Twas the Night Before Christmas (TV special)

Twas the Night Before Christmas (TV special)

"Twas the Night Before Christmas", the 1974 Rankin-Bass animated Christmas television special based on the famous 1823 poem that opens with this line.

In this television special, set in the town of Junctionville in a world where humans and intelligent humanoid mice apparently openly interact at least on a professional basis, Santa Claus is offended by an anonymous letter printed in the town's newspaper claiming that he doesn't exist. In response, Santa returns the entire town's letters (the letter was signed "all of us") to him unopened. Upon reading the anonymous letter printed in the newspaper, Father Mouse (voiced by George Gobel) — a mouse assistant to the human clockmaker Joshua Trundle (voiced by Joel Grey, the credited narrator) — immediately suspects that his brainy son Albert is its author. Albert (voiced by Tammy Grimes) confirms his suspicions, repeating the letter to him.

Father Mouse and the Trundle Family devise a plan to appease Santa by building a singing clock tower for him, built with a special recording to play a song to coax him into visiting Junctionville on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, Albert enters the clock to explore it without permission, and inadvertently damages it seriously, thus rendering it inoperable and seriously damaging Trundle's professional reputation. Furthermore, the mayor, publicly embarrassed at the clock tower's failure, refuses to give the clockmaker access to it for repairs.

Confessing his mistake, Albert volunteers to repair it himself and Father Mouse tells Joshua of the situation before waiting at his bed with worry on Christmas Eve. Although Albert does not complete his task until about one minute after the Midnight deadline, the clock does play its song within earshot of Santa which convinces him to visit the town after all.

The special aired for decades on CBS before moving to its current home network, ABC Family.

Like many of Rankin-Bass' other animated TV specials, this special was animated in Japan by the animation studio Top Craft, many of whose staff later worked for Studio Ghibli. Yet, since it was not broadcast in Japan, it is not usually considered anime in the Western definition of the word.

Notes

*Although the opening credits mention "told and sung by Joel Grey", it is really narrated by George Gobel as there is more emphasis on the point of view of Father Mouse, with Moore's poem read by Grey a secondary plot.
*In recent years, one of the first songs, "Give Your Heart a Try", has been consistently edited out of broadcasts, possibly out of fear of potential viewer disapproval of the word "gay" (albeit used in its original form meaning "happy") at the beginning of the lyrics Fact|date=December 2007.

External links

*imdb title|id=0208654|title='Twas the Night Before Christmas
* [http://www.tv.com/twas-the-night-before-christmas/show/48717/summary.html "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"] at TV.com


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