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The Year Without a Santa Claus / Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey / Rudolph's Shiny New Year
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At the North Pole, the Christmas rush is on. Everyone from elves to reindeer are merrily preparing for Santa Claus 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 where all the seasons cheer has disappeared to. Aided by a magical snowfall, they reawaken the spirit of Christmas in childrens hearts and put Santa back in action. Shirley Booth and Mickey Rooney (as Mrs. And Mr. Claus) are the starring voices in this wonderful Yuletide favorite. Year: 1974
This DVD contains three holiday titles from Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass.
The Year Without a Santa Claus
Even Santa can suffer a case of the holiday blues. In this 1974 stop-motion holiday family favorite, a sparkly eyed Mrs. Claus (voiced by Shirley Booth) sings and tells about the year her hubby felt too weary and too unappreciated to prepare for his annual Christmas rounds. Mickey Rooney stars as the voice of Santa, a rosy-nosed puppet who travels incognito to Southtown in search of his tiniest reindeer, Vixen, and two well-meaning elves. Seems Mrs. Santa sent them to find proof of Christmas spirit--but all they've discovered is ambivalence about Santa's year off. Luckily, when Santa arrives and befriends a buck-toothed lad named Ignatius Thistlewhite, spirits begin to lift rapidly. Adult fans of this cousin to the 1970 television special Santa Claus Is Coming to Town will remember it as the Heat and Snow Miser movie. Their vaudevillian theme songs, complete with trombone and piano riffs, are hard to forget, but other treasured musical moments include "I Believe in Santa Claus," "I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You," and "Here Comes Santa Claus." --Liane Thomas
Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
The wondrous story of Christ's birth is 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 that is destined to help them along. By all outward appearances, Nestor does not deserve 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 will be chosen to participate in a miracle involving a star, 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
Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Rudolph is legendary for saving Christmas, but did you know he saved the New Year as well? While Santa Claus is recuperating from his December sleigh ride, he receives a letter from an old friend, Father Time. Seems that Baby New Year is missing, and if the little tyke isn't found, Old Year will continue forever--a catastrophe for Father Time, whose job it is to keep things moving forward. A search party is essential, yet with such thick fog, there's only one reindeer fit for the job. "Rudolph with your nose so bright, you've six days left to set things right," says Santa. Trouble hits immediately when Rudolph discovers that Aeon the Terrible, a big-beaked monster bird, is also searching for the missing baby. Rudolph gets help from a giant whale and a good-natured caveman, who dish up plenty of song and dance in between narrow escapes in their race against the end of the calendar year. Sound far-fetched? Perhaps, but it contains as much magic as its predecessors, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, all produced and directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., and written by the esteemed Romeo Muller. The same stop-motion animation we've grown to love is here as well, and narrator Red Skelton has as trusted a voice as Burl Ives and Fred Astaire. While the New Year holiday will never be as celebrated as Christmas, this title is a welcome addition to any Rankin and Bass collection of holiday films. --Lynn Gibson
- Aspect Ratio : 1.33:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 4 Ounces
- Director : Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass
- Media Format : Animated, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
- Run time : 2 hours and 5 minutes
- Release date : October 31, 2000
- Actors : Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, George S. Irving, Bob McFadden
- Producers : Arthur Rankin Jr., Jules Bass, Masaki Îzuka
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Unqualified (DTS ES 6.1)
- Studio : Warner Home Video
- ASIN : B00004VVPA
- Writers : Phyllis McGinley, Romeo Muller, William J. Keenan
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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My wife and I are in our 40s now and our kids (millenials) are off in "computer stupid land" -we watch these types of movies traditionally and reminisce on the old days and better days before technology infected our nation.
So ... here is what I originally wrote, minus the you pee see code.
Sometimes it's hard to tell which version of movie to get with the way Amazon lumps together all the reviews for different formats.
This review is for the Blu-ray version. (This line edited to remove you pee see.)
I recently watched this on TV and was shocked, and quite honestly, offended at all the scenes that were deleted. They ruined a very special memory from my childhood and that's what prompted me to come to Amazon to try and find the uncut versions of the Rankin Bass Christmas classics.
The Amazon description says it is Widescreen but it is not quite. In order for it to look right, I have to set my TV to Widescreen, but it doesn't fill the whole screen if that makes sense.
For those looking for the complete, uncut, full original soundtrack version of The Year Without A Santa Claus on Blu ray, this is the version to get. It looks as good as it will ever look, which is pretty darn good.
All the scenes people complain about being deleted are here.
This also has Rudolph's Shiny New Year and Nestor The Long Eared Christmas Donkey as bonus movies. Both of those look great as well and appear to be the full uncut, unedited versions that originally aired on TV.
A year after delivering Christmas presents, Santa Claus receives a letter from his friend Father Time asking for help to find Happy the Baby New Year before midnight on New Year's Eve, or else it will be December 31 forever. Santa sends Rudolph out to find him. An evil vulture called Eon the Terrible is supposed to live for exactly one Eon after which he will turn into ice and snow and disintegrate. As his particular Eon will end January 1 of the New Year, he plans to kidnap Happy to keep the year from ending and stop time, thus preventing his predestined death
This Rankin/Bass Production is a sequel to the beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Where the original had heart and charm to spare this special offers nothing inventive. (Besides if you knew you were going to die wouldn't you do everything you could to prevent it).
I fully understand why Rankin-Bass would want to make another Holiday Special that featured Rudolph. However that special was told with more heart than this. It gave us such memorable characters and songs that they have become part the fabric of Christmas itself.
Over the years other "Rudolph" sequels followed but none of them ever has captured the pure joy of that classic cartoon.
This special isn't too bad but compared to the original it comes across as cold and distant.
The Year Without a Santa is a Classic and should be seen by all. The Year Without a Santa Claus is a 1974 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions. The story is based on Phyllis McGinley's 1956 book of the same name, illustrated by Kurt Werth. It was originally broadcast on December 10, 1974 on ABC.
This could be a sequel to "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" and it is in a spiritual way. Their is however isn't. The animation is different and the elves in this special are not the same elves we see in "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". It is however produced by the same company (Rankin/Bass) and Mickey Rooney voices "Santa" in this special as well.
Now in this film "Santa" decides to not deliver presents this year because he sees that people no longer have "Christmas Spirit" and no longer believe in Santa.
In an effort to save Christmas Mrs. Claus dispatches two elves out into the world to prove to Santa wrong.
Now this special has the now classic songs from "The Heatmiser" and "Mr Snow". There is however 2 other songs that should of been cut or re-worked. Then again that is just my opinion
This special is a true classic. To call it "One of the crown jewels of Holiday Programming" would not do it justice. It is one of the finest programs ever produced for TV.
This special really gained a huge following once it hit Home Video. ABC held the rights for TV broadcast for years but seldom aired the special. After it became obvious that this special was loved by millions ABC began running it again on "ABC FAMILY" and the "ABC Network". The same thing happened with "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" that special was also returned to the ABC Network because of its huge following. That special was syndicated for years. ABC has now re- gained broadcasting rights.
Nestor the Long Ear Christmas Donkey is not as well known as the others but it is still a gem.. In this special a donkey that helps brings Mary to Bethlehem. His deformity becomes an asset to mankind