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Random Rankin/Bass Stop-Motion Christmas Stories From Your Youth Are Weirder Than You Remember

  • The Year Without a Santa Claus on Random Rankin/Bass Stop-Motion Christmas Stories From Your Youth Are Weirder Than You Remember

    (#11) The Year Without a Santa Claus

    • Mickey Rooney, Shirley Booth, Dick Shawn, Bob McFadden, George S. Irving, Bradley Bolke, Christine Winter, Rhoda Mann, Ron Marshall, Colin Duffy

    In The Year Without a Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus wants to ensure that Santa can go on his appointed rounds (he only works one day a year, after all, and she undoubtedly wants some time alone). The weather, however, isn't cooperating. Mrs. Claus goes directly to the Snow Miser and the Heat Miser - and then to their mom, Mother Nature - to get the weather straightened out for Santa's big day. She asks that they alter the weather for one day every year, and they eventually oblige.

    It's a convenient way to wrap up the story, but wouldn't interfering and changing the weather, even for one day, set off a chain reaction of environmental destruction? Seems like something a Claus would know not to mess with. 

  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus on Random Rankin/Bass Stop-Motion Christmas Stories From Your Youth Are Weirder Than You Remember

    (#4) The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

    • Alfred Drake, Bob McFadden, Earle Hyman, Earl Hammond

    The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus was the last stop-motion animation Christmas special produced by Rankin/Bass. And, boy, does it deal with some weirdly heavy subject matter for kids' programming.

    Based on the L. Frank Baum book of the same name, this special makes no bones about the fact that Santa is a mythical being. In fact, he's living in a mythical world full of nymphs and fairies and fantastical creatures. There's a whole good-versus-evil thing going on, but the story mainly centers on whether the mythic folk who inhabit Santa's world will make him immortal.

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on Random Rankin/Bass Stop-Motion Christmas Stories From Your Youth Are Weirder Than You Remember

    (#10) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    • Janis Orenstein

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer portrays Santa as having something of a messiah complex. He forces the elves to sing about what an incredible boss he is and how lucky they are to work for him. Also, the female reindeer are relegated to second-class citizens, confined to their caves and forced into problematic and archaic stereotypes.

    Furthermore, there's an uncomfortable message being sent regarding acceptance and inclusivity. To name two examples: Rudolph is only loved and accepted when he's found to be useful to Santa, and defective toys - those toys deemed less than perfect - are exiled and banished forever.

  • Rudolph's Shiny New Year on Random Rankin/Bass Stop-Motion Christmas Stories From Your Youth Are Weirder Than You Remember

    (#5) Rudolph's Shiny New Year

    • Red Skelton

    Rudolph's Shiny New Year is just what it sounds like: a New Year's-set sequel to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The oddities of this Rankin/Bass peculiarity stem from its time-travel storyline. Rudolph visits a multitude of periods between 1 million BCE and 1965 in his quest to find the missing Baby New Year.

    What's even more strange and distressing: Baby New Year, whose name is Happy, gets taken by a villainous vulture named Eon who hurts him emotionally.

  • Jack Frost on Random Rankin/Bass Stop-Motion Christmas Stories From Your Youth Are Weirder Than You Remember

    (#9) Jack Frost

    • Buddy Hackett, Don Messick, Paul Frees, Larry Storch, Dave Garroway, Robert Morse, Dina Lynn, Sonny Melendrez, Debra Clinger, Dee Stratton

    You'd be forgiven if you thought this was a lighthearted fairytale about that little winter sprite who's always nipping at your nose. But joyous it's not. In fact, Rankin/Bass's Jack Frost is a major downer of a holiday special.

    The title character is briefly made human, only to be returned to sprite form in the end. And he doesn't even win the heart of Elisa, the woman for whom he transformed. Instead, he has to watch as she falls in love with someone else.

  • Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July on Random Rankin/Bass Stop-Motion Christmas Stories From Your Youth Are Weirder Than You Remember

    (#2) Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July

    • Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons, Ethel Merman, Don Messick, Paul Frees, Darlene Conley, Harold Peary, Billie Mae Richards, Nellie Bellflower, Alan Sues, Jackie Vernon, Shelby Flint

    Despite the presence of Rudolph and Frosty, this is not really a Christmas special. It's more of a Fourth of July special - despite first airing in November - and there's a couple of oddball plotlines going on in this one.

    First, a mad sorcerer named Winterbolt is trying to best Santa, forcing Kris Kringle to summon Rudolph for help. Second, Rudolph and Frosty are inexplicably trying to prevent a circus from closing due to unpaid debts. Happy holidays?

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About This Tool

Rankin/Bass Animation Entertainment has created the longest-lasting holiday TV specials ever, the red-nosed reindeer and Rudolph, Frosty Snowman are the most popular animated Rankin/Bath characters, and more classic Christmas stories are familiar to children. The first Rankin/Bass animated Christmas special is also the most famous, since its premiere on NBC in 1964,  the TV shows have been regularly broadcast every Christmas holiday.

The Christmas holiday is not complete without Rankin Bass's Christmas purpose. Which are your favorite Christmas stories when you were a kid? Here the generator introduced 11 Rankin/Bass Christmas Stories that are weirder than your memory.

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