''The Night The Animals Talked'' is a [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfAnimation 1970]] animated ChristmasSpecial, produced by Italian studio ''Gamma'' and directed by animation veteran ShamusCulhane.
The plot is an adaptation of the birth of JesusChrist, from the POV of the animals who were in the stable he was born in. The only twist, as the title gives away, is that the animals have somehow been given the gift of speech. However, the animals soon become at odds with each other, developing the worst flaws of humanity--vanity and racism, just as the donkey belonging to Mary comes along, asking for room to stay in.
This special is seldom aired on TV these days, and is very esoteric in contrast to the specials produced by other companies such as Rankin-Bass. It has also never seen an official VHS or DVD rerelease, although it is believed by several to have fallen into the PublicDomain. Regardless, It is an enjoyable, if brief, Christmas Special that certainly warrants watching, especially for Culhane's excellent direction.
Two versions of the film are posted on Youtube; one is a heavily abridged version in two parts, which can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smu-KI0NpP4 here]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmkN283AivQ here.]] Another version, which is an unabridged cut of the film, can be found on multiple parts on the same site.
* BittersweetEnding: The animals finally become at peace with each other and allow space for Mary to give birth to Jesus, but the animals lose their gift of speech before they can spread the news of his birth.
* AHouseDivided: The driving conflict of the story.
* NoNameGiven: The animals are never given names.
* OnlySaneMan: The dog, as well as the bull.
* PublicDomainAnimation: Is believed by some to be this.
* SuddenlyVoiced: In-universe example, for the animals.
* TheUnseen: We don't get a glimpse of Jesus himself, and Mary and Joseph are only briefly seen from the sky. No other humans are even seen in the special.