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5.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Believe I'd Never Heard of this one before!!!
I'm 16. My mother and I were watching a Rankin/Bass Christmas marathon. For years we had known and loved "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Peter Cottontail," and we'd seen a few minutes of "Jack Frost" here and there, but somehow we had let "The Year Without a Santa Claus" get passed up. Luckily we saw it this year and were...
Published on Dec 6 2003 by unicornelia

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh MY GOD... Don't let your kid's whatch Nestor!
Alright... we all know The Year without a Santa Clause is GREAT, who wouldn't or couldn't love this holiday classic! However, Nestor has got to be one of the most disturbing Christmas children's movies made!
Unless you can afford costly psychotherapy for the youngsters, keep them away from Nestor. I wish I could say that I am joking, but I am not!
Published on Dec 20 2002 by oso


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5.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Believe I'd Never Heard of this one before!!!, Dec 6 2003
I'm 16. My mother and I were watching a Rankin/Bass Christmas marathon. For years we had known and loved "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Peter Cottontail," and we'd seen a few minutes of "Jack Frost" here and there, but somehow we had let "The Year Without a Santa Claus" get passed up. Luckily we saw it this year and were thoroughly delighted; it's now among our favorites. This story was totally charming. Right from the beginning, those two dumb elves were funny. Mrs. Claus was awesome...I recognized the voice of "Hazel" the maid! I ALWAYS knew Vixen was a female reindeer...the only one on Santa's team, I might add. And Vixen is a central figure in this movie. She's adorable. A feminist Christmas special?! COOL! Santa and the elves travel to a hot southern town in Dixie that never gets any snow. Santa helps a non-believing but still very good little boy change his mind and believe in him (even though the boy doesn't know it's him!)
Okay, okay, so I'm going to say what everyone else already said and knows: The best part of this, the show-stealing scenes, were those with Snowmiser and Heatmiser. The two constantly bickering brothers who seem kind of villanous but are actually pretty nice. (They seriously reminded me of my own brothers.) Their songs are SO catchy, they had my mom literally up and singing them while dancing up a storm. (This was, mind you, the first time we'd ever seen this!) Soo...there you go. The children singing "Blue Christmas" to get Santa to come back to the job was a tender moment. And of course, the Mother Nature scene rocked the house. Again, we see a female taking the screen, and in her cute little house with a nice green lawn and rainbow too. Unlike some of the other stories in this 'family' of videos, this one doesn't-as someone pointed out-center on the historical meaning of Christmas. But it still gets its point across and manages to be a touching, enjoyable treat for all. And then there's the question, does it touch upon goddess-worshipping neo-paganism? Well, all I have to say is that never occured to me...but if it does...then ROCK ON RANKIN/BASS!! Or..well..you know what I mean. Keep being watched faithfully by fans each year. And the Miser Brothers can rock on, too. Ya gotta love it when Mother Nature starts talking about her two sons and they go calling her "Mother dear." She tells Mrs. Claus: "They gave you a hard time?" And Mrs. Claus says, "Yes, but I'm sure they didn't mean to..." And Mother Nature tells her honestly, "Oh, yes they did!" Great stuff. Great, great stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 3 Wonderful Reasons to buy this DVD, Sept. 27 2003
By 
D. Earp (Wyoming, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Year Without a Santa Claus (Full Screen) (DVD)
Wow, 3 Rankin/Bass specials on 1 DVD, and they are such great stories individually.
The First is "The Year Without a Santa Claus", when Santa gets the blues over humans attitudes towards Christmas. Narrated by Mrs Claus, it includes as usual a great soundtrack and excellent characters. Most fans loving the best, Heat Miser and Snow Miser. Jingle and Jangle, two of Santa's elves are pretty cute also.
The Second is "Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey", which I think is the most touching movie of the R/B collection. It is a re-telling of the birth of Christ with a sweet twist. It brings tears every watching. If you haven't seen this, it is a must. Wonderful inclusion on this DVD, especially if you want a break from the commercialism of Christmas.
And Thirdly "Rudolph's Shiny New Year", which tells the story of time, our calender year. Rudolph is asked to help Father time, when Baby New Year Dissapears. This is a must have to keep your R/B appetite filled. When Christmas is over, and you have watched all your favourite R/B Christmas specials......oh no.......but wait, there's one more to keep you entertained!
This DVD is definitely coming out at my house this Season, and everyone there-after.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Holiday Puppetmation Ever!, Jan. 3 2003
This review is from: The Year Without a Santa Claus (Full Screen) (DVD)
THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUSE is my absolute favorite Arthur Rankin Jr. & Jules Bass production. It has everything a Christmas story could want; action, story, suspense, villains, magical creatures and above all, music.
Written by William Keenan the story tells of the year that Santa got sick and could not do his legendary Christmas Eve ride. As a result Mrs. Santa Clause sets things in motion to make this right. You see, Santa believes no one cares about Christmas anymore. Mrs. Santa Clause will prove him wrong.
Told and song by the wonderful talents of Shirley Booth (Come Back Little Sheba, Hazel) she tries hard to convince Santa, voiced by Mickey Rooney (Lady And The Tramp II, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Stallion), to see that kids need him all over the world.
Who could forget the incredible talents of Dick Shawn (Captain Eo, The Producers) as the incredible arrogant and proud wizard of the chills Mr. Snow Miser. George S. Irving (Underdog, Tennessee Tuxedo) also incredibly voiced the not so even-tempered brother Mr. Heat Miser
This is a great story and a lot of fun for adults as well as kids. This one will make you smile without even noticing it. This little gem has clever writing and great songs throughout the whole piece. Buy this one too!
Also on this DVD are two other stories RUDOLF'S SHINNY NEW YEAR and NESTOR THE LONG EARED CHRISTMAS DONKEY. Both are attempts at the originals of trying to get quick stories and clever song s out but they lack the energy and creativity of The Year Without A Santa Clause and the every-popular Santa Clause Is Coming To Town. (1-2-02)
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5.0 out of 5 stars DESERVES MORE THAN 5 STARS!!, Dec 19 2002
This review is from: The Year Without a Santa Claus (Full Screen) (DVD)
This DVD is great, all three of the featured Rankin Bass Christmas Specials are gems! The Year Without A Santa Claus is my favorite. Santa Claus gets a bad cold and also gets a case of the blues when he is convinced that no one really cares about him or Christmas anymore and there is no good will so Mrs. Santa Claus with the help of two elves Jingle and Jangle goes off to try and find some good will and Christmas spirit to cheer him up. Mickey Rooney and Shirley Booth provide the voices of Santa Claus and Mrs. Santa Claus and are wonderful, also like so many other reviewers I like Snow Miser and Heat Miser and their songs, everyone seems to like the Heat Miser more than Snow Miser but my favorite is the Snow Miser. Rudolph's Shiny New Year is not as great as Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer but it is good and has Rudolph searching for Happy the Baby New Year who ran away because people laughed at his big ears and if Happy isn't there to ring in the new year December 31st will go on forever. Nestor The Long Eared Christmas Donkey is a wonderful story about the true meaning of Chrstmas and like Happy in Rudolph's Shiny New Year, Nestor is teased about his ears which are very long. I recommend this DVD set very highly to anyone who loves Rankin Bass Christmas specials, I even bought this set before I bought my DVD Player.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I believe in Santa Claus!, Dec 6 2002
By 
Bill Smith (Birmingham, AL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Year Without a Santa Claus (Full Screen) (DVD)
This is an outstanding release of three of the very best Christmas specials ever.
The Year Without A Santa Claus is an extraordinary work. The plot is intriguing, the music is devine, and the voice actors are extraordinary. Mickey Rooney and Shirley Booth are the quintessential Santa and Mrs. Claus. Much has been written about the dynamic duo of Heat Miser and Snow Miser, but has anyone else noticed that Snow Miser bears a striking resemblance to James Woods and that Heat Miser looks just like John Goodman? One of the lovliest songs ever written about Christmas is included in this special: "I Believe In Santa Claus," sung touchingly by Mickey Rooney. When the special first came out in the 70's I was just about at that age where I started to question Santa's existence, but after hearing Mr. Rooney sing that song, I believed once more. "I believe in Santa Claus, like I believe in love. I believe in Santa Claus, and everything he does. There's no question in my heart that he indeed exists. Just like love, he's always there, waiting to be missed."
"Rudolph's Shiny New Year," is a gem itself. Red Skelton steals the show with his many voices, and the whimsical animation is charming. How many of us wouldn't like to go back to the archipeligos of time and find our joy again?
"Nestor," is a three-hanky boo hoo, and absolutely wonderful. It shares the message of the hope of the Christ Child without becoming a preachy mess.
You can't go wrong with this set of joyful entertainment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comest thou with me - We searcheth! Clang, Clang, Clang!, Dec 30 2001
By 
Robert Jenkins "video geek #1" (Garland, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Year Without a Santa Claus (Full Screen) (DVD)
For entertainment value for the kids (and those of us who are kids at heart), this DVD is TOUGH to beat. Three classic Rankin-Bass stop-motion films together on one DVD. A great testemonial to the DVD format.
The Year Without a Santa Claus is the "main" feature of the DVD. If you've never seen it, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. As others have stated, Heat Miser and Snow Miser have to be the highlight of this special. Their songs are hilarious little vaudeville-type tunes, made all the more catchy by each brother's little army of "Mini-Me"-like clones that perform the back-up vocals. I think these bits are also the best of R-B's stop-motion, from a technical point of view. The part where Snow Miser is spinning around in a blur, then suddenly you see his head stop and he sings out "that's right!", is VERY well done. Of course, Snow Miser and Heat Miser are not the focus of the special, though they steal the show. The basic plot is this - Santa has a cold, and he's tired and feelng worn out. So, he decides to take a year off. Well, Mrs. Claus won't have this, so she sends out the bumbling elves Jingle and Jangle, plus the reindeer Vixen, to find some Christmas spirit. Naturally, they immediately get themselves in trouble, so first Mrs. Claus, then Santa himself, have to get involved in order to straighten the whole mess out. While he's traveling incognito out in the world, Santa finds out that he IS appreciated after all. Besides the Heat Miser and Snow Miser tunes, this special contains more great music, including the classic "I'll have a blue Christmas Without You."
Also here is Rudolph's Shiny New Year, another fond favorite of all of us who were kids in the '70s. It's a little bit short in the music department, but overall very enjoyable. Happy, the Baby New Year, is missing, and Father Time sends for help to his old buddy Santa Claus. SC decides to send a search party, and who else is better equipped for a nighttime search that a flying red-nosed reindeer? Rudolph joins forces with a large bunch of characters as he combs the Archipelago of Last Years to find the missing kid. Complicating matters, the evil buzzard Eon is also trying to find Happy for reasons for his own, and he does NOT want Happy to make it home.
Finally, this DVD includes Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. This tale, set in Roman Empire-dominated Palestine, chronicles the adventures of Nestor of the long ears as he is thrown out of his home, loses his mother, and generally suffers through life until he meets his destiny helping a certain young couple on their way to Bethlehem. A very moving and touching story, but I highly suggest you keep the supply of tissues handy, as this one is a real tear-jerker.
A great DVD with three holiday classics. It's fun for both the thirty-somethings and today's kids. Don't miss it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids, Dec 27 2001
By 
Loring Ivanick (Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Year Without a Santa Claus (Full Screen) (DVD)
You might think that stories about Santa and Rudolph and Nestor the Donkey are just for kids. Year Without a Santa Claus appeared on TV while I was in grad school, and my friends and I were immediately fans of it and watched it year after year as we tried to complete our Ph.D's. As other reviewers have mentioned, it has a great cast, worthy of a Broadway hit, all of whom obviously took their work seriously. Nothing shoddy here. Lots of humor and cleverly written songs. The Mini-Me version chorus lines of the Miser Brothers are hysterical. The song "Believe in Santa Claus" may well bring a tear to your eye. Ditto the other two entries on the disc. Red Skelton was well into his 60's when he starred in Rudolph's Shiny New Year, and his touching rendition of "The Moving Finger Writes", concerning the inexorable passage of time, was particularly poignant for me, who just turned 50 in 2001. Great, sophisticated family entertainment, never dumbed down for the kids.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ugh....all the reviewers are right!, Dec 11 2001
This review is from: The Year Without a Santa Claus (Full Screen) (DVD)
For some reason, I didn't remember seeing TYWASC feature and was skeptical about all the reviews of how enjoyable the Snow vs Heat Miser songs were. They were all correct, those are catchy[...] songs! I must have used the "skip to a scene" option 5 times just to rewatch it! The sequences involving those two are wonderful! For the record, I'm with those that prefer the Snow Miser just a tad more. And since we are playing this game, I see John Lithgow as Snow Miser but not sure who would play his brother. This episode is worth the price on its own.
RSNY I do remember seeing, and still enjoyed seeing it again. With a unique cast of characters and some interesting ideas, it's worth a watch also, although the songs aren't that great. But seeing Rudolph a part of the action in another episode is just plain fun.
NTLECD is ok. It's a little too depressing for me despite the upbeat ending and I didn't find it as fun, but it's still very watchable.
Overall, the DVD package is really good as far as the films go, but it's all in standard versions with no extras at all. Still, at this price, you might as well buy it and enjoy it. BTW, does anyone remember the Rankin/Bass episode that featured the Norse mythology gods(I think)? Or did I imagine that? Sorry to post that hear, but I have no idea where a good place to pose that question would be. Thanks, and happy holidays to anyone reading this :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heat Miser, Snow Miser, and more!, July 2 2001
By 
"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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best since "Rudolph", Dec 21 2000
By 
Rachel Newstead "finder of forgotten animation" (Appleton, WI United States) - See all my reviews
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Funny, when I was in my teens and really becoming an animation "connisseur" (I'm a cartoonist and amateur animation historian) I thought very little of the Rankin-Bass product. The characters, at least in cel-animated work like "Frosty", tended to look bizarre (red circles on each cheek, which gave them a doll-like quality). Once the Fox Family Channel began re-running some of these old specials, though, I began to see them with new eyes. That's especially true of "Year Without a Santa Claus".
Mickey Rooney does a first rate job in his SECOND Rankin/Bass outing as Santa (for a while there, it seemed like he had a second career going as St. Nick) and like most people, I cannot miss the Heat Miser/Snow Miser production numbers. When my brothers were kids, they used to sing both those songs in an attempt to drive me crazy, but I'm the one who's singing along now. This is a must-see, and it's a definite improvement over the current crop of specials which seem determined to insert some PC message or other. Rankin/Bass' moralizing was mild at most--their main purpose was to tell a great story, and they succeeded beautifully here.
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