Rankin-Bass’ The Life And Adventures of Santa Claus, probably the best one they ever did. Parts 2-5 are on Youtube as well.
Based on a book by L. Frank Baum. Yes, the Oz guy. No, not the prison show.
I love that they didn’t mind airing multiple versions of Santa’s origins. Gotta reinforce that mythical feel.
This is a great one, with a more serious feel than any of their others. Also, their last stop action special. Sigh.
For years I thought I had made this up, because I never saw it on TV after it’s original airing and it was so damn weird.
I was just thinking about this and considering looking it up on YouTube earlier today too.
The sheer oddity of some of the Immortals and their diverse natures (and powers, apparently) which goes trippingly by without even trying to explain really catches at me. Even years later, I have found myself humming their entrance song from time to time. At thematically appropriate moments I can even hear the horns.
I still have this on VHS from when I recorded it something like 20 years ago
God, I loved this one when I was a kid. Now I am just amazed that they were able to put something on tv related to christmas that had such a pagan themed story. Usually its either super sacharine santa stories or hyper christian stories. I have been looking for it for years. You have made my day MGK!
Hey MGK, I swear this was one of your ideas. It feels AWFULLY familiar, at least.
Is it just me, or is the version that has aired in recent years edited for time somewhat? I’m hoping this copy isn’t…
I was thinking this was a very Pagan story for such a Christian holiday, but I see Archguru has already made that point.
I read most of Baum’s Oz books when I was a kid (and most of the Thompson ones as well), but the library didn’t have any of his other books. I’ve always wondered what his other stuff was like– whether it was like the Oz books, or if he had other styles. From what little I’ve seen here, it looks sort of like both. You can see some Oz similarities, but it feels different, too. Although, to be fair, I have no idea how well this matches the book.
Santa Claus had a cameo appearance near the end of one of the Oz books, by the way, along with characters from some of Baum’s other stories.
Christmas is not as Christian as many bible beaters would have you believe.
First of all, most of the traditions (giving presents, decorating trees, holiday wreaths) that Christmas currently uses were originally used in the Roman holiday Saturnalia which was officially recognized in 275 AD. Meanwhile, the Christian faith hadn’t even gotten around to deciding an official date for Jesus’ birth until the year 325 AD at the first Council of Nicea.
Secondly, in the late 18th Century, and because of this pagan beginning to Christmas, the Christians had the celebration of Christmas officially criminalized. You even had to pay a fine if you were heard wishing anyone a Merry Christmas.
As for this film, there were a few glaring plot holes and the nymph stealing the child sends a kinda creepy message if you ask me. Otherwise, not a bad story.
Actually, the banning of Christmas was in the 16th and 17th centuries under the reformers and puritans respectively. At least, those are the more famous bannings. I understood that it was regaining popularity and made a federal holiday (in the US) in the mid-late 1800s. Who banned it then?
18th century =/= 1800’s .
They actually converted this into an animated move that every now and again gets play on Cartoon Network.
Ah, yes. My favorite drunken debate from college.
Christianity = the Borg. Discuss.
Yeah, the Puritans banned Christmas in England during Cromwell’s interregnum– mid 17th Century. Shops were ordered to stay open and churches were required to be closed. And the Massachusetts Puritans banned it as well, although I’m not certain when. I don’t think it precisely matched the period in England.
I’m not aware of any place banning Christmas in the late 18th Century.
@ Spafoom. Right. Right. My mistake. Yeesh. I should know that. That’s a rookie mistake I should have been past years ago.
Regardless, I’m still not aware of a late 1700s banning of Christmas, so I’m curious.
I am aware of the puritan bannings throughout the 17th century (in both the UK and US), and I could have sworn there were some Calvinist issues with Xmas in the 16th, but I don’t know of any in the 18th.
I think I was just off by a century.
This, and Jack Frost, are my favorite Rankin Bass specials, I always try and catch them when they’re on ABC Family during the Christmas special.
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