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The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

When a weary and discouraged Santa Claus considers skipping his Christmas Eve run one year, Mrs. Claus and his Elves set out to change his mind.


(teleplay) (as William Keenan), (novel)

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Complete credited cast:
Mrs. Santa (voice)
Santa Claus (voice)
Snow Miser (voice)
George S. Irving ...
Heat Miser (voice)
Bob McFadden ...
Jingle Bells (voice)
Rhoda Mann ...
Mother Nature (voice)
Bradley Bolke ...
Jangle Bells (voice)
Ron Marshall ...
Colin Duffy ...
Christine Winter ...
The Wee Winter Singers ...
Chorus (voice)


Mrs. Claus tells us about the time Santa had a bad cold and decided to take a vacation from Christmas. Two of his elves, Jingle Bells and Jangle Bells decided to go out (with Vixen) to find children to convince Santa that the Christmas spirit is still important to everybody else. But they have to get past Heat Miser and Snow Miser, first, before they land in Southtown, USA, where it never snows for Christmas. But the Miser Brothers can't agree to let it snow in Southtown. But Mrs. Santa knows their mom--Mother Nature. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mikulás szabadságon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jessica/Mrs. Claus has red hair in Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970), while Mrs. Claus in this film has red highlights. See more »


When the gang leaves Snow Miser's place, Jingle Bells's clock reads 11:45. While the gang is at Heat Miser's place, Jingle Bells's clock reads 10:30. See more »


Snow Miser's Men: He's Mister White Christmas, he's Mister Snow. He's Mr. Icicle, he's Mister 10 below.
Snow Miser: Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch turns to snow in my clutch. I'm too much.
See more »


Spoofs The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) See more »


I Believe in Santa Claus
Performed by Mickey Rooney and Ron Marshall
See more »

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User Reviews

Brings me great joy every time I see it
3 February 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Rankin/Bass have been responsible for a fair number of Christmas classics, such as Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming To Town, Frosty the Snowman and The Little Drummer Boy. The Year Without A Santa Claus is almost as good as them and definitely one of the better Rankin/Bass Christmas specials. The stop-motion animation is wonderful, very detailed and both enchanting and atmospheric. I also loved the music, the score is whimsical with some lovely themes that never take away from the story or the festive feel of Christmas. The songs are sweet and catchy, I happen to think that they are memorable too. The Miser Brothers songs are a lot of fun as is Blue Christmas, and I also want to give a shout out to I Believe in Santa Claus, which I have always found very touching with a beautiful and truthful meaning without beating the audience around the head with it. The writing is amusing with the Miser Brothers, and there is evidence of conflict and pathos, and the story while bizarre in places has a lovely subtly handled message and gets you into the Christmas spirit. The characters I also like very much. The Miser Brothers definitely steal the show, especially Heat, but I do also enjoy Mrs Claus' wit and sarcasm, Vixen's cuteness and Santa's benevolence. The voice acting is terrific. Overall, a lovely special that brings me great joy every time, when something gives you that feeling you know it's done something right. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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