Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977 TV Short)
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I'm glad though Nestor finds a better life as Mary & Joseph's donkey, who carries Mary all the way to Bethlehem, where she then has baby Jesus.
I always loved the Rankin Bass specials that gave the real meaning of Christmas storylines the best anyway.
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!
Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey is a 1977 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions. The production is first rate. The story moves along and it was made by Rankin-Bass. However beware Nestor's mother dies and its very sad. I would not allow a child under 5 to watch.
Of all the Christmas animation special that Rankin Bass made this is one of the better ones.
Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey also has an engaging and poignant story that rarely has a wasted scene in its short duration, good pacing and strong writing. The characters are wonderful, all of them serve a purpose to the story, are likable and the chemistry between them is believable. Especially the title character, who is so sweet and likable that you feel sorry for him and his predicament immediately. The voice acting from the likes of Paul Frees, Don Messick and Roger Miller are top notch and fit their characters beautifully, while the ending makes me cry like a baby, same with the early parts of Nestor's life which are beautifully realised.
In conclusion, poignant, honest and timeless Christmas special that still touches me. 10/10 Bethany Cox
The story is a simple tale about a misfit donkey, unloved due to his large ears and untrained clumsiness, who after suffering a series of setbacks discovers that he is indeed important and of value after he successfully transports Mary and Joseph to the manger leading to the birth of Jesus. He accomplishes this through his own determination despite his past hardships.
Some viewers may find the program's content hard to stomach in some parts...there is some minor bullying of Nestor by the other characters, and of course his mother dies after sheltering him from a blizzard. But at the conclusion, one will see that even the bullies discover how wrong they assuming that Nestor was useless simply because he was different from everybody else...they were humbled just knowing that none of them would have been able to pull off what the little donkey managed to do.
The story is one of the few specials airing that focuses on the religious and true meaning of the holiday (at least for Christians). And while secular characters such as Rudolph and Santa are featured, their roles are only minor cameos..one such scene being the heartwarming finale showing all the familiar faces surrounding a nativity scene reflecting on what is truly the "reason for the season".
John 3:16 ><>
I thought Rankin/Bass did a good job in creating another Christmas classic, with the soundtrack, the story line, the moral (which I do not mind at all); Roger Miller (voice from Disney's Robin Hood) was superb. There is even some real history in this on the Roman Empire. So overall, I love this TV special.
Some people may get caught up in the low tech animation (Tilly's wires always manage to show themselves). I also get a kick out of the lame expressions on Olaf's dog's face.
This is a must see for all children. All of us think we were dealt a hard lot in life. This movie teaches children that their perceived weakness can be a real strengths. I always loved the Rudolph story, but this one hits me far harder. I highly recommend it.
In the first five minutes, we were treated to a vivid account of poor little Nestor's abusive childhood, his banishment from the stable, and then how his mother FROZE TO DEATH while trying to protect him. We found ourselves, two well-adjusted adults in their 30s, crying uncontrollably and frantically punching the remote control to change the channel to anything, anything at all, even QVC.
So, admittedly, the rest of the movie might be terrific and if so, then enjoy it by all means. But honestly, if it's too brutal for grownups, then it's probably too brutal for the little ones.
My only negative criticism is that I do think it is foolish that Nestor went back to his birthplace. Why would he do that??? I believe he would just continue on with his life wherever he happened to be, but now he believes in himself and in God's leading.
Anyone remember Cabbage Patch Christmas, how about Christmas comes to Pac-Land, too many to list here! Well that being said, The Peanuts (all of them) are classic in their own right too! Before I ramble more, TV series shows also have some quite clever Christmas themed episodes as well.
Check this out. You won't be disappointed.
***1/2 outta ****