A Miser Brothers' Christmas is a sequel to the classic 1974 television special The Year Without a Santa Claus. This stop-motion animated special was produced by Warner Bros. Television Animation (owners of the post-1973 Rankin/Bass animated special library) and Toronto-based Cuppa Coffee Studios. It premiered as part of ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas on December 13, 2008, making it the network's first original animated special, and was aired annually on the network through 2015. Mickey Rooney reprised his role of Santa Claus, which originally debuted in the 1970 special Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, while George S. Irving reprised his role as the Heat Miser. Original music was written by William K. Anderson, with the exception of "Snow Miser/Heat Miser", which was written by Maury Laws and Jules Bass for the 1974 special. Eddie Guzelian wrote the story and Dave Barton Thomas directed.
The special was nominated for the 2008 Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production; however, it lost to Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Santa's chief mechanic, Tinsel, makes a new Super-Sleigh, which Santa decides to test the next day. Meanwhile, the feuding Miser Brothers, Heat Miser and Snow Miser, attend their family reunion, where their brother, North Wind, passively asks Mother Nature what might happen if Santa would be unable to complete his duties on Christmas. She responds that North Wind would take control instead. Self-absorbed and vain, North Wind becomes fixated with the idea of replacing Santa Claus as a way to achieve personal glory. Despite his dashing appearance and veneer of flattery and devotion toward his mother, North Wind is far more malevolent than either of his brothers. Beginning his machinations, North Wind sends two minions to sabotage the Super-Sleigh. The crippled sleigh causes Santa to injure his back after falling in the middle of a fight between the Miser Brothers as he unintentionally crosses into their domain.
Despite what she told North Wind before, Mother Nature assigns the Miser Brothers the responsibility of running the toy factory after they were blamed for Santa's injuries. Their fighting continues as they move through several stations of the North Pole workplace. North Wind hatches a new plan to keep them fighting so it would appear as if they ruined Christmas themselves, but Mrs. Claus convinces the Misers to put aside their differences and cooperate by showing them the Naughty/Nice list station. The history of the brothers is revealed, showing they've been on Santa's "naughty list" for mutual bickering since infancy. (This history would contradict The Year Without a Santa Claus, in which they identify each other as stepbrothers, as they appear this time to be fraternal twins.) Upon learning the error of their ways, the two begin working together, and successfully get work back up to speed. However, North Wind hatches a plan to destroy their truce and get them fighting again, leaving Santa to deliver the toys and giving North Wind the chance to finish him off.
On Christmas Eve, North Wind's minions surreptitiously attach heating and cooling units to the sleigh, apparently capable of heating or cooling entire regions of the planet. The discovery causes the Miser Brothers to blame each other. With them fighting again, Santa has no choice but to drive the sleigh as North Wind planned. After Santa leaves, Tinsel discovers the super-sleigh has been sabotaged, which stops the Misers' fight as they realize that neither of them was responsible for injuring Santa. Upon finding one of North Wind's Christmas cards with him dressed as Santa, the Misers realize the truth about their brother and comprehend his plan. Meanwhile, North Wind attacks Santa's sleigh in flight, whipping up a vortex to consume Santa but the Miser Brothers, with the aid of Tinsel and a team of young reindeer, save Santa in the nick of time. North Wind's cover is blown and Mother Nature sentences him to household chores for the next several thousand years as punishment for his actions. With North Wind thwarted, the Brothers learn they've finally made the "Nice List." The Miser Brothers then volunteer to replace the recuperating Santa in delivering the toys to children, giving gifts to each other in the process, making peace between them and ending their feud.
- "Joy of Christmas Season"
- "My Kind Of Christmas"
- "Snow & Heat Miser Song"
- "Snow & Heat Miser Song" (Reprise)
Warner Home Video released the special on DVD on October 6, 2009. The DVD contained a bonus behind-the-scenes featurette titled "What Makes Stop Motion Go". This DVD was later re-released as part of the 4 Kid Favorites: Holiday Family Fun Collection box set, released on October 1, 2013. The special itself was also included on the Santa's Magical Stories DVD set (sharing its disc with Jack Frost and Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July), released on October 4, 2011.
|Mickey Rooney||Santa Claus|
|George S. Irving||Heat Miser|
|Juan Chioran||Snow Miser|
|Catherine Disher||Mrs. Claus|
|Brad Adamson||North Wind|
|Patricia Hamilton||Mother Nature|
- A Miser Brothers' Christmas at the Internet Movie Database
- A Miser Brothers' Christmas at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Platypus Comix's review
- A Miser Brothers' Christmas
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