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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.


R. Winer


Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale "Thumbelina")


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Cast overview:
Jay Ripley Jay Ripley ... Santa Claus (as Jay Clark)
Shay Garner 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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Release Date:

18 November 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Санта и мороженый кролик See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


When the fire truck drives through the amusement park several puddles are present. Directly in front of the fire truck are the wet tire tracks of the camera truck filming the shot. When the shot changes to a wide angle, the tire tracks are gone. 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?
See more »

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

The VHS release from United Home Video, and the "Rifftrax" edition DVD from Legend Films, feature Thumbelina. When the "Rifftrax Live!" version was shown in theaters on December 3, 2015, it featured Jack and the Beanstalk. See more »


Edited from Thumbelina (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

This film manages to make "Santa Claus vs. the Martians" look good!
28 July 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Yes, this is among the very worst films ever made--even worse than MANOS HANDS OF FATE and light-years worse than anything made by Ed Wood, Jr.--it's that bad! Incompetent, stupid and saccharine--you just can't imagine how terrible this film is! It only avoids mention on IMDb's bottom 100 because so far there aren't enough votes to make the minimum needed for this infamous list.

The film begins with Santa and his sleigh (minus the reindeer) stuck in the sand in Florida and Christmas is just around the corner. Some kids discover him and try to help--at which point, you notice just how creepy and untalented this Santa is--and you wonder what kids would be fooled into thinking this is the genuine Saint Nick. Plus, he talks and talks and talks--he simply won't shut up--yet amazingly the kids don't run home and call the cops or walk away in boredom. Instead, they do what any kids would do--get some guy in a gorilla suit to try to dislodge the sleigh. They also try using sheep and several other half-hearted ideas. When these don't work, Santa decides to take his anger out on the kids and tells them an irrelevant story. This becomes the film "Thumbelina" (1970) and this prior film (made by the same director) consists of most of the film! Talk about a crappy way to reuse old footage. There's more to it than this, but frankly after a while I simply didn't care.

Let's face it, this film looks like a production by a local community theater--a very bad one at that. To save money, they filmed this anywhere they could locally--on the beach and at a now defunct amusement park (perhaps this film killed it). The acting, direction, production values and every aspect of the film is as poor as you can find. To make it all much worse, the film is filled with original songs--the most god-awful and annoying songs as sung by people who often couldn't carry a tune. The total effect is to make what is probably the worst Santa movie ever made--much, much worse than "Santa Claus vs. the Martians" and it's craptastic tunes. I am not exaggerating with this comparison! Aside from showing closeup footage of roadkill being eaten by vultures, I can't think of anything less entertaining for the kids. This film is likely to make parents to commit self-harm or beat the kiddies, so avoid it at all costs unless you are a genuine bad film junkie!

By the way, schlock-meister Barry Mahon made a ton of porno films before switching to saccharine kids' films late in his career. Perhaps that is why I got such creepy vibes from his Santa.

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