[[caption-width-right:300:"Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God"]]
->''"Drummer boy, you may not believe me, but this... is the luckiest day... of your... life!'''
--> -- Ben Haramed (José Ferrer), ''The Little Drummer Boy''

'''''The Little Drummer Boy''''' was a [[Creator/RankinBassProductions Rankin/Bass]] StopMotion puppet animated (called "Animagic") ChristmasSpecial first aired in 1968.

The script is by Rankin-Bass's favorite writer, Romeo Muller; the music follows the favored R-B formula, starting with a classic Christmas tune and adding original songs by Maury Laws and co-producer Jules Bass. A touch of distinction is added by the choral work being performed by the Vienna Boys Choir.

A television sequel entitled ''The Little Drummer Boy: Book II'' was produced in 1976, also narrated by Greer Garson, but this time featuring Zero Mostel as the voice of Brutus.

This story has inspired several imitations and variations; for example one Puerto Rican TV ChristmasSpecial was about a little boy who wanted to visit the Nativity to ask Baby Jesus to cure his dying father (in the apparent belief that [[EternalRecurrence the event repeats itself every year]]). A ChristmasMiracle happens, of course. Similarly, the Spanish Christmas song ''Burrito Sabanero'' is about a boy riding a burro to reach the Nativity.
!!This ChristmasSpecial provides examples of:
* AnachronismStew: Though set in first century Judaea, the kings wear costumes more suggestive of [[TheRenaissance 15th century]] European paintings of the Adoration of the Magi.
* AssInALionSkin: During the song "Why Can't the Animals Smile?," Baba the lamb pretends to be a lion, a frog, and a hog; Joshua the camel pretends to be an alligator and an elephant; and Samson the donkey pretends to be a caribou.
* AsTheGoodBookSays: The show begins with Greer Garson reading from the beginning of the second chapter of [[Literature/TheBible Luke]], with further readings from the infancy narratives throughout, ending with Matthew 5, 8.
** Slightly subverted in the fact that the Bible itself contains no mention of anyone remotely resembling The Little Drummer Boy; It started as a song in 1949, based loosely off a French legend only two centuries older than that.
* ChristmasSpecial
* DarkerAndEdgier: Rankin Bass took some guts in making this their most darkest stop-motion animated special. Aaron's parents getting murdered by bandits and Aaron becoming bitter and full of hatred for other people.
* EveryoneHasStandards: Ben Haramad may be a hopelessly inept showman, but he knows good acting when he sees it, and when Aaron can't keep up his facade to the human audience any longer and ends up causing a riot, Ben Haramad is rather irritated with him.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: The main character's father being scene stabbed to death on screen, and his mother being burnt alive.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Aaron is friend to all living things -- except humans.
* HeelFaceTurn: Aaron, who realizes when the Child smiles at him that his hatred for humanity has been wrong.
* HumansAreBastards: What Aaron is convinced of, after his family is murdered by bandits.
* MoneySong: In Book Two.
* {{Narrator}}: Miss Creator/GreerGarson was cast as Our Storyteller.
* KarmaHoudini: The two bandits who rob then murder Aaron's parents go unpunished for their crime.
** Ben Haramed kidnaps a child, forces him to work against his will, sells a camel that doesn't belong to him... and ends up getting quite well paid for his efforts.
** The tax collectors in the sequel are not punished for burning Aaron's drum.
* LargeHam: Zero Mostel in Book II, but then, what did you expect?
* NonHumanSidekick: Joshua the Camel, Samson the Donkey, and Baba the Lamb.
* [[ThePowerOfRock The Power of Music]]: How Aaron taught his animals to dance.
* StarOfBethlehem: How Aaron knows where to find Joshua.
* SurroundedByIdiots: The members of Ben Haramed's show caravan are all completely inept.
* VillainSong: Ben Haramed has "When the Goose is Hanging High."
** The previously listed MoneySong also counts.