The Night the Animals Talked

The Night the Animals Talked is an animated children's Christmas special first shown on ABC television on December 9, 1970. It was repeated four times on ABC, in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1977. The American/Italian coproduction was based on a legend that all of the animals could talk at midnight, on the night that Jesus was born.


The special focuses on an old Norwegian holiday legend regarding the birth of Jesus. The plot focuses on a simple stable, which suddenly is showered with light from the star that guided travelers to the Christ child. The animals stir, and when they awaken they realize they can communicate with each other. At first, the animals use the ability to disparage each other and to establish superiority over each other, especially over the two hogs who are not allowed into the stable. An ox, the apparent leader of the animals, is angered by such behavior, as it reveals they are acting like humans. The animals realize the error of their ways, and attempt to make amends when word reaches them (through the donkey carrying Mary) that an expectant couple desperately needs shelter.