'The Year Without a Santa Claus (Deluxe Edition)'
(Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, et al / DVD / NR / (1967) 2007 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: 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.
DVD Verdict: Hey, even Santa can suffer a case of the holiday blues! In this 1974 stop-motion holiday family favorite, a sparkly eyed Mrs. Claus (voiced by Shirley Booth) sings and tells about the year her hubby felt too weary and too unappreciated to prepare for his annual Christmas rounds. Mickey Rooney stars as the voice of Santa, a rosy-nosed puppet who travels incognito to Southtown in search of his tiniest reindeer, Vixen, and two well-meaning elves.
Seems Mrs. Santa sent them to find proof of Christmas spirit--but all they've discovered is ambivalence about Santa's year off. Luckily, when Santa arrives and befriends a buck-toothed lad named Ignatius Thistlewhite, spirits begin to lift rapidly. Adult fans of this cousin to the 1970 television special Santa Claus Is Coming to Town will remember it as the Heat and Snow Miser movie.
Their vaudevillian theme songs, complete with trombone and piano riffs, are hard to forget, but other treasured musical moments include "I Believe in Santa Claus," "I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You," and "Here Comes Santa Claus." This 2007 Special Edition version features two brand new featurettes, including a profile on Arthur rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass! Indeed, this is a Standard Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
2 Festive New Featurettes: We Are Santa's Elves - Profiling Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass and Stop Motion 101: - Stop-Motion Masters the Chiodo Brothers Show How It's Done Step By Step.