A Charlie Brown Christmas

– Charles M. Schulz (1965)

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a 1965 animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Produced by Lee Mendelson and directed by Bill Melendez, the program made its debut on CBS on December 9, 1965. In the special, lead character Charlie Brown finds himself depressed despite the onset of the cheerful holiday season. Lucy suggests he direct a neighborhood Christmas play, but his best efforts are ignored and mocked by his peers. After Linus tells Charlie Brown about the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown cheers up, and the Peanuts gang unites to celebrate the Christmas season.

Peanuts had become a phenomenon worldwide by the mid-1960s, and the special was commissioned and sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. It was written over a period of several weeks, and animated on a shoestring budget in only six months. In casting the characters, the producers went an unconventional route, hiring child actors. The program’s soundtrack was similarly unorthodox: it features a jazz score by pianist Vince Guaraldi. Its absence of a laugh track (a staple in US television animation in this period), in addition to its tone, pacing, music, and animation, led both the producers and network to predict the project would be a disaster preceding its broadcast.

Contrary to that apprehension, A Charlie Brown Christmas received high ratings and acclaim from critics. It has since been honored with both an Emmy and Peabody Award. It became an annual broadcast in the United States, and has been aired during the Christmas season traditionally every year since its premiere. Its success paved the way for a series of Peanuts television specials and films. Its jazz soundtrack also achieved commercial success, selling 4 million copies in the US. Live theatrical versions of A Charlie Brown Christmas have been staged. ABC currently holds the rights to the special and broadcasts it at least twice during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

– Dr. Seuss (1966)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a 1966 Christmas animated television special directed and co-produced by Chuck Jones. It is based on the eponymous children’s book by Dr. Seuss, the story of the Grinch trying to take away Christmas from the townsfolk of Whoville below his mountain hideaway. Originally telecast in the United States on CBS on December 18, 1966, it went on to become a perennial holiday special. The special also features the voice of Boris Karloff as the Grinch and the narrator.

The Night Before Christmas

Silly Symphony (1933)


The Night Before Christmas, also known as Santa’s Toys, is a 1933 American Pre-Code animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by United Artists. Part of the Silly Symphony series, the film is an adaptation of Clement Clarke Moore’s poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, popularly called The Night Before Christmas. The film was directed by Disney animator Wilfred Jackson.

Santa’s Workshop

Silly Symphony (1932)


Santa’s Workshop is a Disney short film directed by Wilfred Jackson, first released on December 10, 1932 in the Silly Symphonies series. The film features Santa Claus and his elves preparing for Christmas in Santa’s workshop. A sequel, The Night Before Christmas, partially based on A Visit from St. Nicholas, was made the year after, portraying Santa leaving the toys in a house with nine children.
In Sweden and Norway, Santa’s Workshop is part of the Christmas television special From All of Us to All of You, traditionally shown at Christmas Eve. Various stereotypes in the film have been censored several times.
The short features the first of the Marche Militaires by Franz Peter Schubert.

Solar Walk

– Réka Bucsi (2018)

“The journey of individuals and their creations through time and space. Any meaning of action is only existent from the perspective of the individual, but never mandatory when looking at it from the perspective of a solar system. It’s about the melancholy of accepting chaos as beautiful and cosmic.”

Winner of the Short Film Award at 2018 Berlinale, and grand prizes at 2018 Ottawa, Bucheon, and New Chitose Airport animation festivals.