Adventures Of Santa Claus
Hey kids (of all ages), it’s Saturday Morning Cartoon time again! Christmas-style, even!
Last week, we covered Rankin/Bass’ origin story for the Big Guy with Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town from 1970. Later Rankin/Bass specials seemed to stay in continuity with that version. But this time, they went with something quite different.
L. Frank Baum, best known known for creating the Wonderful Wizard Of Oz and related stories, included Santa in his extended fantasy world-building. He put the rising Claus in a faerie forest that was more Narnia or Middle Earth than we were used to seeing for our jolly sleigh jockey.
Though the two Animagic Santa origin specials were made 15 years apart, the first one was repeated every year and was heart-canon for kids. This contradictory backstory went over like a lead balloon. Even though it does have more satisfying (albeit mostly implied) badassery on the part of Santa’s pagan allies.
This 1985 telefilm was the final Animagic stop-action production. The full title is The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. Rankin/Bass would hang on a while longer with flat animation, including the Thundercats and Silverhawks of all things. More from the OldHorseman.