Let’s hear a “Ho, ho, ho” for two of the most memorable characters from the stop-motion animated Christmas specials of the seventies: Heat Miser & Snow Miser.
Featured in the 1974 holiday classic, The Year Without a Santa Claus, the brothers — voiced by actors George S Irving (Heat Miser) and Dick Shawn (Snow Miser) — memorably performed their signature tunes, with their minions as backup singers.
The Year Without a Santa Claus: When old Santa takes a year off
Have you been told. Did you ever hear, Of that curious, furious fidgety year, When Santa Claus unhitched his sleigh And vowed he was taking a holiday?
“The Year Without a Santa Claus,” based on a story by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Phyllis McGinley, will be presented as a Christmas special on the ABC television network as an addition to the holiday season schedule.
The program will be presented in Animagic, the unique three-dimensional process, created by Rankin-Bass Productions, which combines stop-motion photography with animation. The show will feature the vocal talents of Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn and George S. Irving.
The musical tale tells of the year Santa Claus woke with a cold and decided that instead of climbing into his sleigh and delivering gifts to people who didn’t believe in him anyway, he would just stay in bed and catch up on his sleep.
Shirley Booth, winner of an Academy Award for “Come Back Little Sheba” and a Tony Award for “Time of the Cuckoo,” narrates the story, and steps into the cast as Mrs Santa Claus. Mickey Rooney stars as the tired and disillusioned Santa Claus.
There will be six original songs in “The Year Without a Santa Claus”, plus three favorite Christmas tunes — “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “Blue Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride”. The original music was written by Maury Laws, with lyrics by Jules Bans. The script is adapted by William Keenan and the production designed by Paul Coker, Jr.
Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass, who will co-produce and co-direct the special, have created many perennial holiday programs for television, including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “The Drummer Boy,” “Frosty the Snowman” and the ABC special, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” which encores for the fifth season on Friday, December 6.
Mister Snow Miser & Mister Heat Miser’s song
Take a look back with the video below, and now you can even sing along with the lyrics below!