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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974) By Mickster

December 9th, 2013 by unkle lancifer · 13 Comments

Loyal readers of Kindertrauma know that the Mickster loves Rankin-Bass Christmas specials. In fact, my very first traumafession in 2007 was about Frosty the Snowman. Over the years, I have also written about The Year without a Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. This holiday season I share my feelings on ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Junctionville has a problem. The people of the town have just received their letters to Santa unopened. Unfortunately, Santa is quite perturbed about a letter he received that called him a “fraudulent myth” that was simply signed “all of us”. Now, the townsfolk must devise a plan to make Santa happy again before he passes them by on Christmas Eve. Egad! What a traumatic thought!

This special is one of many (Rudolph, Year Without a Santa, The Grinch, etc.) that convinced me that Christmas could be canceled due to some unforeseen problem. As a child, I found it especially troublesome that a child (Albert the jerk-head mouse) would write a letter saying that Santa was not real. I speculate it is sour grapes on his part because contrary to the signature on the letter he, in fact, has no friends. Little Mickster did, however, find it heartwarming that two adults would try to make things right with Santa. Joshua Trundle, the clockmaker, decided the solution was to make an enormous clock that would play a special song for Santa on Christmas Eve, and Father Mouse attempted to convince his troublemaking son that Santa was indeed real.

The music in TTNBC makes it quite special. “Give Your Heart a Try,” sung by Father Mouse to the doubtful and arrogant Albert is catchy and fun. I have noticed that this song is cut when it airs on ABC Family. That is just unacceptable. “Even a Miracle Needs a Hand,” sung by Joshua Trundle to his sad children to raise their hopes simply makes me smile with a hint of a tear. “Christmas Chimes are Calling Santa,” played for an annoyed Santa on Christmas Eve brought relief to me as a child because I knew Santa would forgive the town and come after all.

There was plenty of suspense in TTNBC for me as young child. Would the town stop blaming Mr. Trundle for the clock not working before he and his family starved for lack of work? Would Albert (the stupid moron) fix the clock in time? Would Santa forgive the town? Bottom line-Believe in Santa and be good, or there could be dire consequences!

P.S. Santa looks totally bizarre sporting buckteeth and no mustache!

Tags: Holidays · Kinder Loves Mickster!




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bdwilcox
bdwilcox
6 years ago

Cricket on the Hearth was nice and depressing Rankin-Bass holiday fare as well.

Apocalypsejunkie
Apocalypsejunkie
6 years ago

Oh how I wanted to stomp that little fuknut rat Albert!

The Long Eared DonkeyRankin-Bass is another wrist slasher. Who honestly thought the little donkey watching his mother freeze to death was fine holiday fare for children?

mickster
mickster
6 years ago

Unkle L, thanks for letting me vent about that awful Albert! Perhaps Santa was extra sensitive since he made the ill-advised decision to shave his mustache only to discover he had buckteeth.
bdwilcox, I have heard of that one, but I do not think I have ever watched it. Thanks for the warning!
Apocalypsejunkie, glad you agree that Albert should be exterminated! Nester is just torture! I may start crying just thinking about it!
Over the weekend, I decided to watch the Rankin-Bass Jack Frost. Egad! That thing is terrible and has nothing to do with Christmas. Unkle Lancifer was correct in placing him on the most unloved Rankin-Bass character list from a few years ago.

mickster
mickster
6 years ago

Here is Unkle Lancifer’s awesome list.
Top 10 Least Loved RANKIN & BASS Characters
https://www.kindertrauma.com/?p=173

bigwig
bigwig
6 years ago

I remember this too well, and thinking as a kid that it only took one ne’er-do-well to voice out to Santa, and the rest of us *good* kids got the shaft!
And speaking of melancholy/sad specials, do you remember the one about the little bear that tried to stay up, staving off his hibernation urge to see what Christmas was all about? He wanders around in the city, tired and utterly confused, never getting any real answers. He had a voice like Carlton the Doorman that made his hopeless quest all the more painful to me. I think in the end Santa turns him into a teddy bear (he falls asleep before he gets to meet him), and he gets to be a loving gift, but the lost-in-the-city confused litte bear was all that really stuck with me.

mickster
mickster
6 years ago

bigwig, I do remember the special about the bear waiting for Santa!

Dustin
Dustin
6 years ago

Aaagh! I ranked this Christmas special as the second-worst of seven mentioned in my blog last year ranking Christmas specials!

The only one worse than this one was Frosty the Snowman. I think animators in the 1970s hated children. Then again, they could have aired an animated version of the Zapruder film, and we would have watched it BECAUSE IT WAS A CARTOON!

http://ascaleof.blogspot.com/2012/12/animated-christmas-specials-scale-of.html

mickster
mickster
6 years ago

Dustin, thanks so much for sharing your list! You might get a kick out of reading my old Rankin-Bass posts.

Dustin
Dustin
6 years ago

Thanks, mickster. I’ll check out some more of your Rankin-Bass posts.

This had to be the creepiest of their specials. I think the clock maker’s family was creepiest of all!

mickster
mickster
6 years ago

Yeah, Mr. and Mrs. Trundle look more like brother and sister than husband and wife…creepy!

Dustin
Dustin
6 years ago

Siblings vs. husband and wife… hmm… perhaps Rankin-Bass were also considering an animated version of “Flowers in the Attic”.

mickster
mickster
6 years ago

LOL! Perhaps you are right!