Sunday, December 6, 2015

Countdown to Christmas: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1970)

With high ratings for Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer on NBC and Frosty the Snowman on CBS, Rankin-Bass delivered another ratings winner, this one to ABC.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, based on the song of the same name, explains the origins of Santa (Mickey Rooney) and assorted traditions, as told by postman S. D. Kluger (Fred Astaire, It Takes a Thief). The show starts with a mock newsreel, narrated by Paul Frees, who also voices the villain of the piece, Burgomeister Meisterburger.




Rooney would reprise as Santa in The Year Without a Santa Claus a few years later, while Astaire would bring Kluger back in 1977's The Easter Bunny Is Coming To Town. Today, ABC Family holds the cable rights, as this hasn't been seen on ABC or any broadcast network in several years.

Rating: B+.

4 comments:

phairhead said...

It's great to see it on DVD because they every song and scene is left uncut :D

hobbyfan said...

Would that cablers would leave it uncut and give up ad revenues this time of year....

SaturdayMorningFan said...

You'd think one of the 200+ channels out there would try significantly reducing the number of minutes per hour devoted to ads and publicize it as a selling point. If ratings rise (and they should, I think a lot of the cable cord-cutting going on is driven by the extreme amount of ad time as much as by the high monthly bills) then they could charge more for their commercial time. But I don't know anything about the TV business, so that may not be feasible. I do know that if the industry just keeps on going on autopilot, traditional TV will continue it's decline in viewership and probably die out with our generation. I've been cable-free since 2001 (one of the pioneers in cord-cutting, I guess), and I have never had a desire to go back. My DVD collection has kept me quite happy. Anyway, to the subject at hand: I have always loved the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials, and I now show them to my daughters once a year. I don't let them watch them whenever they want all year long, as I'm trying to impart to them that "event" feeling that these specials had about them back when they only aired at Christmastime on the networks. My oldest daughter has seen this one and Rudolph and likes them both. She likes their 2D animated Frosty the Snowman too. I think I will be showing them The Year Without a Santa Claus next.

hobbyfan said...

Funny you should mention the Year Without a Santa Claus. We'll have that up soon.