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A Rankin/Bass Productions' Stop Motion puppet animated (called "Animagic") holiday special from 1974. This time, Santa Claus (voiced by Mickey Rooney, reprising his role from 1970's Santa Claus is Comin' to Town) decides to take a holiday from Christmas when he becomes convinced that nobody really cares anymore. In an effort to get Christmas back on, Mrs. Claus (voiced by Shirley Booth) sends a pair of elves out to find enough Christmas spirit left in the world to make Santa change his mind. Hilarity Ensues, contributed to in no small part by the memorable obstructiveness of the climate-ruling Miser Brothers, Snow Miser (Dick Shawn) and Heat Miser (George S. Irving).

The script was written by Wiliam Keenan (instead of Rankin/Bass stalwart Romeo Muller) based on the 1956 book by Phyllis McGinley, with the studio's usual mixture of classic Christmas tunes with original songs by Maury Laws and co-producer Jules Bass.

A Live Action remake aired on NBC in 2006, starring John Goodman as Santa.

Followed in 2008 by the non-Rankin/Bass A Miser Brothers Christmas, in which Heat Miser and Snow Miser are forced to work together to save Christmas.

Tropes used in The Year Without a Santa Claus include:
  • Adaptation Expansion: McGinley's book was actually a longish poem, selected material from which makes up the first and some of the last minutes of the show; Keenan added just about everything in the middle about Mrs. Claus, Jingle and Jangle, the Miser brothers, Southtown and Ignatius Thistlewhite's adventures. It's quite easy to tell what parts are McGinley and which are Keenan — if the characters are speaking in rhymed verse (such as some of Mrs. Claus' opening narration, and the entire "we're staying home" sequence), it's material from the original poem. Ironically, none of the songs original to the production used her verse.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Vixen, while disguised as a dog, barked at and chased a cat. One could argue that she was really in character, but even so.
  • All Just a Dream: It's implied in the closing song that the whole story is something Santa dreamed. Though that wouldn't explain the sequel — or Mrs. Claus narrating everything up to and including the dream Reveal.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Mother Nature is hyped up to be a dangerous, hot-headed woman, whom even her vicious children fear. The main characters are nervous but bravely go to confront her... only to have a charming friendly lunch with her and have all of their problems peacefully solved without any hesitation from Mother Nature.
  • Ascended Extra: Ignatius Thistlewhite. In the original poem he makes a brief appearance halfway through, where he is the instigator of the children's campaign to send presents to Santa (a role acknowledged by his appearance as a manager of sorts in the animated version of the sequence), and is seen asleep in his bed at the very end. He never leaves home, and never has adventures with elves and Mrs. Claus.
  • Aside Glance: The Mayor gives one to the camera when he acknowledges that maybe the elves were on the level.
  • Ass in a Lion Skin: See All Animals Are Dogs, above.
  • Big "What?": From the Mayor when he learns that it's snowing.
  • Blatant Lies: "They're really very nice boys." Said of the Miser Brothers by their mother.
  • Can Not Tell a Lie: Mrs. Claus is pathetically unable to hide her scheming from Santa. She still makes Jingle and Jangle's mission sound like their idea, though.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Enthusiastically averted — almost no one listens to anything Jingle and Jangle have to say.
  • Christmas Elves: Jingle and Jangle, primarily, although a fair-sized crowd appear at the beginning and end of the show.
  • Christmas Special
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Even though it's inside a volcano and streams of lava run through it, Heatmiser's lair is apparently temperate enough that completely normal human Iggy doesn't find it uncomfortable. (Then again, he comes from Southtown...)
  • Deus Ex Machina: When Mrs. Claus can't persuade the Miser brothers to cooperate, she goes over their heads and calls on their mother. Their mother happens to be Mother Nature.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Heatmiser's minions are all barefoot.
  • Don't Tell Mama!: The last thing the Miser Brothers want is the attention of their mother.
  • The Dreaded: Mother Nature, at least as far as Jingle and Jangle — and the Miser Brothers — are concerned.
  • Even Elemental Demi-Gods Love Their Mamas: "See what you did, you old blizzard? She's gonna tell Mother!"
  • Evil Is Hammy: Both the Miser brothers. Their hamminess is even lampshaded by Mrs. Claus. (The sharp-eyed will catch Ignatius rolling his eyes at the Heat Miser.)
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Miser Brothers supply the first two, of course, while Mother Nature causes bolts of lightning when she summons and scolds them.
  • Flat Earth Atheist: Apparently, most children don't believe in Santa anymore. The question is how do they explain the presents that their parents never bought. Or the fact that Santa gave interviews to several reliable newspapers who also publish photos of him.
    • Likely they just assume the adults are tricking them — once Iggy brings the issue up to his parents they actually convince him pretty easily.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: A variation: the metaphysical realm where Heatmiser and Snowmiser are holding a battle early in the story. Everyone is standing knee-deep in cloudtops.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Everyone. And Heatmiser's minions have feet with two toes.
  • Funny Background Event: At one point during the Mayor's song, "It's Gonna Snow", Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp" character can be seen at the front of a group of bystanders. He waves his cane to the beat of the Mayor's song, almost like a bandleader or cheerleader with a baton.
  • The Gay Nineties: Judging from the fashions and architecture in Southtown, the "terrible year" seems to be in this decade, or shortly afterward.
  • Generation Xerox: Except for hair color, Iggy is a dead ringer for his father at the same age.
  • Glad I Thought of It: Inverted:

Jingle: Mrs. C! If anyone can think a way out of this mess, it's Mrs. Claus!
Jangle: Why don't we try calling Mrs. Santa Claus?
Jingle: Why didn't I think of that?

  • Hemisphere Bias: A curious and extreme example — if one accepts the images, descriptions and comments absolutely literally, the world consists of only the Northern hemisphere, and stops rather suddenly at the equator.
  • Hot Line: The videophone communication channel between the Miser Brothers, actually called the "Hot Line" in-Universe.
  • "I Am" Song: The Miser Brothers.
  • An Ice Person: Snow Miser.
  • Incoming Ham: Played with, in that Mrs. Claus acknowledges and heralds the arrival of Snow Miser with, "Here he comes now, the big ham." Snow Miser doesn't actually say anything and instead leaps into his song.
  • Ink Suit Actor: Mickey Rooney as Santa and Shirley Booth as Mrs. C.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: When Santa learns that Jingle and Jangle are AWOL in the mortal world, he says, "Poor little guys. They must be scared to death," which is followed by a hard cut to Jangle in a tree-top saying "I'm scared to death!"
  • Large Ham: The Miser Brothers are, well, too much.
  • Let There Be Snow
  • Live Action Adaptation: The 2006 TV movie with John Goodman as Santa, Delta Burke as Mrs. Claus, Michal McKean as Snow Miser, Harvey Fierstein as Heat Miser, and Carol Kane as Mother Nature (among other famous faces). Despite rather dramatic changes from the original story, it still retained those songs.
  • Metaphorically True: Mrs. Claus manages to describe Jingle and Jangle's mission to the human world in such a way as to hide her responsibility while suggesting it was their idea.
  • Mini-Mooks: Heat Miser and Snow Miser both have minions who are miniature clones of themselves. (In the later Live Action Adaptation, they have scantily-clad girls instead.)
  • Mother Nature: Who's much nicer than her sons make her out to be. But no pushover.
  • Mrs. Claus: The Narrator and one of the main characters, if not the main character.
  • North Is Cold, South Is Hot: It's a major plot element, in fact.
  • One-Gender Race: There appear to be absolutely no female elves.
    • Similarly, the Miser Brothers' Mini-Mooks all appear to be male. Their live-action counterparts are all female.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Okay, so they've got slightly larger parts. The one thing people remember from this special is the Miser Brothers, in no small part because of those songs. Half this page is devoted to the guys, even.
  • Our Elves Are Better: The elves here are rather Keebleresque, and a bit shorter than the children.
  • Painful Rhyme: Heat Miser rhymes "degrees" with "degrees" in his song. (Snow Miser has "freeze" to play with.)
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: Snow Miser, Heat Miser and Mother Nature.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The elves disguise Vixen as a dog by putting a pair of brown socks over her ears and antler nubs, while doing nothing about her hooves.
  • Playing with Fire: Heat Miser.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: The Miser Brothers, of course. Aside from the obvious, Snow Miser seems to be more of an easy-going joker who likes the Clauses while Heat Miser is, well, hot-headed.
  • Santa Claus
  • Saving Christmas: From Santa's ennui, no less.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Between the Miser brothers.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Part of the plot depends on bringing a snowy day to "Southtown, U.S.A." (partially averted in that only the mayor and the policeman sound as if they came from anywhere south of Staten Island).
  • Triumphant Reprise: "There'll be no year without a Santa Claus".
  • The Unintelligible: The Mayor's wife on the phone, late in the show. To be fair, it is possible to make out the occasional word, mostly "galoshes".
  • Villain Song: The Miser Brothers' songs (mentioned under "Ear Worm" on YMMV).
  • Volcano Lair: Heat Miser's base of operations.