Archive for December, 2007
Let’s not forget the reason for the season. Trite as it may sound, this often repeated slogan is another way of saying Christmas is the time we celebrate Jesus’ birth — when the Son of God came to earth to live, and eventually to die so we can live forever.
This art appeared in “Dennis and the Bible Kids: Jesus” starring Hank Ketcham’s Dennis the Menace; copyright 1977. It appeared in the story “Dennis and Jesus” written by Fred Toole. This art is adapted from “The Nativity” by Gustave Dore (1866). Even in its simplicity, the picture is moving.
It was a full-page illustration that was printed on Page 3 of “Dennis and Jesus.” You can click on the following links to view the opening pages of the comic-story of how Dennis learns about Jesus: dennis&jesus1, dennis&jesus2 and dennis&jesus3.
I just finished viewing my copy of the 1974 Christmas special “Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus.” This is, I believe, a lesser known classic. This looks like a knock-off of a Peanuts special set in 19th century New York, but it’s not. “Yes Virginia” was directed Bill Melendez, the man who directed the old Peanuts TV specials. Although the children resemble those characters created by Charles Schulz, there are slight differences, and this show has adults. Something you won’t see in the Charlie Brown specials.
I bought this video tape used at a video store/tanning salon/coffee shop in Alliance. The front is a little faded from sitting in the sun (or too close to one of the tanning beds). The tape is hard to get out of the cardboard sleeve, too. The box must’ve shrunk while cooking in the sun. But the tape plays fine and It was fun seeing this show, one that I remember seeing when it was new 33 years ago.
“Yes Virginia” is based on the true story of young Virginia O’Hanlon, who in 1897 wrote a letter to Francis Church, editor of The New York Sun, asking him if there is a Santa Claus, because her father told her, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” His elloquent editorial published in response to her letter is touching.
One thing I didn’t remember is that the show is narrated by Jim Backus, who provided the voice of Mr. Magoo, and who also played millionaire Mr. Howell on “Gilligan’s Island.” At the end, it is revealed that the narrator is Santa Claus, who is seen standing on the stage of P.S. 16’s auditorium laughing like Mr. Magoo.
One of my favorite Christmas specials is “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.” Another classic in its own right. I saw it’s available on DVD by itself and as part of a set.