The Little Drummer Boy

1968

The Little Drummer Boy

Critics Consensus

The Little Drummer Boy is a mature addition to the Rankin-Bass catalogue, with a powerful conclusion that compensates for the special's dour storytelling and unpolished animation.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 12

61%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,614

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

61%
Average Rating: 3.5/5

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Movie Info

The perennial Yuletide animated classic The Little Drummer Boy gets a new look on home video with this release. Actually, the program itself will be familiar to those who watch it every December; only the packaging has changed. This moving story, about a poor boy who can offer no gift to the baby Jesus other than his song, will entertain and inspire the entire family. The soundtrack was recorded by the Vienna Boys Choir.

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Cast

José Ferrer
as Ben Haramed
Greer Garson
as Our Story Teller, Storyteller
Paul H. Frees
as Aaron's Father, the Magi
June Foray
as Aaron's Mother
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Critic Reviews for The Little Drummer Boy

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

  • It's a lot like How The Grinch Stole Christmas, in other words, only with a Biblical foundation and not so much rhyming. The special is effective as all get-out, too.

    Dec 5, 2018 | Full Review…

    AV Club Staff

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • A Christmas children's special that actually depicts events from the Bible? What a concept!

    Dec 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A poignant third act restores his faith in humanity, all the while making up for some of the roughest animation work in the Videocraft catalogue.

    Dec 4, 2018 | Full Review…

    Erik Adams

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • I thought "Rudolph" was the worst animation I had seen, until seeing Drummer Boy again. Aaron the misanthropic drummer, formerly with Metallica, and his animal friends skitter across the Sinai like cockroaches on Red Bull.

    Dec 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Emotionally, it's a notch or two more mature than the usual Rankin-Bass production.

    Dec 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • I think it was all handled beautifully.

    Apr 17, 2019 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Little Drummer Boy

½

Preachy. Lackluster score and voice work, although with good musical performances. Find something else to make your yuletide bright.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Though it won't be recognized as much as the others, it is my favorite of all Rankin Bass specials. Not only does it have a strong biblical message that does not give any room for pop culture, there is a lot of honest emotion in it that you don't get in other Christmas films.

Jackson Walsh
Jackson Walsh

Super Reviewer

½

Even if you're not into all that Jesus malarkey, you have to at least respect the story for giving us such a wonderful time of year. The Little Drummer Boy focuses on a boy filled with hate, and a man filled with greed. Their stories intertwine until they eventually cross paths with the song of God. Loved the songs and the animation has that old-fashioned quality that just doesn't date. The voice-work varied, sometimes being annoyingly slimy. It's a sweet tale that captures the meaning of Christmas, without ramming the religious aspects down the viewers throat. This should be an enjoyable watch for all.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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