Today, December 24th, is Christmas Eve. We are going to present two cartoon films about this joyous and holy holiday season featuring our legendary animal friends: “The Star” and the 1948 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The film “The Star” transports us back to “Nazareth, 9 months B.C.” A kind and loving Mary is visited by an angel telling her that she has been chosen to bear the Son of God, the Messiah. Just at that moment, a new star rises in the sky glowing brightly in the night, preempting a Light that will uplift the whole world. Our main character is a young donkey who is chained to a grinding wheel, walking around and around in a never-ending circle. Donkey’s best friend, Dave the Dove, is determined to help make his dreams come true. When they see the new star rising, they know that their time has come. Finally, they escape, chased vigorously by the miller. Donkey hurt his ankle during the pursuit and ends up looking for refuge in Mary and Joseph’s courtyard, where the couple have just gotten married. Directed by Timothy Reckart, “The Star” is a beautiful 2017 animation film that retells the Nativity of Jesus from the animals’ point of view and is a “must-see” for Christmas audiences.
In 1939, Robert Lewis May worked for Montgomery Ward, a popular department store, and was assigned to write a “cheery” Christmas book for shoppers. Thus, the most famous reindeer, Rudolph, was created. In 1948, Robert May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, adapted the story into a song that immediately became a number one hit. Since then, the story has been published in various books and made into many movies. Today, we are going to present the short film made in 1948, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the very first telling of the story on screen. Directed and produced by Max Fleischer, this inspiring short film shows us that when we are different from others, it may be a special gift from God!