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Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)

An outcast donkey in Roman era Judea with overlong ears finds his destiny on the way to Bethlehem.


Romeo Muller




Complete credited cast:
Roger Miller ... Speiltoe / Narrator (voice)
Brenda Vaccaro ... Tilly (voice)
Paul Frees ... Santa Claus / Olaf / Donkey dealer (voice)
Don Messick ... (voice)
Linda Gary Linda Gary ... (voice)
Iris Rainer Iris Rainer ... (voice)
Shelly Hines Shelly Hines ... (voice)
Eric Stern Eric Stern ... Nestor (voice)


Back in the days of the Roman Empire, a small donkey is born with VERY long ears, that keep getting him into trouble. When his owner throws him out of the stable in disgust, his mother sacrifices her life to save him from a blizzard. And, guided only by his guardian cherub (Tilly), he has to find his rightful place and destiny, somewhere on the road to Bethlehem. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How a Brave Little Donkey Helped Make the First Christmas Happen! Floppy-eared Nestor doesn't look much like a hero...but he proves he's got more than enough courage and love as he takes Joseph and Mary on the wondrous journey to Bethlehem.



Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Riffed by Michael J. Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988) fame, under the Rifftrax line of comedy audio tracks, movie riffs, and live events. See more »


In Tilly's first scene, the wire supporting her is visible at one point. See more »


Follow the Angels
Music by Maury Laws
Lyrics by Jules Bass
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User Reviews

Available on DVD (Secondary to "A Year Without a Santa Claus")
27 November 2004 | by ann_outsiderSee all my reviews

For those of you who have never seen this show, please try to find it on DVD. I bought my favorite Rankin/Bass Christmas shows on DVD this year. I was very pleasantly surprised to find this favorite from my childhood on the same DVD as "A Year Without a Santa Claus" (another real fave of mine).

Sure, there are some sappy moments in Nestor, but the story is very touching and heart-warming. I wish there were more Christmas shows on television brave enough to acknowledge the birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christ as the reason for the season.

And a short response to another poster about the blizzards in Rome... the beginning of the story sets it in Europe during the Roman rule and occupation... the cherub then guides Nestor over a long period of time to a stable closer to Bethlehem. As a child I never picked up on Nestor having to wait for a while to go to Bethlehem, but seeing it as an adult it touched me that we all at times have to wait for our opportunity to serve in some way and it might not come when we want it to, but when our Father does. But I digress.... a great Christmas treat!

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Release Date:

3 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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