The Year Without a Santa Claus [Blu-ray]
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At the North Pole, the Christmas rush is on. Everyone from elves to reindeer are merrily preparing for Santa Claus's yearly sleigh ride. Everyone except Santa! Feeling forgotten by the children of the world, old St. Nick decides to skip his gift-giving journey and take a vacation. Eager to help, Mrs. Claus and two spunky little elves set out to see to where all the season's cheer has disappeared. Aided by a magical snowfall, they reawaken the spirit of Christmas in children's hearts and put Santa back in action.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
The picture on this disc is unbelievably bright and sharp -- undoubtedly worlds better than it looked when we all watched the original CBS transmission in 1974. It makes me wonder if they did any digital processing and cleaning up of the original print. I really enjoyed the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" DVD release earlier this year, but the picture quality on TYWSC is far superior both in terms of clarity and vividness, and the animation and set design are also more detailed and elaborate than in "Rudolph." While not of Nick Park caliber, perhaps, the stop-motion animation is more than adequate: Both our 7- and 3-year old were transfixed throughout the whole show. You will be surprised by how great the picture looks. The original mono soundtrack is well balanced, with no audible hiss; both the characters' speech and the (many) musical numbers come through very clearly.
The "extras" include two additional Rankin-Bass holiday specials, making this disc a triple feature and a great value. They include "Rudolph's Shiny New Year" and "Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey." Both are of similarly high technical quality. Notwithstanding its goofy name and lower profile in the Rankin-Bass pantheon, "Nestor" is a half hour, animal-based gem that gives a welcome nod to the religious underpinnings of the Christmas holiday.
Whether for nostalgia value or your own youngsters, this DVD is a fine purchase.
I was looking forward to upgrade from my older DVD of YWASC to this "Deluxe Edition" since I was keen on seeing a couple of documentaries and noted the product being advertised as "Newly Remastered". Well, in looking at the ORIGINAL 2000 DVD release, I realized that it is quite sharp in picture, as well as having a decent mono audio track. I noticed there were scarcely any grain or dirt on this print. So maybe I could not see a need to upgrade after all, and, as it turns out, I was correct in my assumption. I rather like to make picture comparisons with different DVD releases of a favorite movie, and I did the same with YWASC. Much to my surprise, the image is not only NOT an improvement, but to my eyes, in some instances has less sharpness and is duller in the colors! Again, in the first DVD release, one can see the finest details in say the puppet's hairs. Great clarity. With this new edition, there are periodic (though admittedly minor) inconsistancies in image. It is indeed puzzling that such a reduction in clarity (and I do know that the overwhelming majority of folks wouldn't know of them--and further, would not detract from their viewing enjoyment).
Sorry, I know I could get flack for what might be considered a minor quibble, but I feel that, apart from two (fairly interesting) documentaries, one could just as well not bother to invest in this repackaging of what was an already very adequate DVD release.Read more ›
The Year Without a Santa Claus is the "main" feature of the DVD. If you've never seen it, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. As others have stated, Heat Miser and Snow Miser have to be the highlight of this special. Their songs are hilarious little vaudeville-type tunes, made all the more catchy by each brother's little army of "Mini-Me"-like clones that perform the back-up vocals. I think these bits are also the best of R-B's stop-motion, from a technical point of view. The part where Snow Miser is spinning around in a blur, then suddenly you see his head stop and he sings out "that's right!", is VERY well done. Of course, Snow Miser and Heat Miser are not the focus of the special, though they steal the show. The basic plot is this - Santa has a cold, and he's tired and feelng worn out. So, he decides to take a year off. Well, Mrs. Claus won't have this, so she sends out the bumbling elves Jingle and Jangle, plus the reindeer Vixen, to find some Christmas spirit. Naturally, they immediately get themselves in trouble, so first Mrs. Claus, then Santa himself, have to get involved in order to straighten the whole mess out. While he's traveling incognito out in the world, Santa finds out that he IS appreciated after all. Besides the Heat Miser and Snow Miser tunes, this special contains more great music, including the classic "I'll have a blue Christmas Without You."
Also here is Rudolph's Shiny New Year, another fond favorite of all of us who were kids in the '70s.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Couldn't wait for this show when I was a kid in the 70's.
Guess not much has changed.
I give this 5 stars more out of childhood nostalgia, then for its artistic achievement ;). Still, the world created by the stop animation of these Rankin Bass specials, without... Read morePublished 7 days ago by bravenewcraig
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