Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs. Movie is the podcast that asks the questions "Which was better...the book or the movie?" Spoiler Alert! We give away the main details, uncover the plot points, discuss casting choices and shower with praise (or pummel with snark) as we see fit. Hosts are Margo P. (She's Nacho Mama's Blog) and Margo D. (Creator of Brooklyn Fit and we are not afraid to tell it like it is!
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Book Vs Movie Podcast




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Dec 9, 2021

Book Vs. Movie: The Year Without a Santa Clause

The Rankin/Bass 1974 Classic Special Based on a Light Verse Book 

For many 70s kids, the Rankin/Bass specials with their catchy music and stop motion animation were high art. From Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to Santa Clause is Coming to Town their specials garnered big ratings and helped popularize holiday music. One of their most iconic specials was based on a 1956 Phillis McGinley book The Year Without a Santa Clause which told the story of a burnt-out Kris Kringle who wanted to take leave for one Christmas. 

McGinley (1905-1978) was a master of the “light verse” and used humor to describe everyday life. Throughout her writing career (as a poet and children’s author) she loved to talk about humility and living a simple, suburban life. She was not aligned with Sylvia Plath or Betty Friedan who questioned the purpose of being a woman in the 20th Century. McGinley was a lonely child who married at 32 (late for the time) and lived a Mad Men kind of life in Larchmont, NY. 

The Year Without a Santa Claus was first printed in Good Housekeeping magazine and was later published as a book. Boris Karloff recorded a version for Capitol Records shortly before his death in 1969. In the story, Santa has a bad cold just before the holidays and feels as if he is not important to kids anymore. When the children of the world learn this, they gladly send him their toys to finally give him the Christmas of his dreams. Knowing he is loved sends him back to his old Santa ways.

The TV special adds elves Jingle & Jangle who along with reindeer Vixen look for children who still care about Santa. They are shot down (!) by competing Snow & Heat Misers who want to control the weather. In the southern part of the United States, they get into all kinds of trouble with some incredibly catchy tunes and performances by Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, and Dick Shawn. Does the spirit of Christmas win out? Duh! 

So, between the original story and the classic TV special--which did we prefer? 

In this ep the Margos discuss:

  • The incredible career of Phyllis McGinley
  • The holiday specials of the 1960s and 1970s
  • Stop-motion used a form of animation.  
  • Starring: Shirley Booth (Mrs. Clause,) Mickey Rooney (Santa Klaus,) Dick Shawn (Snow Miser), and George S. Irving as the Heat Miser.

Clips used:

  • Boris Karloff reads The Year Without a Santa Clause
  • The Year Without a Santa Clause  trailer
  • Heat Miser
  • Cold Miser 
  • Santa rescues the elves
  • Music by Maury Laws

Book Vs. Movie is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more podcasts you will love Frolic.Media/podcasts

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Margo D. @BrooklynFitChik

Margo P. @ShesNachoMama 

Our logo was designed by Madeleine Gainey/Studio 39 Marketing Follow on Instagram @Studio39Marketing & @musicalmadeleine 

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