Deadline: November 22, 2023

A still from A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

As we transition from the spooky allure of Halloween to the anticipation of winter holidays, the world of visual media content follows suit. As William D. Crump (2019) aptly noted in his encyclopedia of holiday animation, “Since the early 20th century, the film industry has been a potent force in perpetuating and promoting Christmas fantasy” (p. 1). From classic Christian Christmas specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) to contemporary releases such as Frozen (2013) and Klaus (2019), holiday-related animations have been consistently enriched our festive experiences. Looking at different lists of holiday favourites, it is evident that Christmas-themed animations have become synonymous with winter celebrations.

Yet, animation history holds numerous alternative depictions to the Western holiday traditions. For example, the Hebrew tradition Chanukkah as shown in Shalom Sesame (1987), An American Tail (1986), and Eight Crazy Nights (2002). As well as TV shows as Rugrats (1991-2004), Futurama (1999-2023), and The Proud Family (2001-2005) released African-American Kwanzaa-dedicated specials.

This CFP invites scholars and practitioners to explore the connections, narratives, and cultural specificities within holiday-themed animation. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • historical evolution of holiday-themed animation, such as its cultural significance, and impact on collective celebrations;
  • how animation showcases non-western holiday traditions in relation to narrative and aesthetics, and their influence on global audiences;
  • the role of technological advancements in shaping the aesthetics and production of holiday animations;
  • commercial aspects from merchandise to branding of holiday-themed animation and their role in reinforcing certain holiday traditions;
  • the fan cultures and the sense of community that holiday-themed animations inspire;
  • adaptation and mutual influence of holiday traditions from various media into animation and vice versa. 

Posts that are between 600 and 900 words discussing any aspect of the above topics are welcome. Contributors are encouraged to include clips, and at least one image (less than 2MB in size), to support their posts. Please also include a short bio (100 words max) and 3 keywords. All permissions are the responsibility of the contributor. 

Please contact co-editors Carmen Hannibal and Anastasiia Gushchina via with submissions or questions.