It’s Gaudete Sunday on Dec. 11, the third Sunday of Advent, and one of our Advent-wreath candles has turned rose with joy (because that’s what Gaudete means in Latin). And what could be more joyful than some of the season’s favorite music, turned into animation and performed by amazing voices? Those are just a couple of the things on tap in this week’s Advent calendar of TV and streaming offerings.
Glad tidings of great joy to all!
December 11, Third Sunday of Advent:
“Little Drummer Boy” on Freeform, 7 a.m. ET/PT: From the same animation studio that brought you “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” this stop-motion special is based on the classic song about a boy who doesn’t feel he has a gift fit for a newborn King. Grab it on the DVR as one of the few Christmas specials that actually features the Nativity.
Here’s a bit (SPOILER ALERT — it’s from the end!):
“Yes, Virginia” on Hulu – Eight-year-old Virginia has always loved Christmas. But when her friends make her doubt the existence of Santa, she ventures into the big city to find the truth.
“An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas” on Amazon Prime – A precocious 10-year-old living in 1950s Florida tries her best to make sure polio patients at the local hospital have the best Christmas ever.
“Miracle on 34th Street” on Amazon Instant Video – When a sweet old man who insists he is Santa Claus is deemed insane and put away, a young lawyer argues his case by trying to prove the old man is in fact the jolly elf himself! BTW, this is the original 1947 version with Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood (both friends of Family Theater Productions — the photo at left is on our office wall).
December 13, Third Tuesday of Advent:
“Caillou’s Holiday Movie” on Hulu – When winter comes to Caillou’s house, this curious four-year-old tackles all kinds of big-boy activities, like helping Daddy shovel snow and making presents for his family.
December 13, Third Wednesday of Advent:
“A Pentatonix Christmas Special,” 8 p.m. ET/PT: The Grammy-winning five-person a cappella group, which first came to prominence as winners of NBC’s singing competition show “The Sing Off,” has been releasing annual Christmas albums for years. Now the singers brings their mix of modern songs, classic carols and faith-filled favorites to NBC in a one-hour special. Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson co-star.
Here’s a taste from the 2015 album:
December 15, Third Thursday of Advent:
“Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas” on Hulu – Everyone’s favorite bionic policeman, his niece Penny and faithful dog Brain are out to save Santa Claus and Christmas from the bad guys.
December 17, Third Saturday of Advent:
“I Want A Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown!” 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, on Netflix (DVD only) or Amazon Video – Linus and Lucy’s younger brother, Rerun, wants a dog for Christmas, and Snoopy’s brother may be the answer.
“Handy Manny: Flicker Saves Christmas” on Hulu – Santa enlists the help of the greatest
handyman in the world to make all of his deliveries.
Images: Courtesy Pentatonix/NBC; Family Theater Productions; Entertainment Partners Limited