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Characters / The Year Without a Santa Claus

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    Characters in the original 1974 special 

Santa Claus

Played by: Mickey Rooney (1974 film, A Miser Brothers' Christmas), John Goodman (Live-action remake)

The jolly rotund man who gives children presents on Christmas Eve. After getting a cold, he starts to feel that his job of delivering Christmas presents to children is pointless, so it is up to his elves to find proof that Christmas spirit still exists.

In A Miser Brothers' Christmas, his back is broken by the North Wind as part of a scheme to take Santa's place, which leads to the Miser Brothers reluctantly working together to save the day.


  • Papa Wolf: When told that the elves Jingle and Jangle took Vixen with them, he expresses grave concern because Vixen is only a baby.
  • Santa Claus: Like this needs an explanation.
  • You Don't Look Like You: His appearance in A Miser Brothers' Christmas doesn't look a thing like how he appeared in the original 1974 special, instead looking closer to how he looked in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Mrs. Claus

Played by: Shirley Booth (1974 film), Delta Burke (Live-action remake), Catherine Disher (A Miser Brothers' Christmas)

Santa's wife. When her husband falls ill and loses faith in his job, Mrs. Claus sends the elves Jingle and Jangle to find proof that Christmas spirit still exists. When the elves need to make it snow in Southtown to prove they are really elves, they visit the Miser Brothers in order to get it to snow there. When they refuse to cooperate, Mrs. Claus solves the problem by talking to their mother Mother Nature.

In A Miser Brothers' Christmas, she does what she can to keep the Miser Brothers from fighting and do a good job in filling in for Santa Claus.


  • Cool Old Lady: A kind and tenacious elderly woman who can talk back to two elemental Physical Gods without any sign of fear.
  • Demoted to Extra: This happens to her in the live-action remake, as she is given less screen time and Santa himself ends up being the one who negotiates with the Miser Brothers to let it snow in Southtown.
  • Mrs. Claus: The very same. The original 1974 special is noteworthy in that it's one of the few Christmas specials to put her front and center among the cast.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Her initial plan to save Christmas is to dress up as Santa herself and do the work, but she gave up on it when Jingle and Jangle recognized her.
  • You Don't Look Like You: As with Santa Claus, she has a completely different appearance in A Miser Brothers' Christmas, being more gaunt and wearing glasses.

Jingle and Jangle Bells

Played by: Bob McFadden and Bradley Bolke (1974 film), Ethan Suplee and Eddie Griffin (Live-action remake)

Two elves chosen by Mrs. Claus to find proof that there are still people who believe in Santa Claus. They ride Vixen to Southtown and end up being challenged by the mayor to prove that they are elves by making it snow in Southtown.


Ignatius "Iggy" Thistlewhite

Played by: Colin Duffy (1974 film), Dylan Minnette (Live-action remake)

A young boy who is initially incredulous that Santa exists, but is convinced otherwise when his father informs him that he still believes. He ends up joining Jingle and Jangle in their quest of getting it to snow in Southtown.


  • Kid Hero: He's only a child, yet he does not hesitate in renewing Christmas spirit in Southtown.

Mayor of Southtown/Mayor Thistlewhite

Played by: Unknown (1974 film), Robert C. Treveiler (Live-action remake)

The mayor of Southtown. When Jingle and Jangle come to him and claim to be Santa's elves, he laughs at them and makes a deal that he'll believe them if they can get it to snow in Southtown. After some difficulty, the mayor eats his words.

In the live-action remake, Iggy's father is made the mayor and never encounters Jingle and Jangle.


  • Composite Character: The mayor and Iggy's father are one and the same in the live-action remake.
  • Fat Bastard: Subverted. He is a bit rude when he first meets Jingle and Jangle, but he stops acting that way when it starts snowing in Southtown.
  • Repeating so the Audience Can Hear: Happens when he gets a phone call from his wife to bring his galoshes when he comes home.

Snow Miser

Played by: Dick Shawn (1974 film), Michael McKean (Live-action remake), Juan Chioran (A Miser Brother's Christmas)

He has power over cold weather and controls the weather of the northern hemisphere. He does not get along well with his brother Heat Miser. Mrs. Claus, Jingle, Jangle, and Iggy come to him to get it to snow in Southtown. He tells them that he'll need permission from Heat Miser. When Heat Miser refuses to do so without permission to melt the snow in the North Pole, Mrs. Claus decides to instead tell their mother Mother Nature, who gets her sons to compromise.

In the sequel A Miser Brothers' Christmas, he is forced to work together with Heat Miser to save Christmas after Santa Claus is injured by the North Wind. In the end, he and Heat Miser not only save Christmas, but also set aside their differences.


  • An Ice Person: Whatever he touches turns to snow in his clutch.
  • Breakout Character: He and Heat Miser are the most popular characters in the special. Their song and personality has caused them to have their own movie in 2008 in ABC Family.
  • Elemental Hair: His hair is nothing, but ice.
  • Expy: His appearance was based off of Spiro Agnew, and his personality is very similar to another famous Dick Shawn character, the manic momma's boy in It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Ice to his brother's Fire and his mother's Lightning.
  • Jack Frost: Sort of. While he is never referred to by the name "Jack Frost" once, being a personification of ice, snow, and the cold in general would kind of technically make him this. Besides, there's no telling whether "Snow Miser" is his real name or not. All he says is "Friends call me 'Snow Miser'..." rather than "My name is 'Snow Miser'...", so for all we know, 'Snow Miser' could just be a popular nickname with Jack Frost being his real name. Although, if we are to assume that all Rankin/Bass stop motion picture films exist in the same universe, then that would mean that there's already a Jack Frost in this universe and it's not Snow Miser, so it's still not 100% certain.
  • King Mook: Has several servants who are smaller versions of him
  • Large Ham: Mrs. Claus even calls him a "big ham" when our heroes first encounter him.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Heat Miser's red.
  • Sibling Rivalry: He and his brother Heat Miser do not get along well, though they learn to get along by the end of A Miser Brothers' Christmas.
  • Totally Radical: Uses cheesy slang in "A Miser Brothers' Christmas".
  • Villain Song: His version of the Snow Miser/Heat Miser song, though he isn't really a villain.

Heat Miser

Played by: George S. Irving (1974 film, A Miser Brothers' Christmas), Harvey Fierstein (Live-action remake)

He has power over warm weather and controls the weather of the southern hemisphere. When asked by Mrs. Claus to let it snow in Southtown, he refuses unless he is given permission to make the snow in the North Pole melt. He ends up being forced to compromise with his brother and let him make it snow in Southtown in exchange for bringing Spring to the North Pole after Mrs. Claus tells on them to Mother Nature.


  • Ambiguously Evil: At least in the first half of the film. He's described by Santa Claus as the type of person who would lay the heat on Jingle and Jangle Bells for no particular reason, and once we see him for the first time, sure enough, he shoots them out of the sky with fire and throws a tantrum when he finds that they've survived. Not to mention, he describes the two as being "goody-goody" in disgust, implying he might be the type of villain who hates goodness. Curiously, when he encounters the two later on, he doesn't even try to harm them nor do either of them acknowledge what happened earlier.
  • Breakout Character:He and Snow Miser are the most popular characters in the special. Their song and personality has caused them to have their own movie in 2008 in ABC Family.
  • Elemental Hair: Subverted. His hair is style to look like fire, but it doesn't look like it's made of fire.
  • Expy: His personality and facial appearance were based on Richard Nixon.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Fire to his brother's Ice and his mother's Lightning.
  • Fiery Redhead: Quite literally, actually.
  • King Mook: Has several servants who are smaller versions of him
  • Large Ham: He gets pretty over-the-top when he describes how much he detests winter.
  • Painful Rhyme: Rhymes "degrees" with itself during one of his verses.
  • Playing with Fire: He is able to project balls of fire.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Snow Miser's blue.
  • Sibling Rivalry: He often fights with his brother Snow Miser, but they learn to get along in A Miser Brothers' Christmas.
  • The Unfavorite: Believes himself to be this.
  • Villain Song: While not really a villain, his version of the Snow Miser/Heat Miser song qualifies as he is a rather vain obstacle in the story and serves an antagonistic role by refusing to let it snow in Southtown.

Mother Nature

Played by: Rhoda Mann (1974 film), Carol Kane (Live-action remake), Patricia Hamilton (A Miser Brothers' Christmas)

The Miser Brothers' mother and head of everything in nature. When Mrs. Claus confronts her, she gets her sons to compromise so that it snows in Southtown and the North Pole gets warm weather.

In A Miser Brothers' Christmas, her other son the North Wind breaks Santa's back as the result of an accident and frames the Miser Brothers. She punishes her sons by having them fill in for Santa and later punishes the North Wind when she finds out that he is to blame for Santa's accident.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Has a noticeably more youthful appearance in the live-action version, to the point that Sparky (futilely) flirts with her at one point. That said, this adaptation also emphasizes the fierce temper that we didn't see a lot of in the original.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's The Dreaded for a reason.
  • Brutal Honesty: Cheerfully mentions to Mrs. Claus that her sons almost certainly gave her a hard time on purpose and calls them "nasty little boys".
  • The Dreaded: Everyone is afraid to confront her. While she's revealed to be a generally friendly woman, the fear does appear to be warranted, as she's implied to be all powerful and shown to be the only one who can rein in her two sons.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Lightning to her sons' Fire and Ice.
  • Informed Attribute: One of the things that makes her The Dreaded is the claim that she has a Hair-Trigger Temper and doesn't like to be disturbed for any reason. Neither of these attributes show when we see her. While she does get angry at her sons while trying to get them to see reason, the reason for her anger was pretty standard (the brothers refused to cooperate and she yelled at/scolded them for it).
  • Mama Bear: She is very disappointed with her other son North Wind when he tries to banish his two brothers to where they'll never return from.
  • Mother Nature: Duh.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She looks like an old lady (and given what her domain is, she's likely MUCH older than she appears to be), but she's also the one who controls all of nature and the only one who can calm the fierce tempers of her sons.
  • Physical God: Implied, and justifiably so, being the one in control of all nature.
  • Shock and Awe: Uses lightning an awful lot, though this is almost certainly not her only elemental power.
  • Tsundere: Implied to be a type B—sweet and nurturing, but has a hidden temper.

    Characters in the live-action remake 

Sparky

Played by: Chris Kattan

One of Santa's elves who is in charge of marketing. He attempts to replace Santa with a more modern superhero persona dubbed "Extreme Santa".


  • Small Name, Big Ego: Is completely unaware that the other elves loathe him and doesn't understand why people would prefer the regular Santa Claus to his Extreme Santa proposal.
  • Totally Radical: He thinks it would be a good idea to rename Santa Claus "Extreme Santa", for crying out loud.
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    Characters introduced in A Miser Brothers' Christmas 

The North Wind

Played by: Brad Adamson

Another one of Mother Nature's children who attempted to replace Santa Claus as the one who gives children Christmas presents. He frames the Miser Brothers for causing the accident that breaks Santa's back, but this backfires when the Miser Brothers are given the duty of filling in for Santa and end up foiling his plan.


  • Big Bad: He serves as the main antagonist of A Miser Brothers' Christmas when The Year Without a Santa Claus was a work with No Antagonist.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He acts nice when Mother Nature is around, but behind the scenes is shown to be a narcissistic jerk.
  • Blow You Away: Being the embodiment of the north wind, this isn't surprising.
  • It's All About Me: He only cares about himself and wishes to take over Christmas so that he is admired instead of Santa.
  • Large Ham: He nearly beats the Miser Brothers at being hammy.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: A variation. Several mirrors with his reflection at one point act as a chorus during his Villain Song.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Says "Don't touch the hair" to one of his Mooks when they put his Santa hat on.
  • The Old North Wind: Although, unusually for this trope, he's depicted as a scheming young man.
  • Villain Song: "My Kind of Christmas", where he sings about his plans to take Santa's place in giving presents to children.

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