Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

Released 1970


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Movie Summary

Jules Bass

Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town is a stop motion animation Christmas special directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. and released in 1970. The film tells the story of Santa Claus' origins and origins of several other Christmas traditions. Special Delivery "S.D." Kluger (Fred Astaire) is a delivery man whose truck has broken down. This leads him to tell the tale of Santa Claus. In a place called Sombertown, Mayor Burgermeister Meisterburger (Paul Frees) rules with an iron fist. One day, a baby is left on his doorstep and he instructs his helper to take it to the Orphan Asylum. On the way to the Asylum, a wind blows the baby away to the mountains where he is discovered by elves named Kringle. They take the baby in and name him Kris and raise him as their own.

  • In this Classic Christmas tale, we learn how an orphaned boy became the world's greatest gift giver.

    "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" is just great fun. It just keeps getting better with each viewing and there are many reasons why. The late Fred Astaire is terrific as narrator Special Delivery "SD" Kluger. His narration makes the program even more enjoyable. The late Mickey Rooney is great in the first of two turns voicing Santa Claus. His second is yet another classic "The Year Without a Santa Claus". The supporting characters are great as well. Burger Meister Meister Burger and his right hand man Grimsby are a real treat. How can I forget the Winter Warlock. The late Kennan Wynn is terrific as the evil sorcerer who is changed by the spririt of Christmas. Even Santa's little penguin companion Topper is great. In the end "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" is well worth seeing. It's not a difficult responsibility to make some time for this great show!moreless
  • A true classic and fun fantasy.

    This is a fun, charming, and harmless Christmas classic about an abandoned/lost orphan boy who is raised by a family of elves known as the Kringles. Their special trade is toymaking and how he becomes the legendary figure we know as today. Despite the joy he gets from sharing and giving a selfish dictator like leader known as the Burgermeister does whatever he can to squash the toy giver probably because he is a narcissist who can't stand someone being more popular, admired, and loved than him.

    I found the performance very well done, the songs catchy, and the characters quite charming and likeable. My favorites were the Winter Warlock and Tanta Kringle.

  • It's a harmless Christmas special by the legendary Rankin/Bass

    From a story perspective, it tells it story very well; while being narrated by a postman, the special tells the origin of the legendary Santa Claus. That is, in the world of fiction and misbelief; instead of telling the story of how Santa originated from St. Nicolas after he graciously gave gifts to people at the time, it instead tells a the story of Santa Claus based on the song. When I was a kid, I used to eat this special up every Christmas; now I just look at it in utter disgust because of how much Santa is used as the mascot of Christmas. As for the special itself, it doesn't do anything bad particularly; the characters are all very likable and funny (especially the Burgermeister), the animation was very polished and the songs are catchy and memorable (except for Santa Claus is Coming to Town; that song is misleading and annoying). While it's not a bad work of animation, it's certainly not the Christmas story I would show my kids if I were to have any; I'd rather you let your kids watch The Nativity Story, or if you're not a Christian family, Noel and A Christmas Carol (preferably the Mickey Mouse and friends version). I don't hate this special (unlike the song it's based off of), but I really don't want to see this again :/moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The doctor (Who looks remarkably like the King in Tanta Kringle's scrapbook.) who examins Burger Meister Meister Burger after Burger Meister trips over a toy duck tells him that he has broken his funny bone. The funny bone, or Humerous, is the arm. Yet Burger Meister has a cast on his right foot. Second the doctor is able to determine that Burger Meister broke a bone by just taking his temperature.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (0)


More Info About This Movie


Animation, Comedy, Kids


Family Comedies, Stop-Motion & Clay-Animation, Classics