It’s Christmas. The time for good tidings and cheer. What better way to get into the spirit of the season than by streaming some classic Christmas cartoons? Here are five of the best that you can watch for free on YouTube.
The first animated Christmas special for television was Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol in 1962. This classic was a holiday staple for decades on broadcast television. It. like many classics has faded from view. The full program is not available on YouTube, but here’s a clip:
The success of Mr. Magoo opened the floodgates and the animated television classics that we know today, most of which were produced in the 1960s and 1970s, soon followed.
Classic Christmas Cartoons That You Can Watch For Free On YouTube
There are many Christmas cartoons that you can enjoy on YouTube for free, but here are five of my favorites.
1). Ziggy’s Gift
Ziggy’s Gift is an example of a Christmas cartoon classic that been lost to time. The special was produced in 1982. It aired on ABC, and is an absolute gem of sincerity, love, and kindness. The special won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program in 1983 and contains the original song Give, Love, Joy composed by Harry Nilsson.
Best of all, you can watch it for free:
2). A Garfield Christmas
It was the 1980s, and a big orange lasagna-loving cat was one of the most popular characters both in comic strips and on television. This special was a Christmas holiday tradition that was broadcast on CBS from 1987 to 2000. Creator Jim Davis has said that it is semi-autobiographical. In typical Garfield fashion, it is both a little bonkers but also tender and good-hearted.
3). The Snowman
The Snowman is a beautifully animated, touching, and slightly melancholy story that remains a broadcast staple and a classic in the UK. In the US, it spent decades airing on HBO. It is another classic from that good Christmas TV cartoon year of 1982 that you can enjoy for free:
4). Hardrock, Coco, and Joe
Hardrock, Coco, and Joe is the story of three of Santa’s elves. If you grew up in the Chicago area or in Western Pennsylvania, the virtual daily airing of this cartoon, usually after school, was a staple of the Christmas season. The 1951 classic was aired by both WGN in Chicago and WJAC in Johnstown, PA.
It is just 3 minutes long, but if you watch this video, the song will be stuck in your head.
5). Frosty The Snowman
We could not end the list without some Rankin/Bass. Frosty The Snowman is a 1969 animated classic that features Jackie Vernon as Frosty, and Jimmy Durante in his final role as the narrator. This Rankin/Bass special is animated and, for my money, holds up better than the equally classic Rankin/Bass Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Enjoy These Free To Stream On YouTube Classic Christmas Cartoons
For many of us, these specials are a trip back to childhood, and a reminder of Christmas’s of long, long, ago, as the famous carol goes. They are also reminders that the Christmas spirit is timeless and enduring. No matter what is happening in the world around us, the spirit of Christmas can lift us all.
Please enjoy these specials and we will have more to share with you throughout the holiday season.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association