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Parents' Guide to

The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Classic '70s Christmas tale has some very mild peril.

Movie G 1974 51 minutes
The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 3+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 2+


age 2+

Kind of boring

This isn’t very good. The story is pretty boring, and it contradicts some of what had been established in other Rankin Bass specials. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is much better.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This is a sweet piece for younger viewers, promoting "Christmas spirit" and a belief in the jolly Christmas symbol that can make the holiday memorable for kids. Older kids more used to today's seamless, computer-generated animation may find this 1974 show's stop-action movement creaky and outdated. But 4- and 5-year-olds may still be able to appreciate the way this resembles a recorded puppet show, a kind of old-style cartoon with its own set of charms. Shirley Booth has the perfect old-fashioned school teacher-y voice, having fun with a Mrs. Claus imagining herself impersonating the vacationing Santa. She jumps down a chimney in her mind, making sure everyone only sees her "from behind." The Miser Brothers provide mild scares -- the hot one singes someone's britches and calls Santa's crew a "gang of goodie-goodies." The movie uses the 1947 Gene Autry song "Here Comes Santa Claus" nicely as well as other Christmas tunes. The Year Without a Santa Claus may introduce the notion of not believing in Santa to some children for the first time, and parents may want to be ready for that discussion.

Movie Details

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