Originally aired as a half-hour special,in full color for NBC-TV on December 19,1968,the holiday special "The Little Drummer Boy" was an example of the "Animagic" that was timelessly captured by Rankin-Bass through the use of its brilliant storytelling along with its miniature settings and artistic direction under the supervision and guidance of its producers Arthur Rankin,Jr. and Jules Bass. Narrated by the great Greer Garson,"The Little Drummer Boy" was an exceptional tale,set in ancient times(the story takes place in Isreal),the half-hour special tells the story of a little boy named Aaron,a six-year-old orphaned drummer boy,along with his drum,and his three animal friends-a lamb, a camel,and a donkey-learned the lesson of love and the true meaning of the holy season by journeying with the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem to witness the birth of the Christ child. In 1968,the "Teachers Guide to Television" listed this holiday special as a "speciality selected program of educational value" prior to its network premiere for NBC.
Through the uses of "Animagic",with the backing of the Vienna Boys Choir with musical direction by Rankin-Bass favorite Maury Laws,this was one of the best of the holiday specials that was produced by the studio. Featuring the voice talents of Jose Ferrer, Teddy Eccles, along with the talents of Paul Frees,this was one of the joyous specials that was both entertaining and educational. However,NBC rebroadcast this special presentation several times from December 18, 1969 until December 23, 1980 on a annual basis. It has been showed on cable for the FOX Family Channel(aka The ABC Family Channel,aka The Family Channel and the former Christian Broadcasting Network),and other networks.
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