Welcome one and all to the 2009 Shelf Christmas Party. We hope to bring you articles, favorite Chirstmas posts of the past, more "behind the carol" articles (which we started with our last post on I Heard the Bells on Chirstmas Day) and of course our weekly Christmas cartoon!
Today we bring you an under appreciated Christmas Special from Rankin Bass: The Life and Times of Santa Claus, originally aired in 1985. It was the last Animagic special produced by Rankin-Bass and the next to last Christmas special ever produced by Rankin/Bass themselves; the last being the animated 2001 Santa, Baby! The more recent iterations using the classic Rankin/Bass characters, to my understanding, have been produced by other groups like Classic Media or Warner Brothers who own the rights to the characters. For example, Warner Brother's produced the most recent special, the 2008 A Miser Brothers' Christmas, which just didn't have the same flavor and warmth as the original Rankin/Bass output. Which is something to be said for the originality, warmth and general wonderfulness of the work by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass.
While you can catch it sometimes on ABC Family, it no longer runs on Network television, and until just the past couple of weeks it was unavailable on DVD. Now you can order it through the Warner Brothers Archive MOD DVD shop, which I encourage you to do, as I have. It's a wonderful and unique special, that's based on an original story by L. Frank Baum (Wizard of Oz) from 1902, and tells a fantastical tale of how Santa Claus became...Santa Claus and immortal, and also provides the many origins of Christmas traditions. Enjoy!
Hope you've enjoyed this week's installment, and I hope you enjoyed the post on the story behind I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Stay tuned for more of the 2009 edition of the Shelf Christmas Party!
In all this world, there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child.