The Little Drummer Boy is one of the more classic Rankin/Bass stop motion Christmas specials. It was released in 1968, based off the song of the same title. For those who don’t know, it is the story of Aaron a young boy full of hatred for all people. Fate leads him to the manger of the Christ child where he realizes that his hatred was wrong.
This and Mr. Krueger’s Christmas are probably the shows that I watch that are the most closely related to the actual biblical story of Christmas. And sadly they are my least favorites. I actually didn’t intend to watch this one tonight. I was going to save it until a little later, but I was short on time today, and this is the shortest show that I have left to watch this year. It’s actually good that this one is the shortest, because if it had been any longer I might have dropped it from my annual tradition.
Speaking of dropping shows from the tradition, this is something that I do from time to time, and I want to talk about that today. There have been several shows that have been dropped for one reason or another. Some of them I didn’t like that much, others I lost the VHS tapes of them, and didn’t bother trying to recover them. But I want to at least list some of them today.
Babes in Toyland was dropped mostly because I didn’t feel it was very Christmasy. Sure it featured a toy factory at the very end of the film, and I think maybe even Santa was in it, but for the most part it just didn’t feel like much of a Christmas movie to me. There are several different versions of this film, but I believe the one I watched regularly was the 1961 Disney version.
Silent Mouse was a fictional story of how a mouse helped in the creation of the song Stille Nacht (Silent Night). I dropped this one because I thought it was boring.
The Other Wise Man was a more biblical themed animated special about a fourth wise man who journeyed to see the Christ child, but all along the way he gave the gifts that he had for the Christ child to those in need. He finally made it to Jerusalem as an old man about the same time that Christ was being crucified. I looked this up and couldn’t find it. There is a 1985 live action film with the name The Fourth Wise Man, but this is not the feature that I used to watch, though it is the same story. I dropped this one because the VHS tape was lost, and I didn’t care enough to try to find another copy.
That’s really all the ones I can think of right now that I’ve dropped. Some that were dropped for years, have also been added again. I’ll mention which ones as I watch them. In a future post I’ll mention some of the films that I have seen, but weren’t quite up to the standards that would get them into the annual tradition.