Saw it last night for the first time in almost 30 years.
OUTSTANDING. Saw this in my 5th grade class about 1981. Loved it at the time. Forgot the title for almost 3 decades, but always remembered the story fondly. Finally learned the title last night, and watched it online (first time seeing it since 1981). The kid in me loved it back then; now that the adult in me has seen it, it's possibly the best Christmas Special I have ever seen.
If you're from the 1970s or 80s and saw this in school (yes, these type of films were once shown in SCHOOLS), it will bring you right back to your grade school classroom for a half hour. It's worth it for that alone. In fact, for the nostalgic it's a "sure thing" if you saw it in school (or on TV) as a kid, and in 2010 (or beyond) you need it to be 1975, '76, '77, '78, '79, '80,'81, '82, or '83 again for about a half an hour.
If you've never seen it, watch it and enjoy, and consider showing it to your kids (I'll presume they WON'T see this in their schools anymore!). It's a great story, & well done production-wise. "The Stranger", played by Richard Chamberlain, looks & plays the role perfectly: right out of 1800s England, friendly to all but somehow odd & secretive in his mannerisms. The Narrator's voice is PERFECT for the story.
They really "don't make them like this anymore", and if you like it, it's one of those things you'll watch every year, & maybe "more than" once, when you DO watch it. A wonderful story. I can't say enough about it, or how pleased I was to locate it and see it again.
Whether you use this as a "time machine" to "take you back", or because you love a GREAT Christmas story that's actually "religious" (and makes no secret about it) but is well done and REALLY fun to watch for kids of all ages, then watch it again and again and enjoy.
Did I mention that the music throughout the cartoon sequences, is AWESOME?
Rated 11 or 12, maybe more, out of 10.
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