THE CHRISTMAS CLASSICS BLU RAY is a set of two blu-ray discs that contain for animated Christmas television specials: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town", "Frosty the Snowman", and "Frosty Returns."
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" – first broadcast in 1964 and loosely based off of the 1949 song by Gene Autrey (which was based upon the original story that was written by the 1939 story by Robert L. May for Montgomery Ward), this stop-motion animated show has become a Christmas classic. The story is narrated by Burl Ives (as Sam the Snowman). The special tells of how Rudolph was rejected by his friends and eventually saves Christmas. The special features many beloved characters that have become staples in pop culture: Hermey the Elf (he wants to be a dentist), the Abominable Snow Monster, the Island of Misfit Toys, and the miner Yukon Cornelius. In addition this special features songs such as "Silver and Gold" and "Holly Jolly Christmas". Running time is 53 minutes.
"Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" – first broadcast in 1970, this stop-motion animated special is an origin story about Santa Claus. It explains how a young man named Kris Kringle decided to get into the toy business and bring some joy to the children in Sombertown. It's not quite as memorable as some of the other stop-motion specials of the period. However, it is notable because it's narrated by Fred Astaire and also features the vocal talent of Mickey Rooney. Running time is 43 minutes.
"Frosty the Snowman" – first broadcast in 1969, this animated special is based upon the song of the same name. The special tells the story of how Frosty the Snowman came to life when the hat of a frustrated magician (Professor Hinkle) lands on his head. The special is narrated by Jimmy Durante. This is a regularly animated special. Running time is 30 minutes.
"Frosty Returns" – this animated special was first broadcast on tv in 1992. Other than the title character, the special has nothing in common with the 1969 special: Frosty looks and behaves completely different. The story is about how Frosty arrives to the town of Beansboro where Mr. Twitchell, a wealthy industrialist, has invented an aerosol spray that just melts snow away. The original "Frosty the Snowman" actually had two official sequels ("Frosty's Winter Wonderland" and "Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July"). However, the company that made the original special (Rankin-Bass) was sold and various media networks own the rights to the specials they produced. CBS owns the rights to "Frosty the Snowman" and ABC owns the rights to the sequels. So, CBS made their own sequel, "Frosty Returns" to include with any DVD or Blu-rays they sold of "Frosty the Snowman". The only thing worth mentioning about "Frosty Returns" is that it features John Goodman as the voice of Frosty and the voice of Jonathan Winters as the narrator.
The overall quality of these episodes is the same as if you were watching them on tv. However, the colors in the stop-motion specials seem to be more vibrant.
Overall, this is a good collection of Christmas specials that people of all ages will enjoy. It's great for viewing at Christmas-time whether with family and friends or just sitting out alone at home one night.
It should be noted this review is for the Blu-ray of THE CHRISTMAS CLASSICS COLLECTION. There is a DVD set out there and the DVD set actually has more three more specials on it.
These are great days for fans of classic animation and members of a whole new generation of potential fans alike. For the first time ever, Classic Media has assembled the beloved Rankin/ Bass Holiday classics into a single box-set in stunning high definition. The cardboard outer slip box spans 3 Blu-rays (each within its own standard-sized plastic case): Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (48-minutes), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (47-minutes), and finally Frosty the Snowman … more