Thursday, November 28, 2013

Best Thanksgiving Specials

10. Bugs and Daffy's Carnival of the Animals (1976)
Not really related to Thanksgiving, but Wikipedia lists this as a Thanksgiving special and it used to air on the holiday.  This was the first new Bugs Bunny cartoon in 12 years and one of their first television specials.  This features Bugs and Daffy playing music from Camille Saint-Saens.  There is live-action footage of the orchestra and creative limited animation.  Not amazing, but fun enough.  This lead to Bugs Bunny's Thanksgiving Diet a few years later, which was a half hour special featuring theatrical shorts.

9. Berenstain Bears Meet Big Paw (1980)
Before their fun 1985 Saturday morning cartoon the creations of Stan and Jan Berenstain had a few primetime specials.  Mama Bear scares her children into being nice by telling them that the frightening Big Paw will show up if they are greedy and unthankful.  However Papa Bear gets gluttonous on Thanksgiving and everyone has to learn a lesson.  Not the most fun or most educational Berenstain Bears story, but these characters are always fun.

8. Fall Float Parade (2005)
Due to the lack of Thanksgiving specials I get to include three Homestar Runner shorts.  This one is a send up of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It features Homestar's Sweatshirt Float, Strong Bad hitting Snowmen with nunchucks, and best of all two Homsars.  Coach Z and Marzipan's banter is very quick and well written.

7. This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers (1988)
It may be a little odd to see Charlie Brown and friends as Pilgrims and interacting with adults (who you see).  Watched this one on Netflix and actually enjoyed it quite a bit.  Not the best Peanuts have ever been, but it is something different and just pleasant.

6. Garfield's Thanksgiving (1989)
Garfield gets put on a diet right before Thanksgiving.  This premise writes itself and it is pretty fun.  Jon's Grandma makes another appearance and Liz the veterinarian is a great character.  Also, I never realized this but legendary Lou Rawls sang the theme song.

5. Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving (1998)
Several short, unmemorable songs aside this is a very good holiday special.  Pooh and the gang try to put together a traditional Thanksgiving but naturally things get mixed up.  These are just such pleasant characters and it is fun to see their unique take on a familiar holiday.  Notable as being the last appearance of the character of Gopher, who was always one of my favorites.

4. Twenty THANXty Six (2008)
Another one from .  The Brothers Chaps created a spoof of anime without ever actually watching any anime.  Stinkoman learns how to give thanks without the use of farm equipment. Just absurd and ridiculous.

3. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
It isn't a holiday without Charlie Brown.  This one has certainly aged more than A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with its pop culture references, pacing and the Little Birdy scene.  But these characters are always great and there is a nice little story to it.

2. Let Us Give TANKS! (2006)
The best Homestar Runner Thanksgiving short.  The Cheat Commandos is their send up of GI Joe, and even though I am not from the eighties this spoof stands on its on.  Just nonstop quick jokes and great voice acting.  Always cracks me up.

1. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1948-present)
Not a special like the rest of these, but easily the biggest entertainment tradition that households have on Thankgiving.

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