This 53-minute, 1970 animated film may be the most delightful of those sundry, stop-motion animated Christmas perennials that show up on television during the holidays. The clay animation production, boasting a wonderful... more » musical score and art direction that occasionally underscores the flower-power era in which it was born, tells the story of Santa's origins, in which Kris Kringle decides to get toys into the hands of poor children in gloomy Sombertown. Charmingly narrated by Fred Astaire and featuring voices by Mickey Rooney and Keenan Wynn, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town presents a nice bridge between two generations of entertainment, the classic and the hip. --Tom Keogh« less
""Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" (Rankin/Bass Productions, 1970) is a true Christmas classic. A quintessential "animagic" or "clay-mation" production, it features the talents of Fred Astaire (who narrates the story as postman Special Delivery Kluger), Mickey Rooney (Kris Kringle), Keenan Wynn (Winter Warlock), and Paul Frees (Burgermeister Meisterburger). Frees is absolutely brilliant as the voice of the Burgermeister of the village of Sombertown, which presumably is in Scandinavia. In brief, the film explains the origins of various aspects of the legend of Santa Claus through an original story. People of all ages will enjoy "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." Children will love the animation and the story. The rest of us appreciate that as well as the hilarious moments when Kris Kringle expresses surprise (watch his eyes swell to giant coal-black circles!). For anyone who grew up in the 1970s or 1980s, this is a gem of the pop culture of our time. It's highly recommended for anyone who has enjoyed other Rankin/Bass classics such as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "The Little Drummer Boy.""
BONUS VIDEOS MAKE NO SENSE AT ALL!
abominablesnowmonster | 12/18/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I sure don't know what Sony/Classic Media was thinking when they put trash like a dumb Mariah Carey music video on a Christmas classic like this.First of all,they ruin the Rudolph DVD now they wreck the Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town DVD...what's next, Frosty? These are supposed to be traditional Christmas classics so why in the hell would they add this junk to these wonderful shows...Shame on you Sony/Classic Media!!! Maybe, some year we will get these classics on DVD without the B.S. C'mon Sony do it right for a change!"
The best of the Christmas movies
Jim Jr | Buffalo, NY United States | 10/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, let's clear up one fact, this is NOT Claymation.It is STOP MOTION animation. Claymation has figures made of clay that are filmed one frame at a time. Stop motion has 3 dimentional puppets that are animated one frame at a time like the Ray Harryhousen figures in King Kong, Jason and the Argonaughts etc. There is a vast differance in the techniques.This fact aside, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" is the very best of the wonderful Rankin/Bass specials. The designer for the series of holiday specials, Paul Coker, has done an exceptional job with these delightful wooden and plastic creations. We see Kris Kringle develope from a foundling baby to the Santa figure so well known today. Each stage of his development is wonderful. But then, each of the characters is designed and executed perfectly. Watch the delightful changes of the Winter Worlock from mean and evil to mellow and fun. All the animation is smooth and precise giving the excellent illusion that these figures are actually alive. The songs are excellent, from the familiar "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" to the lovely "My World Is Beginning Today" sung by Jessica, the future Mrs. Santa. (For some strange reason, this delightful song is often cut when this production is shown on TV, luckily it is included in the tape.) The script couldn't be better giving explanations for most of the Santa legends such as how he got his name, how reindeer can fly, why he comes down chimneys and fills stockings. It can make a believer out of even Ebenezer Scrooge.This has been my absolute favorite Christmas video since I first saw it many years ago on TV. It was one of the reasons I bought my first VCR so I could make a tape of it before it was commercially available. I even have an old LP recording of the complete show. So, do I recommend it, the answer is a resounding YES!!!!!"
The secrets of Santa revealed
flickjunkie | 12/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful 1970 video, using stop-motion animation, tells the story of Santa Claus in a most delightful way. The story is narrated by Fred Astaire, with character voices by Keenan Wynn and Mickey Rooney. The music is marvelous and the story is enchanting. It answers the burning questions we all have about Santa. Why is he called Kris Kringle? Why does he wear a red suit and have whiskers? How did he meet Mrs. Klaus? How did he come to bring toys to children by going down the chimey and why is his workshop at the North Pole? What is the origin of Christmas trees and how do reindeer fly?All these great mysteries are revealed in this magical tale about Christmas' most famous and beloved figure. It follows his life from the time he was an infant all the way to the jolly and rotund fellow we know and love today.This charming story is an excellent addition to any child's holiday collection. I rate it a 10/10. It is one of my favorite Christmas shorts and it is perfect for children from two to ninety two years old."
The best christmas video
flickjunkie | 01/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"just in case you're wondering if this is the video you remember from when you were a kid... This is the one that tells the whole story of Santa from birth, adoption by elves, meeting the winter warlock (put one foot in front of the other...), saves the kids of sombertown from a toy-less christmas at the hands of the evil Burgermeister, meets and marries Mrs. Clause, etc. Absolutely the best Christmas video i've ever seen."