The Animated Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present

This weekend in the world of cartoons, a lot of shows are still off, but we are greeted by the once-in-a-year joy of holiday specials! My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the sole new bit of regularly scheduled animated joy this week, but a new Robot Chicken special airs to fill the void. We also take a look at some holiday faves from the past.

As always - minor spoilers ahead!


My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - "Power Ponies"

The ponies step into some tights and become superheroes this week, all to battle a villain by the name of "Mane-iac". If you like "so-bad-they-are-good" puns, this promo clip is for you.


Robot Chicken Born Again Virgin Christmas Special

A new Robot Chicken? I'm in. The Rankin/Bass duo of Heat Miser and Cold Miser co-star with a Dickensian Ebenezer Scrooge. The gem of a special is a Santa's Workshop training video, which sheds light on the many ways elves can die on the job.


Star Wars Holiday Special

Part of my own holiday tradition, this awful(ly good) special features Chewbacca's grandfather looking at sensual holograms and the first appearance of Boba Fett. What more could you ask for? Bea Arthur. You could ask for Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak of The Golden Girls arguing with Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes, and surprisingly, you would get it.


The Smurfs' Christmas Special

This animated gem aired on NBC in 1982, and it might be the most frightening Christmas special of all-time. The Smurfs are joined by a few more humans than usual in this episode, with a gentle grandfather and his grandchildren taking center stage as they carol on a sleigh. Things take a turn when the grandfather is attacked by a wolf and rendered unconscious (and possibly dead), followed up by Gargamel refusing to help the kids. This isn't even the strangest part - as the finale nears, a supernatural being in the vein of 'Ol Scratch appears to torment Gargamel. Weird, just weird.


Top image courtesy of Cartoon Network.