"Christmas in Yellowstone"
One of the most soothing voices on the planet belongs to Linda Hunt. I know she's just a wee little thing and I'd have to stoop to kiss her forehead, but her voice conveys more intelligence, depth, and compassion than a Christmas elf on rollerskates.
And when I say that I actually want you to picture Morgan Freeman offering you a slice of pumpkin pie.
PBS's "Christmas in Yellowstone" has neither giddy elves nor handsome actors, just Linda Hunt and her precise, humane narration underscoring the perfect cinematography that Nature is known for.
I grew up outside of Denver so I know from snow, but my young son is being raised in southern California and I would not be exaggerating when I tell you that his jaw dropped and then remained on the floor throughout the opening scenes of this show. When he wasn't laughing with delight at a fox stalking voles and leaping like a kitten on a hot plate, he was transfixed by images of ice-encrusted bison creaking across a forest service road; an injured otter trying keep up with his family; wolves; coyotes; swans; grizzlies; and pine trees lit up and iced like snowy Christmas cakes.
So was I. Lit, I mean. Ha ha! No! I mean transfixed.
Then came the inevitable (boring!) people parts. "When are they going to show more animals?" he demanded as a wildlife photographer struggled through hip-deep snow carrying a hundred pounds of camera gear. "Is that otter going to find his family again?" he worried as a rugged cross-country skier shook the snow off his tarp and climbed out of his sleeping bag wearing little more than a t-shirt. "Can I have a popsicle," he finally sighed as a people wearing festive sweaters sang Christmas carols inside a ski lodge. "Banana or lime, I don't care."
You'll be happy to know that the otter found his family again, the grizzly bear had her cubs (offscreen), and a bunch of other animals probably didn't make it through to see spring. But we were spared that. When it's Christmas in Yellowstone, the air sparkles, the animals endure, and Linda Hunt helps to wrap us in a cozy blanket of popsicles (lime) and eggnog.