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?


MGM Records issued a soundtrack album from the special in 1970, pressed in limited quantities as a promotional tool for radio station disc jockeys, all with an orange and black promo sticker on the back cover. The score has since been re-issued on CD, but the vinyl remains one of the rarest and most prized Christmas collectibles of all time. See more »


The doctor who examines Burgermeister Meisterburger says, "Just as I suspected. You've broken your funny bone." However the Burgermeister has a bandage on his foot. The funny bone (or humerus) is located in the arm, as any doctor would know. Furthermore, the doctor determines this from an oral thermometer, which has no mechanism for detecting bone fractures. See more »


Narrator: Kris made a list of all the children and the toys they wanted. He checked it over once, then checked it over twice. He tried to figure out just who was naughty and who was nice.
Kris: Well, I guess they're all pretty nice.
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Alternate Versions

The ABC Family/Freeform version (as of 2020) adds back "A Kiss A Toy" and "My World is Beginning Today" songs, but still omits the scene where Burgermeister burns the toys. See more »


Referenced in The Toy That Saved Christmas (1996) See more »


Christmas Overture
Music by Maury Laws; Lyrics by Jules Bass
Performed by the orchestra
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User Reviews

12 October 2001 | by AbeStreetSee all my reviews

I will be 33 in January 2002. I only mention this so that readers will be able to gauge my review of this classic based on my age. While I was growing up, prior vcr tapes and dvd players, I and my friends would wait all year to view the various Christmas specials that aired each year. I remember sitting glued to the tv taking in every second of the shows. Back then if you missed part of the show or even the whole show you were border line depressed because you knew you couldn't see it again for a whole year. In some ways anticipation made the viewing of Christmas specials that much better.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN(SCICTT) is in my top five Rankin/Bass specials. Right along with RUDOLPH, FROSTY and The Year WITHOUT SANTA CLAUS. I enjoy the 1970's feel this classic has. The flowers that appear when Jessica sings, the simple toys the kids play with and the songs that are sung throughout this show. I can only imagine what a modern version of this show would sound like with its boy band sounding songs and electric toys and video games. Instead of watching Kris and Jessica court each other and wed we would probably see them live together while they consider marriage. This was a scary classic. The Winter Warlock was very scary when I viewed this as a kid. No matter how many times I saw this as a kid I would always wonder if Kris would make it past the warlock.

I suppose the best thing about this type of Christmas classic is that when people my age view it they can escape back to their innocent youth for a short while. Even though I now own the vhs of SCICTT and soon hope to purchase the DVD I make myself and my kids wait until Christmas season to watch it. It's not quite the same as when I was a kid but anticipation still increases the viewing pleasure once we do watch it.

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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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