The Year Without a Santa Claus
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Year Without A Santa Claus, The: Deluxe Edition (DVD) (O-Sleeve)
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.]]>
- Also includes:
- Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976)
- Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977)
- New featurettes:
- We Are Santa's Elves: profiling Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass
- Stop Motion 101: the Chiodo Brothers show how it's done, step by step
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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.
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.
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for "The Year Without a Santa Claus." Not quite as well known as the Grinch or Charlie Brown, I still loved this Rankin-Bass stop-motion special. When the show begins, Santa is getting a cold and rendered cranky by what he perceives as the ingratitude of children for what he does. Egged on by his doctor, he decides to take the year off. No Santa Claus, and therefore no presents, no filled stockings, no joy for children all over the world.
Two of Santa's elves, Jingle and Jangle, decide to venture into the world to see if they can find some Christmas spirit that might change Santa's mind. They take a flying reindeer with them, and end up in a small town, Southtown, in the southern U.S. Dressed oddly, with a reindeer in tow, the elves get into trouble. They make a deal with the mayor: if they can make it snow in Southtown on Christmas, he will believe they are Santa's elves and let them all go.
In order to make it snow in the south on Christmas, the elves--now accompanied by Mrs. Claus (the voice of Shirley Booth)--visit the brothers who control the weather. Heat Miser will only agree to let it snow in Southtown if his brother Snow Miser gives up the North Pole and lets it be warm there for a day. Mrs. Claus resorts to a higher authority, Mother Nature.
In the meantime, Santa, worried about the elves and reindeer, dresses as a civilian and tries to track down his missing colleagues. He runs into some people who convince him that true Christmas spirit still exists. After the children of the world send Santa touching notes and gifts, he decides to make his rounds as usual.
Why do I love this special so much?
1. The voices-- including Shirley Booth as Mrs. Claus, Mickey Rooney as Santa Claus, and the actors playing Heat Miser and Snow Miser.
2. The over-the-top production numbers by Heat Miser and Snow Miser when they first grant an audience to the elves and Mrs. Claus.
3. Great (albeit hokey) songs that you can't stop singing
4. Adorable stop-motion animation
5. Childhood nostalgia
All in all, I was very excited to be able to instantly download a whole host of childhood memories and share them with my own children.