I think it’s safe to say that most of us grew up on the Christmas specials produced by the Rankin-Bass team.  Even if you strictly watch Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer and nothing else, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without their specials.  Rather than just list the best specials they’ve ever put out, I’m going with the characters that kicked a little ass and took some names.

5. Albert, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas


Sure, he’s kind of a dick, but you have to hand it to him: telling Santa, on behalf of his entire town, to suck a fat one (in so many words) is pure A-personality shit.  He’s got a pretty strong pimp hand for a mouse that lives in someone’s clock.  Of course, he’s integral in the plan to get Santa to finally stop into town, so he does sort of issue a mea culpa, but it’s like if your boss fired you and made you clear out your entire desk, only to hire you back before you reached the elevator.  Albert swings mighty weight for someone so small.

4.  Baby Jesus, The Little Drummer Boy

nativity_little drummer boy_ tableau

If Albert wields power like a CEO, then Baby Jesus wields power like the Son of God.  Straight up, this itty-bitty baby has the power to have three kings travel thousands of miles to bring him gifts.  I couldn’t even get a guy in a cheap Ninja Turtles costume to show up to any of my parties.  This kid gets kings.  Not only that, but this baby’s eardrums must be made of steel because pimp baby that he is, rather than cry when some street urchin plays his snare drum, this kid smiles.

3.  Burgermeister Meisterburger, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town


Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is arguably the second-best Rankin-Bass production, despite its obvious xenophobic propaganda.  While Kris K is an OG in his own right, the cajones to ban toys in a town busting at the seams with dirty orphan children is the proverbial kick in the nuts to a bunch of children that are already saddled with the fact that they must grow up without a mom or dad.  He’s a classic Stalin/Kruschev/Gorbachov stand-in during the Cold War Era, even if he’s no doubt German.  Hayseed Americans really don’t care about the difference between Berlin and Berlin.

2.  Yukon Cornelius, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer


The Greatest Prospector of the North isn’t just on the hunt for silver or gold; Yukon’s a true adrenaline junky.  While Rudolph and Hermes shakes in their boots at the sight of the Abominable Snow Monster, Yukon takes on the big fella not once, but twice.  He even risks his neck by taking the hairy beast over a cliff.  Yukon Cornelius is “The Most Interesting Stop-Motion Man in the World”

1.  Heat Miser, The Year Without a Santa Claus


If you’re not paying attention to The Year Without a Santa Claus, it may seem like the Heat Miser and Snow Miser are equals in the world of Bad Assdom.  If you think that, you’re wrong.  The Heat Miser holds all the cards in this movie as the Snow Miser can’t do shit about making it snow in Southtown without his brother’s permission.  One insignificant town in the US and Snowy can’t bust his flurry nut.  But the Heat Miser isn’t a terrible man; he’s willing to bargain with his brother.  All he wants is control of the North Pole.  This is such a power move.  Heat Miser must have back problems, having to carry around his enormous sack.