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The Wizard of Oz creator L. Frank Baum penned the story that inspired The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. A babe born in the woods near the forest of Burzee is named Claus. As Claus grows up, the gods send him to the land of mortals to spread joy and happiness where there is none. Claus carves a small wooden cat for an orphan and decides that all children rich or poor should receive toys for Christmas.
A long time ago the little donkey Nestor lives in a country stable. Mocked for his ears, Nestor and his mother are cast out of the stable. In the snowy cold, Nestor sacrifices herself to protect her child. In the spring a cherub arrives to guide Nestor so he may save another as his mother saved him. Two travelers choose him for a trip to Bethlehem and Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey fulfills his destiny.
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A bizarre, pagan take on the Santa Claus legend, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, which is based on a story by L. Frank Baum (The Wizard of Oz), was produced and directed by Rankin and Bass, the reigning kings of the Christmas special (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer), using their brand of puppet animation. In the forest of Burzee, the immortals gather to discuss the fate of Santa Claus. Found when he was an abandoned baby by the Great Ak (a wizard with big wooden horns on his head), the boy was named Claus because that means "little one" in the language of the forest. Raised by immortals and knowing nothing but peace and harmony, the adolescent Claus is taken on a tour of the mortal world by the Great Ak, and he discovers the world is rife with misery and injustice. This is when he decides he will dedicate his life to making kids happy, and he learns the best way to do this is to give them toys. After years of service, the immortals must decide whether or not to give him eternal life. Indeed, this is a very strange Christmas tale. --Andy Spletzer
Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey is a wondrous story of Christ's birth told by an unlikely source: Nestor, a gentle donkey with incredibly long ears and a first-hand knowledge of life in a stable. This simple tale, which takes place in the days of the Roman Empire, is about a humble couple about to take a long journey to Bethlehem and a small, insignificant donkey who is destined to help them along. By all outward appearances, Nestor is undeserving of such a privilege. Stable animals tease him incessantly for his long appendages until, finally, he is cast out of the barn into the winter cold. Snow and ice bring about even greater calamity for Nestor until he receives a dose of divine goodness. Nestor meets Tilly, a heavenly cherub (voiced by Brenda Vaccaro) who imparts guidance to the despairing burro and tells him that soon he would be chosen to participate in a miracle involving a star and a baby, a lowly stable and some travelers named Mary and Joseph. Short and sweet, this stop-motion Christmas gem from Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass is narrated by Roger Miller. Get out the hanky for an understated holiday classic that will appeal to families of all ages. --Lynn Gibson
I grew up watching The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus on TV at Christmas time. Since it is no longer aired, I was delighted to find it on DVD. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Lara
We have a very, very old copy of this (on VHS) and it is still a staple of Christmas viewing. I'll bet you've never seen it. Wonderful clay-mation/puppet type action. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jill Mc
This DVD is just the best! Nothing makes me more in the Christmas spirit than being in the land of Ho Ha Ho!!!Published 1 month ago by ShanSarahOlive
This was a favorite of my kids, just had to get it for them for Christmas!Published 3 months ago by Kathie A. Brown
This is my all-time favorite Rankin/Bass holiday movies. It's bery true to the original book and yhe animation is the best.Published 3 months ago by P. Canter
I grew up on these types of clay movies, especially during the holidays. My little girls loved these movies, they were a Christmas hit! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Autumn Class