Monday, December 11, 2006

The Year Without a Santa Claus

Tonight at 9, NBC will be airing their remake of the Christmas "classic," The Year Without a Santa Claus. Since the original (made by Rankin-Bass Productions, creators of the legitimate classic Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer) aired years before I was born, I watch it more for the mockability than for the nostalgia.

For those who haven't seen it, it revolves around Santa having a cold and refusing to do his one-day-a-year job, thus requiring that a couple of elves leave the North Pole to show him the spirit of Christmas, or something. In reality, it revolves around the awesomeness of the Heat Miser and Snow Miser characters. Check out the Heat Miser's song (sorry 'bout the bad's the best one I could find):

Is that the best thing ever, or is that the best thing ever? It totally is. He's too much! Snow Miser also has an extremely similar song, which is somehow made less awesome by his lack of crazy troll hair. In the NBC live-action version, Heat Miser is played by Harvey Fierstein, and Snow Miser is played (to excellent effect) by Michael McKean. The two songs are, regrettably, combined into one:

Not bad, given it's a live-action version of an incredibly simplistic stop-motion animation movie. However, TV Squad points out that NBC updated the premise, making it all modern and angsty. Lame, NBC! LAME. It has a pretty impressive cast, but I think it might hit in that deadly zone in between "so bad it's funny" and "actually good," making it simply boring.

Incidentally, I caught another Rankin-Bass "classic" this weekend for the first time: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. It pretty much has two themes (plus a super-sweet psychedelic song). First, Santa must deliver presents beyond the iron curtain to poor children in Burgermeister Meisterburger's town, since toys are outlawed there. Second, Santa is totally a pedophile. Seriously, there's one song that's all, "Sit on my lap and give me a kiss, and I'll give you a present!" It's not even subtext. It's supertext: SANTA WILL BREAK INTO YOUR HOUSE AND MOLEST YOUR CHILDREN!!! I'm not sure if that's what Rankin and Bass were going for, but it's definitely pretty clear. Thanks, ABC Family, for the awesome PSA!

Now all I need to make this holiday season complete is to catch Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, which may be the most ridiculous holiday special in the history of the world. It involves a circus, an ice cream man in love, and Frosty and his family risking their lives to watch fireworks. Pure magic.