Skip to main content

'Tis the Season: "The Little Drummer Boy" (1968)


We're back with a look at another one of the "classic" Christmas specials by Rankin-Bass.  This week, we check out one of my personal favorites, "The Little Drummer Boy"...

Aaron was a young boy who was filled with love and joy... and the ability to make his animal friends dance by playing the drum given to him by his parents.  When bandits destroy the innocent life he had, Aaron comes to hate humanity.

A chance encounter with three travelling kings puts him on the road to rediscovering what it means to love again...

The story for 1968's "The Little Drummer Boy" is a fair bit deeper (and darker) than the others by Rankin-Bass, which might account for why it's one of my favorite ones.  The themes of innocence lost, childhood rage at that loss, and learning to accept and move forward from that loss is certainly a fascinating counterpoint to the theme of holy redemption and faith.

Of the Rankin-Bass specials I've watched, I'd have to say that this is the only one that actually deals with the holiness of Christmas in a respectful and entertaining way.

While the characters aren't very three dimensional, they are still engaging as symbolic agents of the themes involved- adding more depth and texture to the special.

Also, the version of the song, "The Little Drummer Boy" used in this special is one of my favorite versions.  It's gentle, holy, and very human in it's approach to Christmas carols.

This is absolutely one of the Rankin-Bass specials that I consider "must watch" at Christmas.  A "Good".


Popular posts from this blog

#CocktailHour: Slushtail

  Summer approaches, inspiring thoughts of sunshine, backyard parties, and having a tip and sip with friends.  With that in mind, I bring you this week sunny beverage. To make a slushtail, mix a can of frozen orange juice, a can of frozen lemonade (or limeade), a can of pineapple juice, a couple cups of black tea (or English Breakfast), and two cups of bourbon- such as Southern Comfort, in a pitcher.  When it's all nicely mixed, put it in the freezer until it's a nice slushy consistency. Scoop the slush into a cocktail glass, and pour in some Sprite or 7-Up.  Add a little umbrella for some frivolous fun, and a straw. Voila!  Ready to enjoy. This is a very refreshing drink.  The fruit juices, Sprite, and bourbon- when chilled makes for a great punch-like drink.  The bourbon doesn't overwhelm juices.   In fact, they are all nicely balanced in terms of flavors.  The sourness of the citrus fruits contrasts well with the slightly sweeter Southern Comfort.  It was refreshing enou

Marcus Flor vs Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

In film, there's nothing I enjoy more than passionate creativity. Compared to the sea of mediocrity surrounding it, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is practically overflowing with it. This animated movie is vibrant, kinetic, and extremely inventive with its art style. On top of all that, this is just a solid movie. It tells its story with sincerity and tact, always focusing on the important aspects of Miles' emotional journey. The script wastes no time on pointless scenes or moments, which also gives the film an energetic rhythm that draws you in. One of the other great aspects of this movie is its reinvention of the Spider-Man story. It's clever writing demonstrates a true understanding of the webslinger, and offers commentary on the current state of his movie adaptations. In the end, you get a film both Spidey fans and non-fans can enjoy. Above all other aspects, what I like most about Spider-Verse is how fun it is. It demonstrates quality animation and filmmaking doesn

From The Basement - the "final" three

Just a gentle reminder From The Basement returns next Friday -- June 11 -- to the mighty Radio NL with an all-new episode! That's the good news. The bad news it'll be the first of our final three prime-time shows. What, you might ask? Are you bastards quitting AGAIN!?!? No. No we're not. We learned our lesson the last time. Shawn and I's long-running show will return to being "just a podcast," and not adhering to any set broadcast schedule. Why, you ask? Our lives are becoming increasingly busy outside of The Basement, and it's getting harder for Shawn and I to keep up with the latest movies, TV shows and entertainment news. We'd rather cease our weekly duties than produce an inferior product. Simple as that. Much thanks to Howie Reimer and the Radio NL crew for hosting us the last three years, first as a Friday morning segment, then as a prime-time series. It's been a blast! Don't worry, we're not coasting on these last three episodes. T