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Santa's Death Panel
December 7, 2009 8:12 PM   Subscribe

Abandoned in a hat in the middle of a snowdrift as a newborn, rescued by a woodsman and guarded by a lioness, stolen and raised by a wood nymph, instructed in the ways of all the languages of the animals as a child, on the threshold of manhood he visited medieval Europe, feudal Japan, and Arabian markets to learn the inherent evil of humanity. For his insistence on toymaking, he was terrorized and repeatedly captured by a race determined to corrupt young minds, until his immortal protector came out to defend him with a laser-shooting axe which eradicated the malevolent culture. But can that same protector defend his ward's life to the likes of the Commander of the Wind Demons? The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause, a Rankin/Bass production, Part [1] [2] [3] [4] [5].
posted by Navelgazer (45 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
THIS WAS ALWAYS MY FAVORITE!
Thankyou. I've always fondly remembered this horrendously heathen Christmas special. You've made my december, navelgazer!
posted by es_de_bah at 8:17 PM on December 7, 2009


I have extremely fond memories of the original L. Frank Baum novel, so it was something of a gift to discover that an adaptation exists.
posted by Iridic at 8:20 PM on December 7, 2009


[SPELLING ALERT!] It's Santa Claus, not Santa Clause. Gosh darn that awful Tim Allen movie with the bad pun in the title! Gosh darn it straight to heck!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:21 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


"It's Santa Claus, not Santa Clause."

This, yes, a thousand times.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:22 PM on December 7, 2009


Oh my god, this is a real thing? I had pretty much convinced myself that I'd made it up! My brain is vindicated.
posted by Mizu at 8:27 PM on December 7, 2009


"It's Santa Claus, not Santa Clause."

Forgive me. If I could chop off that extraneous "e" without having to call upon my silver axe, I would surely do so.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:36 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, this contradicts the other Rankin Bass version, with Fred Astaire and the Burgermeister, doesn't it? I DEMAND A RETCON TO ADDRESS THIS DISCONTINUITY.
posted by emjaybee at 8:37 PM on December 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't think I ever saw this one. Cool find!
posted by vronsky at 8:39 PM on December 7, 2009


I, too, thought this was just an amalgam of many different weird childhood memories. Pleased to find that it's a single unified weird childhood memory.
posted by regicide is good for you at 8:41 PM on December 7, 2009


I too always loved this one most of all, though the one with Heatmeister and Coldmeister, or whatever their names were, is a close second. Rudolph had nothing on those.
posted by Caduceus at 8:42 PM on December 7, 2009


I should also mention that everyone needs to watch part five, from 4:00 to 4:05, out of context.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:44 PM on December 7, 2009 [15 favorites]


"It's Santa Claus, not Santa Clause."

You can't-a fool a me! There ain't no Sanity Claus.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:45 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Navelgazer: Forgive me.

All is forgiven.

Wait, you're not Tim Allen, are you? YOU ARE NOT FORGIVEN, TIM ALLEN.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:49 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh my lord, this is fantastic.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:51 PM on December 7, 2009


Wow, I thought I'd seen all the Rankin/Bass stuff. I guess not. Cool!
posted by Malor at 8:52 PM on December 7, 2009


I should also mention that everyone needs to watch part five, from 4:00 to 4:05, out of context.

Santa talks to himself before whacking.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:52 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Heat Miser! Cold Miser!
posted by HopperFan at 9:11 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: not so happy tonight. Unless ...
posted by nonspecialist at 9:16 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


"A saint like Claus has no need to unlock doors if it pleases him to enter our home..."

You guys cover the floor with Jello. I'll set the sofa on fire.
posted by Kikkoman at 9:22 PM on December 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


You guys cover the floor with Jello. I'll set the sofa on fire.

Heh, Chicken Heart... first reference I've ever seen to that on mefi.
posted by empath at 9:29 PM on December 7, 2009


"My name is Heatmiser
whatever I touch
starts to melt in my clutch"


...or something to that effect.

Rankin-frickin'-Bass!
posted by robotot at 9:30 PM on December 7, 2009


No way would this kind of trippy stuff EVER get within a mile of network television today.

Can you imagine the letters?
posted by leotrotsky at 9:32 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


You guys cover the floor with Jello. I'll set the sofa on fire.

Man, now I really want to do an old school Cosby fpp, but I can't think of what to do with it besides posting youtube links. (Chicken Heart)
posted by empath at 9:42 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I would like to add that in this cast, there is both an Earl and an Earle.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:48 PM on December 7, 2009


Amazon will burn you a copy of this on DVD for $15.00 or so. Includes Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey, another classic.
posted by Huck500 at 10:12 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is this the one with Burgermeister Meisterburger?
posted by chaff at 10:29 PM on December 7, 2009


The 'Misers sing the hits.
posted by benzenedream at 10:35 PM on December 7, 2009


I should also mention that everyone needs to watch part five, from 4:00 to 4:05, out of context.

Navelgazer, you dark, beautiful bastard.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:46 PM on December 7, 2009


Just before the first snow of winter falls, they begin their work...
posted by Evilspork at 10:47 PM on December 7, 2009


The non-bowdlerised version is a bit more raw and shocking. But I think children need to see it.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:03 AM on December 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Michael McKean and Harvey Fierstein take up the mantle
posted by Bromius at 2:05 AM on December 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is bizarre. Anyone else notice the wierd continuity problem right in the first five minutes? First he's talking to the leaders of the immortals, then he's talking to some little faeries, but telling the same story.
posted by delmoi at 3:39 AM on December 8, 2009


Here's a direct link to the five seconds Navelgazer was talking about.
posted by delmoi at 3:42 AM on December 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is this the one with Burgermeister Meisterburger?

No. Better.
posted by anastasiav at 4:55 AM on December 8, 2009


We need JJ Abrams to reimagine this. Not just because I can't wait to see him cast a young starlet to play the wood nymph mom, but also because I'd love to see the talking heads on Fox freak out over how this is treating Christmas like a pagan holiday when CHRIST belongs in CHRIST-mas.

Granted, these day I'd expect they'd go for the jugular unless you explicitly made it the nativity story. Which is all well and good, especially if you want to teach your kids a Christian story, but it's a kind of boring story to tell little kids over and over, especially when they're so young they don't even entirely know where babies come from. Hearing that God's the father and not Joseph is downright confusing for them, so the miraculous part flies over their heads. To them, it's just a story of a pregnant woman going on a trip, wanting to go to a hotel, getting turned down, so she instead gives birth in a barn.

Besides, Santa's fun to learn about. He's one of our great cultural myths. Japan has yokai. Germany has alps. If it weren't for Santa and the Easter Bunny, we'd be teaching our kids about the alien grays (or maybe Star Wars, but that's another story). And what kid wants to hear that aliens traveled lightyears just to molest them in their sleep? Stranger danger is played up way too much at school.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:03 AM on December 8, 2009


Nestor, the Long-Eared Donkey had a profound impact on my childhood. Probably more than any other tv show I can remember from my youth. His Mom's death just flattened me, it still does every year. Christmas Joy and all that. Bah.
posted by pearlybob at 6:14 AM on December 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


A big surprise with yellow-green eyes?
posted by IvoShandor at 6:18 AM on December 8, 2009


Many of you think that Rudolph's movie compares poorly, but I dare you to defy the awesomeness of King Moonracer.
posted by oddman at 6:27 AM on December 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shit! Who knew Santa did all of that in a lifetime? Man, he sure blows this guy out of the water. Most interesting man, my ass. SANTA FRIGGEN RULES (and doesn't drink crappy beer)!
posted by stormpooper at 9:01 AM on December 8, 2009


This is my absolute favorite Christmas movie. My parents still have a VHS copy we recorded off of TV and I watch it with my whole family every year when I go home for the holidays. My dad and I like to make nonsense noises at each other just like the one elf dude who speaks all of the human, animal and immortal languages.
posted by tinatiga at 10:23 AM on December 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


My girlfriend and I are both huge, huge animation geeks. So when I clicked the first link and watched the intro we both stared and stared.

"It sounds like Rankin & Bass..."
"But the animation is so fluid, and the character designs are so clean."
"It can't be Rankin & Bass."
"But it is."

Neither one of us had even heard of The Life & Adventures until now.
I wonder why it never got the same airplay that the other R&B specials had. Wikipedia offers no clues.
posted by lekvar at 10:52 AM on December 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


This was always my favorite and last year for Christmas, out of the blue, my mom bought me a vhs copy. Which I just watched over Thanksgiving weekend again...
posted by sweetmarie at 1:25 PM on December 8, 2009


This one and The Year Without a Santa Claus can be directly attributed to my later pagan ways! And my parents wondered where I got so many heathen notions?
posted by _paegan_ at 5:00 PM on December 8, 2009


No way would this kind of trippy stuff EVER get within a mile of network television today.

"Santa's up there surrounded with renegade elves who think he's a god... We want you to go up there, retrieve his bag of toys, and terminate Santa's command."
posted by Kikkoman at 5:30 PM on December 8, 2009


We need to bring back the story of Krampus. That would be much more exciting a punishment than a lump of coal.
posted by epsilon at 5:51 PM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


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