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The Year Without a Santa Claus (2006)

John Goodman , Chris Kattan , Ron Underwood  |  NR |  DVD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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The Year Without a Santa Claus + A Miser Brothers' Christmas (Deluxe Edition) + The Year Without a Santa Claus (Deluxe Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Goodman, Chris Kattan, Delta Burke, Harvey Fierstein, Michael McKean
  • Directors: Ron Underwood
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000J10F2I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Year Without a Santa Claus" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Based on the classic 1976 animated Rankin and Bass Christmas special The Year Without a Santa Claus, this 2006 live-action, modernized version of the story features John Goodman as Santa Claus, Delta Burke as Mrs. Claus, Eddie Griffin as Jangle, Ethan Suplee as Jingle, and Chris Kattan as Sparky. In both productions, Santa is disgusted with the commercialization of Christmas and feels overworked and underappreciated. Add in a bad cold and Santa declares that he is canceling Christmas this year and it falls to two elves, Jingle and Jangle, to restore Santa's faith by finding a child who understands the true spirit of Christmas. The most striking differences in this new production are the cynical, almost satiric portrayal of the extreme commercialization of Christmas at Santa Company (complete with punk rocker dolls, violent video games, and a crazed employee named Sparky who dreams of taking Santa's place as action-hero-inspired "Extreme Santa"), a makeover of the elf Jangle as a television-junkie obsessed with talk shows, a less prominent role for Mrs. Claus, and a twist on the young boy and town Mayor story line that focuses less on encouraging the boy (who just happens to be the Mayor's son in this version) to believe in Santa Claus and more on inspiring the Mayor's realization that his relationship with his son is much more important than his political ambitions. While neither version has the warmth of the more optimistic Rankin and Bass animated specials like Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Frosty the Snowman, this latest live-action version of The Year Without a Santa Claus is full of modern day references that will date it in future years, is somewhat crass, and at times downright unlikable. (Ages 9 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Product Description

When his devious head elf, Sparky (Kattan), tells him that he must "keep up with the times" no matter how materialistic Santa Claus (Goodman) resists, fearing that the holiday has become far too commercial. Convinced that no one believes in him anymore and that people have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas, Santa decides to take the year off and not deliver any gifts, much to the dismay of his two closest elves, Jingle (Suplee) and Jangle (Griffin). When Santa tells them that he doesn't think there are any children left who still care about the true spirit of Christmas, the two elves decide to prove him wrong. But their efforts are complicated by Heatmiser and Snowmiser, the two feuding sons of Mother Nature (Kane), whose help Jingle and Jangle will need if they want to save Christmas.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly bad December 3, 2007
The original version of The Year Without a Santa Claus may not have been one of the very best Christmas classics. It must not have been terribly popular -- given that it took quite a while to come out on DVD, and was packaged with a couple of other obscure holiday titles when it was eventually released. Still, it deserved better than this remake.

John Goodman as Santa was about the only good casting choice. Some (Delta Burke) others are okay. Others (Chris Kattan -- "Mango" as an elf?) are just awful.

Jack LaLanne plays a retired Hercules. He and some other non-Christmas-related mythical figures appear in the movie. Maybe it was an homage to The Santa Clause, which featured the mythological characters such as the Tooth Fairy.

Carol Kane (the abusive Ghost of Christmas Present from Scrooged -- "the b**** hit me with a toaster") plays Mother Nature, and does basically the same character. She abuses Heat Miser, Cold Miser, and Chris Kattan's elf character in the same way she abused Bill Murray's character in Scrooged. Come to think of it, maybe that was an odd homage.

Examples of "updates" to the plot and lines, from my notes hastily scribbled during the show:

* The plucky mayor of Southtown is faced with a couple of slick salesmen trying to sell a big retail center (read: WalMart or large mall) in the town, but refuses them because "this town has a history" (the shysters' reply: "ghost towns have histories, too"). The town must hold a Christmas festival to raise money for their "endowment," so that they don't have to let the retail center into town. ("Hollywood has no agenda," part 1)

* In the remake, Iggy is the neglected child of the too-busy Mayor. In the original, Iggy had a non-dysfunctional family and the mayor was unrelated.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If a movie deserved zero stars, this is it December 11, 2006
I went into this with high hopes, as I'm sure did many who grew up with the stop-motion original. But what a bitter disappointment. The tone was COMPLETELY wrong. I was hoping for something that would recapture some of the joy and innocence that the Christmas season can hold, but this film most certainly did not. The entire opening was very unpleasant in the extreme, with an adult, bitter, cynical tone. (If anyone wanted to know why Santa became disillusioned with the Christmas season, well, he probably watched this film!)

Also, with the first few minutes of the film featuring a very brief (but vivid) clip of a video game in which a character is decapitated amid buckets of blood, and a fellow singing a song all about how "Santa Sucks," I really don't think this film is appropriate for very young viewers---which SHOULD have been the target audience, for goodness sake. As for the bikini-clad dancers in the Heat Miser musical number----well, this isn't the sort of charming fare that brings the feeling of Christmas to the heart.

Again, I'm very, very disappointed. With the wonders that can be worked with modern visual effects, this could have been a totally magical story. Something that kids and adults alike could enjoy---but the tone seemed totally misdirected. I can't imagine ever wanting to watch this again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars About as bad as it gets January 4, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Make no mistake we are in "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" territory here. This is about as bad as Christmas movies get. I don't know where to start. Th bad CGI effects, the sets that look like they were built for a middle school play or John Goodman playing "Jolly Old St. Nick" like a grumpy coke addict going through detox. Just say no!!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Less Than Special December 12, 2006
A charmless live-action remake that is a waste of time. From the lackluster opening credits (really, they couldn't have done better than that?) to the unfunny attempts to be hip to a wasted cast (Delta honey, wake up, the cameras are rolling!), this TV-movie blows colder than the North Wind.

The worst thing this remake does is to fill the movie with all kinds of contemporary references and jokes. This will date the movie forever and will not allow it to age well although considering the DVD is available the day after the network broadcast, the powers that be seem to be hoping this will become a quick buy. Don't bother. And I find it ironic that Santa is horrified by all the new violent video games and toys out there when these are the types of gifts real kids will be wanting this year. A Christmas special really isn't isn't going to change anybody's mind.

One of the dumber moves is to have a scene where characters watch snippets of old movies/specials that feature Christmas such as "Auntie Mame" and the original "Year Without a Santa Claus." This comparison only shows how bad this new special looks. Do yourself a favor and buy those movies instead and skip this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One star is charitable. December 3, 2009
The Year Without a Santa Claus has been my favorite Christmas movie since I was a little girl. When I heard they were doing a live action version, I'll admit I didn't expect greatness. I thought it might be laughably bad, maybe a cute homage to the original, but that was it. Instead what I got was a movie so completely awful that I couldn't finish watching it. The flaws in the first half hour were too numerous to count, but the one thing that I consider to be the absolute worst was the way Iggy's father is represented. In the original movie he's a nice man, a good father, and he still believes in Santa Claus. In this version he's neglectful and more or less a jerk. It was around that part when I decided that I had better things to do.

Do yourself a favor and just watch the original.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The Year Without a Santa Claus live version
The movie is nice but I still prefer the caroon version. They took some liberties with some of the characters, as well as John Goodman being a little to gruff and hard to swallow... Read more
Published 5 months ago by William J. Phillips
3.0 out of 5 stars Different Spin on Rankin Bass
This movie is ok. I prefer the Rankin Bass movie any day. It is the live version of the Rankin Bass movie but with a few minor changes. Read more
Published 13 months ago by 2w0cat5z
5.0 out of 5 stars Santa movie
This was a requested Christmas gift for my son. He is very happy with it.It arrived in good condition and promptly. Thanks.
Published 14 months ago by Terrie Cortez
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful viedo
When I watched on dvd this time I found it better than watching it on television years ago when it first came out.
Published on January 17, 2012 by Jim
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad. Really Bad. But not even "bad to the point it's good" bad.
Ok, recently I watched the original "The Year Without a Santa Claus". Unfortunately, it was just too dated (it was made in 1974), and it wasn't like what my memory thought it was. Read more
Published on December 21, 2011 by Wulfstan
1.0 out of 5 stars Bah Humbug!
I'm 48 years old and I admit I still watch the Rankin/Bass Christmas shows EVERY year. So when I saw this last night in a discount bin at the store (that should have been my first... Read more
Published on November 27, 2011 by Micki Collar
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent holiday movie
I have read some very critical reviews of this movie from people expecting academy award viewing from a made for T.V. production. Read more
Published on February 9, 2011 by Ronwhar
1.0 out of 5 stars GARBAGE!
Save your time, money, and electricity and avoid this one at all cost. I had been saving this to watch with my six year old daughter, hoping it was a live action version of the... Read more
Published on January 23, 2011 by Terrence J. Burke
2.0 out of 5 stars boring
This movie in general is boring. Everyone forgot how to act and played it way too campy for my liking.
Published on December 22, 2010 by jgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this
live action was just as much fun as the original stop motion diferent but fun!
Published on March 25, 2008 by Chris D. Williams
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