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Every year, it seems as if there are more and more new Christmas specials for kids and adults alike to watch. That said, there are always the old standbys, the classics that we can’t help but watch every year. Without further ado, here are the Top 5 Animated Christmas Specials:


1. “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”

It’s impossible not to create a list of holiday musts without mentioning this Dr. Seuss classic TV special from 1966. The great Boris Karloff voiced the mean, green singing machine known as the Grinch. At this point, almost everyone has witnessed the tale of the Grinch leaving his home atop Mt. Crumpit to rob the Whos from Whoville of their Christmas joy. Yet each time we watch the Whos as they sing their songs and sway, it feels as if our hearts also grow two sizes that day.

2. “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

Few iconic characters are as engrained in the celebration of holidays in the U.S. as Charlie Brown, and that is evident by this perennial Christmas favorite. As usual, Charlie Brown is feeling down in the dumps, this time about the fact that the holiday season seems overrun by materialism. While not many people could satirize the commercialism of Christmas while reinforcing the importance of friendship and togetherness as the kids gather around that silly little tree, but Charles Schulz isn’t most people.

3. “Shrek the Halls”

Something of a modern Christmas classic, “Shrek the Halls” brought Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and the rest of the fairytale gang back for this 30-minute special. Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy all returned to voice their characters in this fun, festive story as Shrek gets overwhelmed by the holiday season. Of course, in the end, the day is saved, because all Shrek had to do was peel back his ogre layers and let his friends in.

4. “The Year Without a Santa Claus”

With all of the Rankin/Bass specials produced over the years, it’s difficult to sift choose between them all. But in the end, perhaps the greatest and most original of the series is “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” when some of the strangest stop-motion animated characters came out to play. A particular highlight is the battle between the heat Miser and the Snow Miser, which culminates in the arrival of Mother Nature.

5. “Frosty the Snowman”

Curiously, 1969’s “Frosty the Snowman” is one of the few Rankin/Bass specials to be fully animated and not a stop-motion classic. Frosty returns with the help of a magic hat and he brings his new pals along for the ride, and if one thing is certain, it’s impossible to get the title track out of your head once you hear it. Like many of the specials, this one is a little bittersweet, as Frosty can’t stay with his friends too long. But the magic remains and as we hear Frosty say, “I’ll be back on Christmas Day!”

Do you disagree? Name your favorite animated Christmas special in the comments section below!