LiveActionYearWithoutASanta DVD

Cover to the DVD release.

The Year Without a Santa Claus is a live-action remake of the Rankin/Bass television special of the same name. The film premiered on NBC on December 11, 2006.


SPOILER: Plot details or story follow.

This remake follows the same basic concept as the original Rankin/Bass special: Santa Claus, disillusioned by children's lack of belief in him and in the spirit of giving, decides not to deliver toys this Christmas Eve, despite the arguments by Mrs. Claus and two of his helper-elves, Jingle and Jangle. They decide to provide Santa with some proof that children still believe and that they still deserve toys from Santa, so the elves visit the United States in search of Christmas spirit.

At first, they face only setbacks, both in South Town, which is celebrating its annual Winter Festival, and in their dealings with the jealous, competitive Miser Brothers, who refuse to compromise long enough to permit a Christmas snow in the southern town. Finally, Santa's faith in children is renewed with the help of a boy named Iggy Thistlewhite.

Spoilers end here.

Differences from the original special

The most obvious differences are in the setting, which is moved to the 21st century present day, and the music, which is all but gone. Only the iconic "Miser" songs are retained (though they are mixed together, and instead of being sung when the Misers are approached, the song is sung during their feud).

The remake also includes two subplots which did not appear in the Rankin/Bass version: The commercial coup of Santa's toy-making operation by the ambitious elf Sparky, who wants a more modern and lucrative approach; and the family troubles of Iggy. His father (who is also the mayor in this remake) is too busy to focus on his family, even at Christmas. Mayor Thistlewhite is a foil both for Santa, in his journey to rediscover the Christmas spirit, and for Sparky, in his efforts to sell out the town's historic district to an out-of-town commercial enterprise. In addition, the movie attempts to give more depth to the relationship between Mrs. Claus and Santa. Another difference is that it is Santa who sees the Miser Brothers about having it snow in South Town instead of Mrs. Claus. Like in the original, the brothers refuse to cooperate, but change their minds when Santa threatens to go to their mother.

A number of pop-culture references pepper the script, including a glimpse of the original special on Jingle's portable TV. Faced with the prospect of losing his job because of Santa's retirement, Jingle muses that he could go to work for his cousin, who is a dentist; this is a reference to Hermey from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The script also works in a reference to A Christmas Story: When a disgruntled marksman tells Santa he wanted a gun last Christmas, Santa flatly remarks, "You would've shot your eye out, kid!" Then he comically mimics the marksman having (hypothetically) done just that.



Actor Character
John Goodman Santa Claus
Delta Burke Mrs. Claus
Michael McKean Snow Miser
Harvey Fierstein Heat Miser
Ethan Suplee Jingle Bells
Eddie Griffin Jangle Bells
Dylan Minnette Ignatius Thistlewhite

External links

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Pictures Christmas in ConnecticutGremlinsNational Lampoon's Christmas VacationJack FrostNational Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island AdventureThe Year Without a Santa ClausFred ClausA Christmas Story 2
New Line Cinema ElfThe Nativity StoryFour ChristmasesA Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Live-action television episodes
Friends and Joey "The One With Phoebe's Dad" • "The One Where Rachel Quits" • "The One With the Girl from Poughkeepsie" • "The One With the Inappropriate Sister" • "The One With the Routine" • "The One With the Holiday Armadillo" • "The One With the Creepy Holiday Card" • "The One With Christmas in Tulsa" • "Joey and the Plot Twist" • "Joey and the Christmas Party"
DC Comics "Season's Greedings" • "Home is Where the Hurt Is" • "Twas the Night Before Mxymas" • "Lexmas" • "Gemini" • "Year's End" • "Three Ghosts"
Other shows "A Semi-Merry Christmas" • "Mel, the Magi" • "Mel's Christmas Carol" • "'Tis the Season to Be Jealous" • "A Christmas Story" (Growing Pains) • "A Christmas Story" (Just the Ten of Us) • "Santa on the Lam" • "Miracle on Elm Street" • "The Christmas Show" • "Fa La La La Laagghh!" • "The Man Who Canceled Christmas" • "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" • "Deck the Malls" • "Christmas Day-Ja Vu" • "A Country Christmas" • "How the Finch Stole Christmas" • "Meet the Cuban Parents" • "Christmas Punch" • "A Clear and Presentless Danger" • "George Is Being Elfish and Christ-Misses His Family" • "Santa's Secret Stuff" • "A Very Supernatural Christmas" • "The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis" • "Christmas" (The Middle) • "It's Beginning to Stink a Lot Like Christmas" • "The Maternal Congruence" • "Jolly Red Elf" • "The World Ain't Over 'Till It's Over" • "The Santa Simulation" • "Give Santa a Tail-Hole" | "Home for Christmas
Animated productions
Looney Tunes and related shows The Shanty Where Santy Claus LivesBedtime for SnifflesGift WrappedBugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales • "It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special" • "'Twas the Day Before Christmas" • "Jingle Boo" • "The Great Wakkorotti: The Holiday Concert" • "A Christmas Plotz" • "Little Drummer Warners" • "No Time for Christmas" • "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas" • "It Happened One Night Before Christmas" • "In Arms Way" • "The Twelve Days of Christmas" • Christmas Eve with Yakko, Wakko & Dot • "Noel" • "The Christmas Tree" • "The Banks of the Delaware River" • "Feather Christmas" • "Yule Be Sorry" • "Christmas in July" • Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas • "A Christmas Carol" • "Tis the Seasoning"
DC Comics "Christmas With the Joker" • "Holiday Knights" • "Frozen Out" • "Comfort and Joy" • "Storybook Holiday" • "Invasion of the Secret Santas!" • "Second Christmas" • "The True Meaning of Christmas" • "Teen Titans Save Christmas"
Other cartoons "A Dickens of a Christmas" • "Yuletide and Redtide" • A Scooby-Doo! Christmas • "The Match Before Xmas" • The Polar Express • "Ho Ho Horrors" • Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker TaleA Miser Brothers' Christmas • "Da Grinchy Code / Duck" • "FROST / Undercover Claus" • Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays • "Fantastic Four Christmases / Red and White Collar" • "The Plight Before Christmas" • Tom and Jerry: Santa's Little HelpersElf: Buddy's Musical Christmas • "Scary Christmas"
Have Yourself a Looney Tunes ChristmasA Hip-Hopera ChristmasMerry Christmas: Animaniacs & Looney TunesThe Looney Tunes Kwazy ChristmasA Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas