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Santa Claus is Coming, but maybe not quite how you expect

Updated on December 27, 2011

Ever wonder where Santa Claus got his name and why he goes down chimneys. Well, this one easily overlooks the first question, but all the rest is covered in interesting ways.

Imagine Batman Begins for Santa Claus. With Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass create step by step reasons for his suit, his beard, the presents, the stockings, the gravelly voice and the batmobile. Or something like that.

Narrated by Fred Astaire, the story starts in a village called Sombertown. A baby is discovered with a tag that simply reads "Claus". Through a series of events, the baby ends up at the doorstep of the Kringle family, an elf household who loves to make toys and throw them in the pile out back. Composting or something. They used to make toys for the king but they can't take them past the mountain of the Whispering Winds for fear of the Winter Warlock (Keenan Wynn). They raise the boy with the name of Kris (Mickey Rooney) until he decides to take a bunch of their toys to nearby Sombertown and give them to the kids there.

Little does he know that Mayor Burgermeister Meisterburger (Paul Frees) has made toys illegal. Needless to say, but I'm going to say it anyway, this causes no little amount of headache for Kris who ends up in love, in trouble and in jail.

It's a fun film with hummable music. Of course, it also includes "My World is Beginning Today" which seems to go on too long for me and slows the pacing down a bit. It's a pretty enough song on its own, but I'm not a fan of it in the context of this film. It doesn't ruin the movie. I'm just not a fan.

And near as I can tell, this is the first of 7 times when Mickey Rooney plays Santa Claus.

This one gets a 7 / 10.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town is unrated and fine for all audiences.


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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      We need at least one new one every year to keep the steady stream of them flowing. But the old one will always be part of our celebrations. Can't get from Thanksgiving to New Year's without seeing It's A Wonderful Life at least once. The Family Stone is a new classic. And my husband considers Die Hard a perinnial favorite.