Had to laugh at a comment posted on my review of "Merry Madagascar," the NBC animated special from DreamWorks that aired this week.

"You friggin scrooge," wrote "santa@thenorthpole.com." "It's a holiday special for kids not the next Mona Lisa! Geesh get with the season."

Sorry, Santa, but I grew up on a diet of great holiday kids shows: "A Charlie Brown Christmas." "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" — stuff that has withstood the test of time. Prep And given all the advantages that are available today from a production/technology standpoint, there's no reason that the modern versions ought to be dreck — or get a free pass for it.

In fact, there is a terrific animated holiday special coming up on ABC — not surprisingly, one produced under the aegis of Pixar's John Lasseter, "Prep & Landing," about Christmas elves. (As opposed to, I guess, "Lord of the Rings" elves.) A more detailed review will come later (the show airs on Dec. 1), but it's precisely the kind of holiday offering I fondly remember — one that both kids and adults can enjoy.

Children consume enough junk food as it is, and that includes a lot of the TV they watch. The holiday confections served to them ought to be held to a higher standard.

And if you don't like it, Santa, then at the risk of winding up with coal in my stocking, I suggest you stick it up the chimney with care.

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