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Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972)

When Santa's sleigh gets stuck in Florida, he tells a group of kids the story of Thumbelina.


Richard Winer (as R. Winer)


Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale: "Thumbelina")




Cast overview:
Jay Ripley Jay Ripley ... Santa Claus (as Jay Clark)
Shay Garner ... Thumbelina (archive footage)
Pat Morrell Pat Morrell ... Mrs. Mole (archive footage)
Bob O'Connell ... Mr. Digger (archive footage)
Ruth McMahon Ruth McMahon ... Mother (archive footage)
Heather Grinter Heather Grinter ... Witch (archive footage)
Sue Cable Sue Cable ... Flower Girl (archive footage)
Mike Yuenger Mike Yuenger ... Flower Prince (archive footage)


Poor Santa Claus. This live-action feature finds his sleigh stuck in the sand on a Florida beach only days before Christmas Eve. He psychically summons prepubescent aid from a nearby subdivision. In order to extricate Santa's sleigh, the local children bring many different animals (presumably the sheep was someone's housepet), but nothing works, and the kids are afraid they won't get any gifts this year. To boost their spirits, Santa tells them the story of Thumbellina, and the setting dissolves into a "fantasy within a fantasy". Thumbellina is a beautiful but very tiny girl, "not much larger than a clothes pin". She becomes lost in the forest during the winter and finds refuge in the underground home of Mrs. Mole. A neighbor mole, Mr. Digger, falls in love and wants to marry Thumbellina, but she's having none of it. When warm weather returns, she runs back into the forest and deserts the two kindly creatures who saved her life, crushing their spirits forever ... the end. As Santa is ... Written by Richard Westmoreland

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


What A Story! A Daring Rescue! See more »


Family | Fantasy


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This is the last movie filmed at Pirate's World, which closed in 1975. See more »


The sleigh is only a few centimeters deep in the sand, making it look like it can easily be pulled. See more »


Santa Claus: What is that? What is that I hear? Where's it coming from? I hear a siren, but I don't see any fire, I don't see any smoke. Whenever there's a siren, it means there's a fire, but I don't see any smoke. That siren. Where is it coming from? Where's that sound coming from?
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Crazy Credits

Two sets of opening credits and end tags are used in the movie (one for the Santa portion and one for the fairytale portion). See more »

Alternate Versions

In the United Home Video VHS release, the Thumbelina portion is after the Santa portion, rather than in the middle of the film. The Santa scene fades to black as he starts telling the story, then immediately fades back in. See more »

User Reviews

13 September 2002 | by amorettoSee all my reviews

I had heard a lot about this movie before. I heard more about this movie than anyone deserves to hear. Still, I had no idea what I was in for when I finally got to see Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny. (Sitting here, I realize it's hard to articulate my true reaction to this movie). Obviously, from the comments above, it's an awful movie. Yet it has a strange draw. Like a really, really bad car accident, you can't quite turn away. And just when you think it can't get any worse, the Ice Cream Bunny actually reaches up to hold the head of his costume on while nodding vigorously at Santa's ramblings. Sad thing is, that's just a SMALL problem with this movie. My friend loves this movie. He actually recites the lines along with Santa and the gang. When I first left my initial viewing, I thought about calling the cops on him...but the more I think about it, there is a strange appeal to SICB. If you have any appreciation of the absurd and surreal then you really must see this movie. (Assuming you head doesn't explode during one of the musical numbers.)

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Release Date:

18 November 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Санта и мороженый кролик See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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