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- "The First Christmas" is also the title of a 1998 clay-animated short film by Xyzoo Animation.
|The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow|
|Directed by||Jules Bass
Arthur Rankin Jr.
|Narrated by||Angela Lansbury|
|Running time||22 min.|
The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow is a Christmas television special produced in stop motion animation by Rankin-Bass in 1975. It runs a half-hour (with commercials) as opposed to Rankin/Bass' standard hour format. It is narrated by Angela Lansbury, and co-stars Cyril Ritchard.
A young shepherd, Lucas, is blinded by lightning, and some kindly nuns at a nearby abbey take him in. Sister Theresa describes snow to Lucas, who has never seen it. Lucas gets chosen to play an angel in the abbey's Christmas pageant, and the Christmas snow that falls during the pageant works a small miracle. The film contains a performance of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas".
The film's title actually refers to the Christmas pageant the orphan children put on on Christmas Eve, though the title could also refer to the first time Lucas actually experiences snow after his sight returns.
It originally premiered in 1975 on NBC. In later years, it aired on CBS, usually as the last Rankin/Bass special aired for the season. ABC Family airs the special each year. A VHS version is also available.
It has been released on DVD in October 2, 2012.