Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.
If you are anything like me, your favorite part of the holidays is the TV specials that come with them. Although I am an adult male, my favorite holiday specials of any kind are cartoons, especially those that date back to before I was born. There is something that just brings me back to a simpler time when watching those cartoons was my only concern in the world. For that reason, I have cultivated this list of Thanksgiving cartoons that the kids (or you) can enjoy while the turkey is cooking and the adults are conversing.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
I am not the biggest fan of Charlie Brown, but Peanut's Holiday Specials are some of the most iconic holiday specials of all time. Instead of retelling the same old story of the Pilgrims, this special focuses on Charlie Brown's bad luck and the fact that everyone takes him for granted. Of course, everything works out in the end and we remember the real reason that we celebrate Thanksgiving.
Chucklewood Critters: The Turkey Caper
If you have read any of my other holiday cartoons lists then you know how much I love the Chucklewood Critters. There is just something about these specials that are so retro but still engaging. This special mixes together a new story along with a telling of the story of the first thanksgiving. Just like any Chucklewood Critters special, there is some mischief and a lesson to be learned in the end.
The Mouse on the Mayflower
If the name Rankin/Bass doesn't resonate with you, you have never paid attention to the credits of a holiday special. The Rankin/Bass team was the force behind almost every iconic TV holiday special, especially the claymation specials. This special happens to be an animated show brought to you by R/B and focuses on the story of the first thanksgiving from the trip to the new world all the way through the first Thanksgiving. Of course, being a children's special, it is told through the story of an animated mouse who was the real hero of the Pilgrims.
Garfield has his own special for every major holiday and they are all classic. This one isn't the most coherent special (it focuses more on a Garfield diet than it does on the Holiday). What it does have is the classic Garfield humor along with John's Grandma who may be one of the best characters ever created in the history of cinema. If you like the tubby tabby you will enjoy this special.
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House of Mouse: House of Turkey
This is a newer special, but no less fun to watch. It is a fresh story that revolves around Mickey and his friends as they celebrate Thanksgiving at the House of Mouse. If your family is a fan of Disney this one is a slam dunk for 30 minutes of Thanksgiving viewing.
A Bonker's Thanksgiving Special
If you are around my age you may remember the short-lived animated show Bonkers. I absolutely loved the show, partially because it lived up to its name. This short episode is set in pilgrims' time, but offers all of the ridiculousness of the Bonkers cartoon. Kids and parents will love this special even if it does only run for about 7 minutes.
Qbert: Thanksgiving for the Memories
TV and movies have been profiting off of video games since their invention. This is why there was really a cartoon based on the video game Qbert and that cartoon spawned a Thanksgiving special. It is another retelling of the story of the pilgrims, but it is still worth the watch for a bit of TV time travel.
Care Bears: Grams Bear's Thanksgiving Surprise
This is one that the kids will eat up. When a Sour Sam comes to town and feeds everyone crabby apple pie the whole town gets crabby and cancels their Thanksgiving Day festivities. Luckily Grams Bear is there with her happy apple pies to combat Sam; but wait! Sam kidnaps Grams Bear. Luckily Share Bear shows up and foils Sam's plan and the world lives happily ever after thanks to the Care Bears.
Max Fleischer Cartoons
Here is where the + comes in. Instead of giving all of these cartoons separate entries I thought it would be best to lump them together. I absolutely love these old cartoons because they remind me of my Grandma's house, where watching old Max Fleischer cartoons was all there was to do at her rural South Dakota home. Please be aware that these cartoons come from another era and some people may find their content to be insensitive, however, I would not say that any of them are inappropriate or downright offensive. I guess that would be up to our discretion.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments if there is a classic Thanksgiving cartoon that I have erroneously left off of the list.