Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'd rather have it eighty, ninety, one hundred degrees!


It's not often that mainstream entertainment makes light of global warming. However, I recently found one example in a very unlikely place.

In 1974, stop action animation experts Rankin and Bass released "The Year Without A Santa Claus." Previous Rankin and Bass efforts included, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman," and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." By this time, the animators had run out of stories easily adaptable from Christmas songs, so they had to pick a lesser-known story.

While the story left much to be desired, there was an incredible musical interlude that introduced supporting characters Heat Miser and Snow Miser, two sons of Mother Nature who fought over their ability to control the weather. Here are the famous introductory scenes:

Since Heat Miser and Snow Miser were the best part of "The Year Without a Santa Claus," it wasn't surprising that Warner Brothers, who bought the rights to Rankin and Bass' later works would resurrect them. Thirty four years after their initial appearance, the Miser Brothers (actually step-brothers, Mother Nature must have slept around a lot) became headliners in their own special, "A Miser Brothers' Christmas, airing on the ABC Family Channel."

While the reappearance of the battling Misers may not have been surprising, this series of dialog from one of their many fights certainly surprised me (Edited to provide pretty much the correct quote):

Heat Miser: My dear brother has been running a campaign of pure propaganda to give Global Warming a bad name!

Snow Miser: Oh yeah? Well how long have you been trying to scare people with reports of another ice age!

The liberal orthodoxy about global warming is that it is truly the worst thing that can happen. The fact that a title character who is one of the heroes of the story advocates it is surprising. The fact that his line is followed up by his co-star mocking the scientific community for their inconsistency also appears to violate the politically correct approach to climate change.

It's worth noting that the Heat Miser character is rotund, argumentative, and strident on his views on the environment. In this way, he could be Al Gore's brother.

Edit: The original "The Year Without a Santa Claus," will air on Christmas Eve at 5 pm CST on the ABC Family Channel. It will be followed up with "A Miser Brothers' Christmas" at 6 pm CST. This makes for some great TV for the kids before midnight mass.

Update: In 2006, NBC aired a live action version of "The Year Without A Santa Claus." Michael McKean plays a David St. Hubbins style Snow Miser. Harvey Fierstein plays opposite as Heat Miser. Appropriately enough, at the end of this clip, Fierstein has something stuck up his ass.


Blogger Terry_Jim said...

Bizarre! I didn't know the Solid Gold Dancers were still around!

The live action "Year without a Santa Claus" belongs on a list of
"Holiday Proofs That Network Programming Executives Aren't Carrying Foot Powder In Those Little Bags" list,
along with the
"Star Wars Holiday Special" and Rosie O'Donnell's variety show.

12:56 AM  

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