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 de... more »cides 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 season?s cheer has disappeared to. Aided by a magical snowfall, they reawaken the spirit of Christmas in children?s 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« less
Lee B. (Lee) from HENRYVILLE, IN Reviewed on 1/12/2011...
Not quite as good as I remember, but I suppose there are some personality differences between 4 and 44. My son (4 also) liked it so I that was really what was important. Neither of us liked the extra movie (Rudolph's Shiny New Year) and I hardly remembered it from my youth so it must have made a similar impression then as well. "Nester the Long-Eared Xmas Donkey" was a bit better and my son enjoyed it also. This DVD will be a keeper that we will watch annually, not as good as "The Grinch" or "Charlie Brown" but still a classic.
Heat Miser, Snow Miser, and more!
Michael J. Mazza | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 07/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Year Without a Santa Claus" is one of the classic Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated holiday specials. In this installment, Santa Claus (voiced by Mickey Rooney), feeling poorly and convinced that people don't care about Christmas anymore, decides to cancel his annual sleigh ride around the world. Fortunately, Mrs. Claus (Shirley Booth) sets in motion a chain of events that restores Santa to his jolly self."Year" is great fun from start to finish. The producers achieve a nearly perfect balance of musical numbers, fantasy, sentiment, and humor. Booth is outstanding as Mrs. Claus (who also narrates the tale). She gives a particularly spirited rendition of the fun song "I Could Be Santa Claus" (in which Mrs. C contemplates taking the reigns of Santa's sleigh on Christmas night). The vocal performances are excellently complemented by the whimsical stop-motion puppets and other superbly realized visual elements.This film also introduces two of the most unforgettable characters of the Rankin-Bass mythos: Heat Miser and Snow Miser, the respective overseers of hot and cold weather phenomena. Each one is accompanied by his own chorus line of look-alike mini-Misers, and each gets his own outrageous theme song."Year" has a subtle feminist twist, since Mrs. C is such a pivotal character, and also because Mother Nature emerges as perhaps the most powerful figure in the story. Religious fundamentalists will probably dislike the fact that this special seems to distance the Christmas holiday from its traditional religious implications (some may even see a touch of goddess-worshiping neo-Paganism in the character of Mother Nature). But for most audiences, I believe that this holiday special will be an entertaining delight."
Heat Miser & Nestor on DVD -- Amazing Picture Quality!
D. Anderson | Alexandria, VA United States | 11/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Plenty of other folks have gushed (properly so) about the nostalgic content of "The Year Without a Santa Claus" (hereinafter "TYWSC") so I'll concentrate on the technical quality of the DVD release: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."
Mister Green Christmas is back!
Hearse Queen | northern california, usa | 06/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank you to whoever saw fit to re-release this film onto video! I grew up watching it on TV every Christmas, and just love Heat Miser & Snow Miser! For the longest time, you couldn't purchase this on video, and my local video store's rental copy had mysteriously vanished. I was overjoyed to see it available again and snatched it up. My young daughter now is addicted to this wonderful stop motion animated classic, and watches it frequently. For those who enjoy the songs, you might want to check out the CD, A Classic Cartoon Christmas Too by Nick at Nite records, as it features both the Heat Miser and Snow Miser songs on it! Too much fun!"
What's Christmas without Nestor?!
Melissa Niksic | Chicago, IL United States | 12/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm sure the other two cartoons on this DVD are good, but the only one I really care about is "Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey." I remember watching this special on television each year when I was little, and I absolutely loved it. The story is about Nestor, an adorable little donkey who was born with two ears as long as a pair of elephant trunks. Poor Nestor has a hard time managing with those ears, and everyone makes fun of him. When his mother gives her life to save him on a cold winter night (a scene that makes me cry harder than when Bambi's mother dies), he finds himself all alone in the world. Soon Nestor meets a friendly little cherub who guides him on a quest that puts his ears to good use. Nestor SINGLEHANDEDLY (or maybe singleEARdedly?) saves the Virgin Mary's life when she is carrying Baby Jesus to Bethlehem! How cool is that?! (I guess you have to see it to believe it, but trust me, it's quite entertaining!)
All religious undertones aside, this is still a great holiday classic that everyone will enjoy. Nestor is irresistible, and I'm thrilled that I finally own the DVD and can watch it whenever I want."