The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow
|The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow|
|Written by||Julian P. Gardner|
|Directed by||Jules Bass
Arthur Rankin, Jr.
|Narrated by||Angela Lansbury|
|Music by||Maury Laws|
|Country of origin||United States
Arthur Rankin, Jr.
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Rankin/Bass Productions|
|Original release||December 19, 1975|
The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow is a 1975 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions which originally premiered on NBC on December 19, 1975. It is narrated by Angela Lansbury and co-stars Cyril Ritchard.
A young shepherd, Lucas, is blinded by lightning, and some nuns at a nearby abbey take him to a stable. Sister Theresa describes snow to Lucas, who has never seen it. Lucas gets chosen to play an angel in the stable'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".
- Angela Lansbury as Sister Theresa
- Cyril Ritchard as Father Thomas
- David Kelley as Lucas
- Dina Lynn as Louisa
- Iris Rainer as Sister Catherine
- Joan Gardener as Sister Jean
- Greg Thomas
- Don Messick
- Sean Manning
- Hilary Momberger as Octavia
- Dru Stevens
- The Wee Winter Singers as the Children Chorus
- Christmas Snow is Magic/Save a Little Christmas (opening version) - Children Chorus
- Save a Little Christmas - Father Thomas, Sister Theresa, Children Chorus
- Christmas Snow is Magic - Sister Theresa
- White Christmas - Lucas, Sister Theresa
- The First White Christmas - Children Chorus
- The First White Christmas (closing version) - Children Chorus
- Produced and Directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass
- Written by Julian P. Gardner
- Music and Lyrics by Maury Laws and Jules Bass
- Sound: John Curcio, Don Hahn, Dave Iveland, Tom Clack
- Post Production Editing: Irwin Goldress
- "Animagic" Production Supervisors: Akikazu Kono and Ichiro Komuro
- Design: Lester Abrams
- Music Arranged and Conducted by Maury Laws
The film's title actually refers to the Christmas pageant the orphan children presented on Christmas Eve, though the title could also refer to the first time Lucas actually experiences snow after his sight returns.
It originally premiered on December 19, 1975 on NBC. In later years, it aired on CBS, usually as the last Rankin/Bass special aired for the season. Freeform airs the special each year during its "25 Days of Christmas" programming block. A VHS version is also available from ABC Video Enterprises in 1987, and Warner Home Video on October 3, 1990 in the Holiday Treasures line.
It was also released on DVD on October 2, 2012. Warner Home Video repackaged the DVD release of the special along with three of other Rankin/Bass Christmas DVDs in the 4 Kid Favorites: Merry Masterpieces box set, released on October 13, 2015.