A mailman reveals the origin of Santa Claus.


Romeo Muller (teleplay by)





Complete credited cast:
Fred Astaire ... Narrator - S.D. Kluger (voice)
Mickey Rooney ... Kris Kringle / Santa Claus (voice)
Keenan Wynn ... Winter Warlock (voice)
Paul Frees ... Burgermeister Meisterburger / Grimsley / Soldiers / Townsmen / Doctor (voice)
Joan Gardner Joan Gardner ... Tanta Kringle (voice)
Robie Lester Robie Lester ... Miss. Jessica / Mrs. Claus (voice)
Andrea Sacino Andrea Sacino ... Child (voice)
Dina Lynn Dina Lynn ... Child (voice)
Gary White Gary White ... Child (voice)
Greg Thomas Greg Thomas ... Child (voice)


The Mailman decides to answer some of the most common questions about Santa Claus, and tells us about a small baby named Kris who was left on the doorstep of the Kringle family (toymakers). When Kris grew up, he wanted to deliver toys to the children of Sombertown. But its Burgermeister (Herr Meisterburger) is too mean to let that happen. And to make things worse, there's an evil wizard named Winter who lives between the Kringles and Sombertown, but Kris manages to melt Winter's heart (as well as the comely schoolteacher's) and deliver his toys. Written by Kathy Li

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Did You Know?


There were fewer commercials on network television when this special was made. When shown recently on ABC and ABC Family, sometimes the special is edited in order to accommodate more commercials. In the ABC version, the songs "Be Prepared to Pay" and "My World is Beginning Today" are cut, while the ABC Family version cuts out scenes that may be traumatizing for younger viewers, most notably the scene where Burgermeister Meisterburger burns the toys of Sombertown. See more »


One of the kids watching the Burgermeister burn their toys is smiling, even though they are all meant to be crying; when the kid's toys were confiscated for the first time, the kid which said "we'll never play again" is still smiling. Someone forgot to change the models. See more »


Narrator: And that is the story of Santa Claus.
Little Girl: He's so wonderful. Everybody must love him.
Narrator: Well, most everybody. Oh, he's not considered an outlaw any more. But there still are some...
Ebenezer Scrooge: Eh, bah, humbug.
Disgruntled Retailer: Christmas is a bother. The noise, the crowd. I really wish it were outlawed.
Businessman: How can they talk about Santa Claus when there is so much unhappiness in the world?
Narrator: Poor, misguided folks. They missed the whole point. Lots of unhappiness? Maybe so. But doesn't Santa take a little bit of that unhappiness away? ...
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Alternate Versions

Many TV airings omit or shorten the "My World is Beginning Today" song. See more »


Referenced in Toy Hunter: The Duke of Toys (2014) See more »


Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
Music by J. Fred Coots; Lyrics by Haven Gillespie
Performed by Fred Astaire
See more »

User Reviews

16 October 1999 | by gazzo-2See all my reviews

This one is good, right in keeping with the others Rankin Bass did at the time. Personally, I have always liked anything with Keenan Wynn, Fred Astaire or Mickey Rooney-and the Burgomeister with Paul Frees doing the honors-is a riot.

Rankin Bass did a fine job retooling the Santa myth here, and I think that this oughta be shown more. Certainly worth your while.

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Release Date:

14 December 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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