Article by George Zadorozny

A great man named Romeo Muller wrote all of the following animated Christmas specials, which I believe are the finest ones ever:

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
  • The Cricket on the Hearth (1967)
  • The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
  • Frosty the Snowman (1969)
  • Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970)
  • Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976)
  • Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
  • The Stingiest Man in Town (1978)
  • The Little Rascals Christmas Special (1979)
  • Jack Frost (1979)
  • Pinocchio's Christmas (1980)
  • The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold (1981)
  • The Wish that Changed Christmas (1991)
  • Noel (1992)

There is also a 1993 animated film called "The Twelve Days of Christmas," which was based on a sketchy outline by Mr. Muller and completed after his death by another, who lacked Romeo's magical touch. It was released by Goodtimes Home Video. The second half of the video has a wonderful biographical film about Mr. Muller, which is eminently worth seeing.

Also by Mr. Muller are many wonderful non-Christmas animated films, including:

  • Dorothy in the Land of Oz (1980)--also known as "Thanksgiving in the Land of Oz"
  • The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town (1977)
  • The Emperor's New Clothes (1972) (voices: Danny Kaye, Imogene Coca)
  • The Flight of Dragons (1986) (with additional material by Jeffrey Walker; for young adults)
  • The Hobbit (1977); The Return of the King (1980) (based on J.R.R. Tolkien's works; for young adults)
  • Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)
  • It's a Brand New World (1977)
  • Mouse on the Mayflower (1968)
  • Peter and the Magic Egg (1983)
  • Puff the Magic Dragon (1978)
  • Puff the Magic Dragon in "The Land of the Living Lies" (1979)
  • Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody (1982)
  • Return to Oz (1964) (voices: Susan Conway, Carl Banas) --also known as "A Return to the Mystical, Magical World of Oz"
  • Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979) --also known as "Rudolph and Frosty"
  • Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976)
  • The World of Strawberry Shortcake (1980)
  • Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City (1981)
  • Strawberry Shortcake in "Pets on Parade" (1982)
  • Willie Mays and the Say-Hey Kid (1972)
  • The Wind in the Willows (1987) (voices: Charles Nelson Reilly, Roddy McDowall, Jose Ferrer)

So if you're looking for great gifts for kids--or if you're a kid at heart--these films will provide a glorious feast.

George Zadorozny



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