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'''''Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town''''' is a 1970 StopMotion puppet animated (called "Animagic") [[RankinBassProductions Rankin-Bass]] [[ChristmasSpecial holiday special]] detailing SantaClaus' early years.

As narrated by polar postman S.D. ("Special Delivery") Kluger (Creator/FredAstaire), a family of toy-making elves adopts a foundling baby and decides to call him Kris Kringle. When Kris grows into a young man (Mickey Rooney), he offers to take the toys the elves have made past the mountain of the evil Winter Warlock (Keenan Wynn, Ed Wynn's son) to the children of Sombertown. Unfortunately for Kris, the leader of the town, Burgermeister Meisterburger (Rankin-Bass favorite Creator/PaulFrees), injured himself shortly before by tripping over a toy left by a child and subsequently banned all toys from the town. The story details how Kris outwits the Burgermeister, but is eventually forced to run from his soldiers to the safety of the North Pole.

The script, by Rankin-Bass's usual writer, Romeo Muller, uses elements suggested by ''The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus'' by [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz Oz]] author Creator/LFrankBaum; Rankin-Bass would produce a more direct adaptation in 1985. The music followed the favored R-B formula, starting with a classic Christmas tune and adding original songs by Maury Laws and co-producer Jules Bass.

Had a semi-sequel called ''The Easter Bunny Is Comin' To Town'' which had Fred Astaire reprise his role while telling kids about the Easter Bunny's origins.
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!!This ChristmasSpecial provides examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: Pretty much every trope associated with Santa is put into the plot. Whoda thunk that the first Christmas trees were the ones Kris and Jessica decorated for their outlaw wedding in the wild?
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: Apart from the obvious Kris Kringle, there's also the Winter Warlock and his tree monsters, Willy Willow and Peter Pine.
* AmusingInjuries: Happens to Burgermeister Meisterburger at least twice, including once in the form of an AssShove.
* AnachronismStew: Although the story allegedly takes place several centuries ago in a medieval walled city, the clothing is mostly Victorian (and Jessica seems dressed for 1910); later scenes mix Victorian adultwear and kids in jeans. A character is seen at a desk with a touch tone telephone from the 1960s and Kris is seen giving a child in Sombertown a toy train; he also gives one to the Warlock. Also, a toy automobile is visible in one of the piles of confiscated playthings in the Burgermeister's home. This may have been done deliberately to give it a timeless feeling.
* AppliedPhlebotinum: Magic feed corn that makes reindeer fly! And apparently, the effect is permanent.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: '''Burgermeister Meisterburger'''. Come on now, how can it ''not'' be an awesome name.
* BeardnessProtectionProgram: Why Kris originally grows his beard.
* BigBad: Burgermeister Meisterburger ultimately turns out to be more of a threat to Christmas than the Winter Warlock.
* BilingualBonus: German-accented Tanta Kringle's name sounds like the German word ''tante'', which means "aunt."
** Also "Is that why he's called Santa Claus?" Until you learn that "santa" is Spanish for "saint," this line can be meaningless.
* BlitheSpirit: Kris, upon visiting Sombertown.
* BondVillainStupidity: Burgermeister Meisterburger doesn't figure out that the only way to stop Kris Kringle's toy delivery service was striking at its heart until ''after'' Kris devises the "toys in the stockings" gambit to conceal the toys. His own soldiers are just as dumb, overlooking the stockings when searching the houses as well as Winter's magic corn when arresting him and the Kringles.
* CaptainObvious: Kris's observation to Tanta Kringle that "I'm a man now!" Double points for having this declaration immediately follow the {{Narrator}}'s announcement that Kris was now a man.
** Also nearly ''every damned time'' some part of the Santa legend is shown the origin of, the kids the narrator is telling the story to feel the need to point it out. Made particularly annoying since the kids are ''very'' bad actors.
* ChristmasElves: The Kringles (well, the males in the family) appear to be little old men with beards.
* ChristmasSpecial
* ContinuityNod: RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer makes a brief cameo, with S.D. Kluger telling us that his origin is another story.
* CoolCar: Kluger's snowmobile/truck
* CrystalBall: A crystal ''snow'' ball! This is what Santa uses to know whether you're naughty or nice.
* DarkReprise: "No More Toymakers to the King."
* DefrostingIceQueen: Jessica... about five seconds after Kris meets her.
** Trope could also apply to the Winter Warlock, once Kris gives him the toy train he's always wanted. He literally defrosts.
* DiscOneFinalBoss: The Winter Warlock is hyped up in his debut scene as the potential BigBad...but Burgermeister Meisterburger winds up having that position instead.
* DisneyAcidSequence: The song Jessica sings, "My World is Beginning Today," and its animation are straight out of TheSeventies. Psychedelic, man. It's so out of place that lots of channels airing the special actually cut out that scene.
* DisproportionateRetribution: What spurs the toy-ban? The Burgermeister ''tripped on a toy and broke his leg in the fall.'' Upon discovering the cause of his accident, Meisterburger declares ItsPersonal.
-->"I hate toys...and toys hate me. Either they are going, or I am going, and I am certainly not going!"
* DontExplainTheJoke: "So ''that's'' why he __________!"
* DoorstopBaby: Kris himself.
** Unique in that the person who owned the doorstep Kris was left on (Burgermeister Meisterburger!) had no interest in raising a child, and had the baby sent to an orphan asylum. It's only due to the forces of nature and some friendly animals that Baby Claus ended up with the Kringles.
* DramaticallyMissingthePoint: When asked if everybody loves Santa, Kluger says ''most'' everyone, and shows several "poor misguided folks who [[LampshadeHanging missed the whole point]]" and wonder why everyone is so happy on Christmas when there is so much unhappiness in the world. Kluger then says that there might be lots of unhappiness, but Christmas takes a little of that away, and maybe if we all tried to be like Santa Claus, the world wouldn't be so unhappy.
* EnvironmentalSymbolism: Sombertown and its citizens are done in drab grays with occasional muted blues or purples, whereas Kris and the Kringles are bright and colorful.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Topper.
* EvilLaugh: Burgermeister Meisterburger delivers one after announcing his intention to initiate a worldwide manhunt for Kris. It's the last thing we ever hear him utter while he's onscreen (his reading of the WANTED poster shortly afterward doesn't count).
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Sombertown. The whole town is somber.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: The good news is that Kris and Topper managed to escape an entire legion of armed guards by escaping into the woods. The BAD news:
--> '''Kris:''' "You are trespassing on the lands of the...Winter...Warlock."
--> '''Trees behind him:''' '''''ROAAAAAAAAR!'''''
* FirstNameBasis: What the Winter Warlock tries to be on with Kris after his HeelFaceTurn. However, Kris continues (for ''centuries'') to address him as "Mr. Warlock." It just may be that Kris is trying to sound formal, since Winter, after all, is a very important friend.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Kris.
* GallowsHumor: Kris actually makes a light-hearted joke about the Sombertown-wide toy ban he had just learned about after giving Jessica the dolly she had always wanted: "Watch out for that dolly. She's a hardened criminal, I hear."
* HappilyAdopted: Kris, by the Kringles.
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: Happens to Burgermeister Meisterburger: "Excuse me, sir: you're breaking your own law."
* HeelFaceTurn: The Winter Warlock.
--> '''Mr. Warlock, if you please!'''
** Then, later, after his icy heart (literally) melts:
---> '''[[AccidentalMisnaming Please, call me 'Winter.' ]]'''
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Rudolph is mentioned,but quickly said to be part of another story
* HeroesWantRedheads: Kris and Jessica.
* HotLibrarian: Jessica, the schoolteacher of Sombertown.
* [[IHaveYourWife I Have Your Penguin]]: The Burgermeister finally lays a trap for Kris and catches him coming out of a chimney. Kris surrenders when he realizes they've already captured Topper.
* {{Hypocrite}}: The Burgermeister banned toys, but reveals that he's an avid yoyo enthusiast when Kris gives him one in an almost successful attempt to convince him to drop the ban. He's pretty angry when he realizes he's breaking his own law.
* IllGirl: One of these was what led to Kris discovering that he could use chimneys to enter locked houses. "Susie, a tiny little girl who was very, very sick, had asked Kris for a toy Noah's ark. Kris just couldn't disappoint her." It's left ambiguous just what the extent of her illness is; "very, very sick" could very well be a stand-in for "dying".
* ImportantHaircut: Kris's beard.
* InkSuitActor: Kris (Mickey Rooney) and the narrator, S.D. Kluger (Fred Astaire).
* {{Jerkass}}: The Burgermeister, in case you haven't figured it out yet.
* LettingHerHairDown: Jessica, during her song sequence.
* LineOfSightName: Topper the penguin. For some reason, while sputtering after the penguin's display of affectionate gratitude, the word 'topper' comes out of Kris's mouth and he decides that's what the penguin's name will be.
* MicroMonarchy: The setting.
* MisplacedWildlife: Topper. Justified, as he was looking for the ''South'' Pole and ended up in the Arctic Circle by mistake.
* {{Narrator}}: Fred Astaire's Arctic mailman, S.D. Kluger.
* NonHumanSidekick: Topper the penguin.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Grimsley proves how scarily competent he really is when he and a Meisterburger posse bust the Kringles' toy-making operation (leaving only Jessica unscathed in the ambush):
-->'''Grimsley''': NOBODY is going to do ANYTHING! You are ALL under arrest for defying the law and making toys... ''[points to Winter]'' and for being an accomplice to PublicEnemy Number One, KRIS KRINGLE!\\
'''Meisterburger soldier''': To the dungeon!
* TheObiWan: Winter becomes this after his HeelFaceTurn.
* OnlySixFaces: The King in Tanta Kringle's song "First Toymakers to the King" has the same character design (at least facially) as the Doctor who attends the Burgermeister ''and'' the father of the children who find toys in their stockings.
* [[PostKissCatatonia Post Kiss Goofiness]]: A kiss on the cheek from Jessica causes Kris's eyeballs to roll in his head, and he says "Gol''ly''!" like some country bumpkin.
** ''However'', taking into consideration that Tanta Kringle is presumably the only woman Kris has ever known and that he didn't go to Sombertown until he was an adult, Jessica's the [[FirstGirlWins first person he's ever had any major interaction with]] outside of the Kringles (with the exception of the children of Sombertown). Small world.
* RedemptionDemotion: The Winter Warlock lampshades and justifies it.
* RedheadedHero: Kris.
* RoyalDecree: Burgermeister Meisterburger does one that outlaws toys and toymakers in the town.
* RhymesOnADime: All of the male Kringles -- other than Kris -- have first names that rhyme with Kringle, such as Wingle and Dingle.
* SantaClaus: Kris takes this as his name in order to hide from his pursuers; according to the tag he was wearing when he was abandoned as a baby, Claus was his birth name. (The 'Santa' part was added later by other people; see BilingualBonus, above.)
* ShoutOut: To ''RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer''. Also towards the end of the film, when explaining about people who don't understand the true meaning of Christmas, an old man grumbles, "[[Literature/AChristmasCarol Bah humbug!]]"
* SinglePaletteTown: Sombertown is gray, which makes Kris' red coat stand out all the more.
* SmurfettePrinciple: There is apparently only ''one'' female Kringle. Then again, she ''is'' explicitly called "the elf queen," and is twice the size of the males; maybe they have a biology similar to bees...
* SophisticatedAsHell: The full text of the Burgermeister's decree:
-->Toys are hereby declared illegal, immoral, unlawful... anyone found with a toy in his possession will be placed under arrest and thrown in the dungeon. ''[[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer No kidding!]]''
* SpitTake: The Burgermeister, when Grimsley reveals Baby Claus to him.
* TitleDrop: When the TitleThemeTune is sung at the beginning and at the end, and very nearly when Kris [[WaxingLyrical Waxes Lyrical]] to the kids of Sombertown ''(See below)''.
* UltimateAuthorityMayor: Burgermeister Meisterburger, who has the power to ban toys "throughout the land, from sea to sea." Pretty impressive, since a burgermeister in {{real life}} is basically a ''mayor''. Add to that, he has the authority to arrest the toy makers of the ''King.''
* TheUnseen: The children who want to know about Santa. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as they are really just personifications of questions asked in the letters to Santa.
* WantedPoster
* WaxingLyrical
-->'''Kris Kringle:''' You better watch out. You better not cry, you better not pout.\\
'''Children:''' Why?\\
'''Kris Kringle:''' I'm ''telling'' you why! Because ''I'' came to town.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The fate of the "very, very sick" Susie, who vanishes from the story once her role in inspiring Kris to come down chimneys is complete.
** So perhaps she got better, and getting her Noah's ark was somehow instrumental in that?
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: Where exactly is Sombertown? It's implied that the town is somewhere in Germany, given the use of the title of ''burgermeister'' and Grimsley's helmet (below), but this is never explicitly stated, and the hodge-podge of vocal accents in the show doesn't really clarify anything.
* YesMan: The ludicrously underrated character Grimsley, who tends to steal every scene he's in. If you don't know who he is, he's the one with the ''[[ImperialGermany Pickelhaube]]'' (Prussian spiked helmet) and the little moustache, who sounds kinda British. And is ''adorable''.
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