisins are among the most instantly recognized animated holiday shows.
But they’re far from the only ones. Below, I’ve collected several of the more obscure bursts of nostalgia available for your pleasure on YouTube. Sadly, both The Flintstones and Jetsons Christmas specials are behind a Warner Bros. paywall because they are a hybrid of a Grinch and a Scrooge.
Felicitations of the season!
#1 - “The Smurfs Christmas Special”
There are some elements of classic fairy tales in this special. And not the happiness and light Disney version. We’ve got a trapped elderly grandpa, kids almost getting eaten by wolves, kids almost dying in the snow, and kids getting kidnapped by Gargamel to use as currency in an evil exchange. Oh, the Smurfs are in there somewhere, too.
#2 - “The Care Bears Nutcracker Suite”
A story within a story, this is basically some teacher buying time until Christmas break by regaling her students with “The Nutcracker Suite” with the Care Bears shoehorned in to keep their attention. For some reason, in this version the evil rats are led by an evil caricature of a Vizier, because reasons? Head’s up, this one is split into 6-parts because the YouTube gods are cruel.
#3 - “He-Man & She-Ra’s Christmas Special”
Of course they don’t have Christmas in Eternia! Don’t be ridiculous. Orko merely accidentally shot the Sky Spy so far off course that it rocketed out of the atmosphere and crash landed on Earth. Then He-Man and She-Ra accidentally teleport human children and their Christmas tree back to Eternia and shenanigans ensue. Duh.