Christmas Top Ten Throwback #6: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

 

220px-SCICTT_coverAs mentioned with some previous posts on Christmas Top Ten Throwback, Rankin-Bass produced many animated specials for television from hit Christmas songs.

In 1970 they produced the stop motion special…Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town. The film stars actor Fred Astaire as the narrator S.D. Kluger, Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle/Santa Claus, Keenan Wynn as the Winter Warlock, and Paul Frees in various roles. Based on the hit Christmas song of the same name, Santa Clause is Comin’ to Town tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Claus-related Christmas traditions came to be. The famous and traditional song was originally  introduced on the radio by Eddie Cantor in 1934.

The special was created using stop motion animation called “Animagic”, in which all the characters are made out of wood and plastic and animated via stop-motion photography. It originally telecast December 14, 1970 by ABC and continues to air every year on sibling channel ABC Family, though both channels have at times edited the special to make room for commercials (ABC has cut two key songs, as well as two other songs in half; ABC Family has cut several scenes that might be traumatizing to younger viewers, like Kris climbing, and leaping to escape to prevent children from doing dangerous stunts, Winter Warlock knowing Kris will return, & telling him he’ll never escape including the scene where the Burgermeister Meisterburger character torches the seized toys in front of the children of Sombertown).

It is always fascinating to see how Claus came to be and how other holiday traditions began as well.  It is one of my favs along with sooo many others.  Take a nostalgic look back to Santa Claus is Coming to Town…

 

Of course I HAD to post my favorite song about the Heat Miser…

 

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