Welcome to the first edition of THE BASEMENT’S TIMELESS TELEVISION. In this series I will be covering television shows and tv movies that to me, can be watched over and over again, without losing their charm. Though some may come across as dated, they still hold your interest and create the same emotional response as the first time you saw them.

Since it is early December, I thought I would start by talking about a Christmas special that aired in 1977, called A COSMIC CHRISTMAS. This Canadian-produced animated special, by a company called Nelvana, was considered for an Best Animated Short Academy Award. I vividly remember seeing the commercials for this special and was drawn right in not only for the animation, but for the story itself.

Three aliens from an unknown planet, who bear a strong resemblance to the three Wisemen, visit Earth to know the true meaning of Christmas. Peter, a young boy, and Lucy, his goose, are the first to encounter them. Unable to find the true meaning of Christmas in town, Peter takes them to his family’s house in the woods. While Peter’s grandmother tells the aliens about her memories of Christmas, Marvin, one of the town’s bullies, steals Lucy.

In the chase to rescue Lucy, Marvin falls through the ice in a lake. Peter attempts to rescue him but falls into the lake as well. The townsfolk, who were out searching for the aliens, attempt to save the boys but their human chain is not long enough to reach them. The three aliens, who had sworn not to interfere with events on Earth, decide to help in order to learn the meaning of Christmas. The rescue effort is successful.

Original animation cell.

The townsfolk are quick to condemn Marvin for stealing Lucy, but have a change of heart when they realize that Marvin stole Lucy because he had nothing to eat. Peter offers Marvin and his friends the chance to join them for Christmas dinner and the aliens realize that family and the spirit of forgiveness are the true meaning of Christmas.

Upon first viewing this, I knew it was going to go into my Christmastime rotation of Christmas specials. Though it was repeated for a few years, it eventually was no longer shown, at least to my knowledge. It was released on videocassette in the early 1980s but that is now out of print. To date it has not been released on DVD or Blu-ray, which is a shame as it is a great holiday special with an even better message. I think A COSMIC CHRISTMAS would greatly benefit from a remastered digital release but for now, it is streaming on Amazon.

Make sure to read other entries in my BASEMENT’S TIMELESS TELEVISION series.

~David Albaugh

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