'The Year Without a Santa Claus'

The Year Without a Santa Claus
The Year Without a Santa Claus. Rankin/Bass

The Year Without a Santa Claus premiered on December 10, 1974, and is remembered generations later, mainly because of the hilarious Heat Miser and Snow Miser.

In this Christmas cartoon, Santa Claus becomes disheartened, feeling the world has lost its Christmas spirit. He decides to take a vacation on his doctor's recommendation. But Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells, two of Santa's elves, take it upon themselves to search the world with Vixen and prove to Santa that people still believe in him.

But they are waylaid in South Town when no one recognizes them or believes their story. Poor Vixen winds up in the pound. The Mayor says he'll let them all go if the elves can make it snow on Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Claus, wearing Santa's suit, pays a visit to Heat Miser and Snow Miser, two brothers who control opposing weather forces and are continually at war. She asks them to work together in order to make it snow in South Town and help save Christmas. But when they continue to argue, she appeals to their stepmother, Mother Nature, who persuades them to cooperate.

Santa, dressed in regular clothes, is busy freeing Vixen. While doing so, he discovers that children do still believe in him. In order to keep the kids from having a "Blue Christmas," he loads up his sleigh and returns to work just in time for Christmas Eve.

Snow Miser, Heat Miser

Mickey Rooney, a legendary actor, is the voice of Santa Claus in this pop culture favorite.

He was also Santa Claus in another stop-motion animation cartoon, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town.

But the real stars of The Year Without a Santa Claus are Heat Miser and Snow Miser, played by George S. Irving and Dick Shawn respectively. Their theme songs make the most memorable scenes, with each one belting out how powerful they are and how hot or cold they can make it.

("I'm Mister Heat Miser, I'm Mr. Sun...") These two vivid characters were so popular, a sequel was created to showcase them, called A Miser Brothers' Christmas.

Other voice actors are Shirley Booth as Mrs. Claus, who narrates, Robert McFadden as Jingle Bells, Bradley Bolke as Jangle Bells, Rhoda Mann as Mother Nature and Christine Winter (Can you believe that?) as the Blue Christmas girl.

Watch "The Heat Miser Song" on YouTube

Watch "The Snow Miser Song" on YouTube


The Year Without a Santa Claus is full of toe-tapping music, including these songs.

"The Year Without a Santa Claus"

"I Could Be Santa Claus"

"I Believe in Santa Claus"

"It's Gonna Snow Right Here in Dixie"

"The Snow Miser Song"

"The Heat Miser Song"

"Blue Christmas"

"Here Comes Santa Claus"

The Year Without a Santa Claus uses Animagic stop-motion animation, a trademark style of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass, the producers.

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Basile, Nancy. "'The Year Without a Santa Claus'." ThoughtCo, Aug. 9, 2016, thoughtco.com/the-year-without-a-santa-claus-137540. Basile, Nancy. (2016, August 9). 'The Year Without a Santa Claus'. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-year-without-a-santa-claus-137540 Basile, Nancy. "'The Year Without a Santa Claus'." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-year-without-a-santa-claus-137540 (accessed November 20, 2017).