Top 10 Music Moments from Children’s Holiday Films

First and foremost, Merry Christmas! Everyone at Rock On Philly wishes you the best of the holiday season filled with family, friends, and good cheer! As we gather together with our loved ones to celebrate, nostalgia for Christmas past has a way of warming our hearts at Christmas present. Here’s a fun list of music moments from childhood that are sure to add a little extra sparkle to your day. From the Muppets to Sesame Street to Rankin/Bass Classics to Winnie the Pooh and Fred Astaire, we’ve got quite the motley mix. If there’s something on this list you haven’t seen or haven’t seen in a while, be sure to spread the joy to a new generation of little ones.

(Note to readers, the list is not constructed in any particular order! It’s just a sampling of Rock On Philly’s faves. Feel free to comment below with your favorite musical moments from children’s holiday films!)

1. Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer (1964)- “Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer”
Who could forget this 1964 Holiday classic directed by Larry Roemer that tells the story of “the most famous reindeer of all” and even includes an abominable snowman & an elf who wants to be a dentist? Here’s a clip of Burl Ives as Sam the friendly Snowman & narrator singing the title track, “Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer.”

2. Frosty the Snowman (1969)- “Frosty the Snowman”
While I remember this movie being borderline traumatic when Frosty melted, overall, it’s a pretty feel good film, especially because there is a happy ending after all. A quick plot recap, Frosty comes to life after Professor Hinkle’s rabbit, Hocus Pocus, puts a magic hat on his head, which brings him to life. To keep him alive, the children decide to bring him to the North Pole where he will never melt.

3. A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)- “We Need a Little Christmas”
Who could possibly forget the magic of the Muppets & 1987’s “A Muppet Family Christmas?”I may be dating myself a little bit but I don’t care. Even the cast from Sesame Street joins the Muppets for this big Holiday Spectacular. That’s pretty darn special, my friends. Here’s the opening song, “We Need a Little Christmas,” but there’s plenty more where that came from!

4. A Garfield Christmas Special (1987)- “Gimme Gimme Gimme”
This opening scene and song has stuck with me all these years. Garfield dreams he gets a “Gift giving machine” on Christmas morning to the tune of “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.” Over the course of the show, however, he learns the true meaning of Christmas. Written & Directed by Jim Davis with original music by Desire Goyette and Ed Bogas, this holiday special is one of my all- time faves.

5. A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Meaning of Christmas (1965)- “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
What’s not to love about Charlie Brown? Their Emmy Award winning holiday special first aired in 1965 and features music from the Vince Guaraldi Trio. This particular clip includes the kids singing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)- “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
While the new version with Jim Carrey is enjoyable in its own way, I’m partial to the original 1966 cartoon of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, written by Dr. Seuss. With music composed by Albert Hague and the title track sung by Thurl Ravenscroft, this movie is a must watch for the holidays.

7. Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (1991)
While there are no specific songs with vocals in this Christmas special, the animation and soundtrack are top notch fun. This particular clip is from the original 1991 television release, which I remember quite well since my family taped it and watched the special year after year until our VCR ate the tape. Luckily it’s now available on DVD.

8. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974)- “Even a Miracle Needs a Hand”
I had forgotten about this film until it popped up on my Recommended Videos feed. (Thank you, Youtube!) There are a few memorable songs from this 1974 film including the clip below: “Even a Miracle Needs  Hand.”

9. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)- “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
This special is narrated by Fred Astaire! So cool. It’s been ages since I’ve seen this one. Here’s a clip from the title track:

10. A Christmas Carol (1971)- “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
I’ve always loved this version of Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol.” There isn’t a ton of vocal music but the song, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” appears at the beginning and ending of the film. The animation is based on John Leech’s original illustrations for the first edition of Charles Dickens classic novel. (1843

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