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Twas the Night Before Christmas [VHS] (1974)

Joel Grey , Tammy Grimes , Arthur Rankin Jr. , Jules Bass  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Grey, Tammy Grimes, John McGiver, George Gobel, Patricia Bright
  • Directors: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
  • Writers: Clement Moore, Jerome Coopersmith
  • Producers: Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
  • Format: Animated, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: December 21, 1993
  • Run Time: 25 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301760387
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,583 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Animators of all things Christmas, Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass (Frosty the Snowman) take on the famous poem by Clement Moore. Narrated by Joel Grey, the story opens on the night before Christmas, but the reading of the poem must be stopped when two creatures in the house begin to stir: family men Mr. Trundle and Father Mouse. Their restlessness stems from the fact that Santa is angry at the residents of Junctionville, returning all their letters without even opening them. The reason? Somebody wrote a letter to the editor of the paper saying that he doesn't exist. In an attempt to fix the situation, Mr. Trundle, a clockmaker, comes up with a plan to lure Santa into town with a clock that will sing an enchanting song at midnight. When the clock doesn't work on its first test, the townsfolk lose all faith in him. Turns out the cause of all the trouble is Albert, a book-smart young mouse who thinks he knows the truth about Santa Claus. There are a few good songs in the 23-minute program, whose the moral is: don't believe the kids on the playground if they say that Santa doesn't exist. --Andy Spletzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD IS OUT! October 25, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I just want lovers of this show to know that it did indeed get released on DVD...I have been waiting for a long time and never would have known had I not come across it by chance...It is not out on DVD by itself, rather, it is on the DVD "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" (The Rankin Bass Version If you want this DVD, check it out and pick it up, it will not let you down...It is the same version as we all know and love

UPDATE - October 15th 2011
Wow, just looking back at this comment I made 7 years ago...time flies. Back then, Blu Ray was not even a thought, however I just wanted to update this blurb here by saying this has now been exclusively released on Blu Ray for anyone who does not know and might be interested.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Christmas special December 15, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
My fiance and I knew we were meant for each other when we discovered that this Christmas special was a favorite for both of us! I've loved it since I was a kid watching it on TV, and I wish they'd play it more now. It has lovely, catchy songs and a timeless message that's not overly sappy. The story is about a young mouse, Oliver, who doesn't believe in Santa and writes a letter to the editor of his local newspaper saying just that. Santa reads it and gets angry, sending back the letters of all the town's children and refusing to go there at Christmas. The young mouse soon learns the devastating effect of his disbelief when he realizes how much Santa's visit means to them all.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic... December 29, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I knew of this movie from when I was young, when it was occasionally aired before Christmas. The characters, including a family of sweet mice, are adorable. The story is short but heartwarming, and the songs will leave you singing them to yourself long after the holidays. Everything about this cartoon fits together extremely well, and children of all ages will be delighted by it. This video is hard to find in stores, so do yourself a favor and order it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can still sing the songs twenty years later. December 4, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I remember watching this as child, and have been searching for it for a few years now. This was one of my favorite Christmas cartoons, and I used to love when the whole family sat down to watch it: fire going, pajamas with the little feet on them, hot chocolate, and then that fun CBS twisting logo that let you know a cartoon was coming.
The story begins with a town having all their letters to Santa returned. It turns out someone has printed a letter in the newspaper stating that they don't believe in Santa, so he is not coming to the town this year. Everyone is besides themselves until the town clockmaker has an idea - he will build a huge clocktower that, just when Santa is flying over, will play a beautiful song of children singing, asking him to come. But, when they unveil the clock, it is broken. Can they fix the clock in time? Who broke it in the first place? And who wrote the letter? You'll have to watch to find out.
Some of the cutest characters that you will ever see, and some great songs ("You wish, and I'll whittle. You pray, while I plan. We'll do what's necessary 'cause, even a miracle needs a hand!). Plus, at the end there is a reading of the original "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" story.
Definitely worth getting and sharing with the family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
As a child I used to scan the tv guide every Sunday in December looking for the Christmas specials. I had my favorites, and this was one of them. Its artwork, and the artwork of all of the Rankin/Bass specials, is superb. The songs stay in your heads (and hearts) forever. I still sing along like I did almost 30 years ago when I first learned the words "Christmas time is calling Santa, Santa"...And I especially loved it this past Christmas when my then 16 month old's attention was captured by this cartoon, especially when the music played. I look forward to many more viewings with my son (and his soon to be born sister), and will gladly use them as an excuse to watch a childs show that I consider a classic and fondly remember from simpler times - CHILDHOOD!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a classic christmas cartoon October 30, 2002
By Angie
Format:VHS Tape
This is a classic Christmas Cartoon that I watched every year for as long as I can remember. Each time I see it somewhere I get so excitied and it brings back such great memories.
This is an adorable movie, that I'm sure anyone would love and help restore the Christmas spirit.
"big words.. big words...."
"Christmas time is calling Santa.. Santa.."
"Even a Miracle needs a hand..."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Christmas Special August 29, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I used to watch "Twas the Night Before Christmas" every year when I was little. I never missed it. Suddenly it stopped coming on, and I was disappointed. I couldn't believe that they took it off the air. A few years ago I was lucky when I heard it was going to be on Fox Family. I decided to record it off the television, but missed the first part of the show. I wanted the whole special and went to see if I could find it on the internet(you can't find it in stores). I found it ... and could not believe it. This special shows some of the many meanings of Christmas. It showed that there are miracles on earth and that if you really believe and hope in something, then those miracles can happen. If you don't have this video, then I suggest you add it to your collection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A childhood favorite September 8, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
When they stopped playing alot of the Christmas cartoons that I grew up with, I kind of forgot about them. Then I seen in the stores that they were selling the Rankin/Bass Christmas videos. Twas The Night Before Christmas was one that I was looking for. It took me awhile to find it, but I finally did!
I love to watch this movie at Christmas time and enjoy it immensely. I have a daughter that will be almost 2 by Christmas this year and I am so looking forward to sharing this classic tale with her. I hope that she grows up to enjoy these wonderful Christmas cartoons as much as I have!
Thanks to Rankin/Bass for making such wonderful memories to all of us!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy to find for a gift
This was a gift for our grown son. This was one of his favorite childhood
Christmas stories. He wanted to have it for his kids to watch. Thanks.
Published 15 months ago by Sue Mease
5.0 out of 5 stars Hazzah for lost 80's!!
For those of us born in the late 70's and early 80's, this show is one of those that you will vaguely recall and feel all warm and fuzzy when you revisit it. Read more
Published on February 23, 2009 by SweetSoulX
5.0 out of 5 stars Calling Santa
Rankin/Bass Studio created this wonderful traditional cel animated special for CBS televison. It first aired on December 8, 1974. Read more
Published on December 2, 2005 by microjoe
5.0 out of 5 stars It's My Favorite Christmas Movie
It's My Favorite Christmas Movie. I Just Love It. The Movie Starts In A Snowy Town Called Junktionville. Read more
Published on December 1, 2005 by An_Old_WCW_Fan_06
5.0 out of 5 stars More to this show than meets the eye
I love this special, mostly because it has some great songs in it. It's meant for kids, and it's good for kids, but it's not limited to kids. Read more
Published on November 10, 2005 by theboombody
5.0 out of 5 stars 'twas the night before christmas
This is one my favorite Christmas cartoon specials. My only problem I have is now that the Family Channel shows it each year. Read more
Published on December 2, 2004 by Janell
5.0 out of 5 stars Twas the Night Before Christmas
I will be 35 in December. This is still my all time favorite Christmas cartoon....I often will (especially during the Christmas season) hum the tunes or quote the lines while... Read more
Published on October 14, 2004 by Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Classic that deserves to be seen.
"Twas the Night before Christmas" by Rankin Bass is one those great Christmas specials that gets played year after year for it's great production quality, wholesomeness, and... Read more
Published on September 15, 2004 by GreatWriterChrisJames
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Classics
I rank this wonderful cartoon right up there with the clay-mation classics like Rudolph. What a wonderful story, wonderful voicing and songs you won't forget. Read more
Published on June 19, 2004 by maxwellryan
4.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten sleeper
The creative version of Twas the Night Before Christmas has a lot of heart and creativity. It has reasonable animation and some nice songs with the finest one being "Even a... Read more
Published on December 16, 2003 by Dave Fernandes
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