A Miser Brothers' Christmas

Small Screen Specials, Series and Direct-To-Video
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A Miser Brothers' Christmas

Post by Josh » November 22nd, 2008, 10:55 pm

When I went to see Bolt, a preview played for ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas. I was shocked to see that a new television special starring Heat Miser and Snow Miser is coming soon.

ABC Family's official site more info on A Miser Brothers' Christmas, while a press release has also been issued.




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Post by EricJ » November 23rd, 2008, 3:30 am

...Does anyone remember the OTHER 40 minutes of "Year Without A Santa Claus"???

(Still, at least this was one of the R-B titles Warner owns, so it won't be the same title-graverob as those Rudolph and Peter Cottontail things.)

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Post by ArtbyAndy » November 24th, 2008, 9:45 am

Very cool. I can't wait to see this.

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Post by Daniel » November 27th, 2008, 3:03 pm

I actually read about this the other day in Dish Magazine. At first I thought it was just a listing for the original classic, but then I saw it mention sequel and got all exited. It was shocking, but for me I didn't care. The fact Mickey Rooney is reprising his role as Santa makes it all the more worthwhile.

However, after seeing those commercials, thanks Josh, I have to say I'm little putt of. Not very fond of the new designs. Heat and Snow Miser look close enough, but the others, namely Mrs. Clause, look odd. She just looks so dull and ordinary, nothing special like the original. Although, at least it looks like the original and not all CG like the Rudolph movie, which I don't care for at all.

The voices sound OK, although Heat Miser sounds exactly like the original. I seriously doubt it's the original voice - I would be very surprised if it is, though it would bridge another connection - so major kudos to his new voice!

Although I have doubts, I'm still very exited. I absolutely love the original and hope the sequel is faithful and has just as much heart.

BTW, there's a couple of other great holiday classics part of the "25 days of Christmas". Here's the list. A Garfield Christmas, Mickey's Christmas Carol and Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too. All new to line-up. Why some of those flicks, ie. Cars are part of it is beyond me. Still, some good gems. :)

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Post by Josh » November 28th, 2008, 11:03 pm

Daniel wrote:However, after seeing those commercials, thanks Josh, I have to say I'm little putt of. Not very fond of the new designs.
You're welcome, Daniel. :) I'm curious about the new designs. Santa Claus has a design that's somewhat similar to the one he had in Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Still, I'm surprised that Santa is getting his Year Without a Santa Claus voice but not that design.

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Post by Daniel » November 29th, 2008, 11:33 pm

Not sure if it was in the press release since I couldn't see it, but look what I found:
Wikipedia wrote:Mickey Rooney reprises his role of Santa Claus, which originally debuted in the 1970 special Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, while George S. Irving revises his role as the Heat Miser.
No wonder he sounded exactly like the original - it IS him! ;) Knew he was still alive, but didn't think he could still do the voice. Now that that's solved, seriously it was bugging me since it sounded way too close, I'm glad he was able to came back.

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Post by Dacey » December 14th, 2008, 1:33 pm

Saw it last night. It was dreadful. And I mean DREADFUL!!!

Why on earth did they make this thing?!?!
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Post by Daniel » December 14th, 2008, 1:52 pm

Ugh, I missed it! I'll have to catch the encore on Friday... darn conflicting events on the DVR. Though it sounds like I dodged a bullet. If it really is that dreadful, well, that's a bummer.

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Post by Neal » December 14th, 2008, 4:04 pm

Hmm. I'm only going to watch it because The Year Without A Santa Claus is my favorite of the Rankin/Bass Christmas films. I can't understand why if they got back old voices they didn't try to make the characters the same. I mean, they even did it in true claymation! So why didn't they try harder to preserve the integrity of the original designs? Could it really be that hard to emulate the original style?
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Post by Dacey » December 21st, 2008, 12:20 pm

If it really is that dreadful, well, that's a bummer.
Well, it's possible that I was being a *little* harsh when I said that. ;)

Just have extremely low expectations for it. Then you might actually enjoy it a little.
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Post by Steve Carras » February 2nd, 2009, 6:16 pm

Daniel wrote:I actually read about this the other day in Dish Magazine. At first I thought it was just a listing for the original classic, but then I saw it mention sequel and got all exited. It was shocking, but for me I didn't care. The fact Mickey Rooney is reprising his role as Santa makes it all the more worthwhile.


The voices sound OK, although Heat Miser sounds exactly like the original. I seriously doubt it's the original voice - I would be very surprised if it is, though it would bridge another connection - so major kudos to his new voice!
The original Heat Miser was TOTAL TV Underdog and King Leonardo vet Goerge S.Irving, also in other R/B productions and in comedian Vaghn Meader's 1960s ":First Family" albums..(remember 'em? Other Underodg/TOTAL voice veterans aorund NY were on that album.) A guy named Dick Shawn was Cold Miser.

Interested to see Mickey Rooney again in that [he was in the live action "Night at the Museum" in 2006.]
Daniel wrote:
Wikipedia wrote:Mickey Rooney reprises his role of Santa Claus, which originally debuted in the 1970 special Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, while George S. Irving revises his role as the Heat Miser.
No wonder he sounded exactly like the original - it IS him! ;) Knew he was still alive, but didn't think he could still do the voice. Now that that's solved, seriously it was bugging me since it sounded way too close, I'm glad he was able to came back.
WOW, so the Heat Miser DID have the original voice.
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Post by Daniel » February 2nd, 2009, 7:15 pm

Yep, I was just as surprised! Turns out the press release did make note of it, after finally installing java and being able to see the page. (which is weired, since I thought I already had it!)

On the whole, it's an enjoyable movie - even if a bit padded, but it doesn't come close to the original. So I don't think it was "dreadful" (;)) but has its moments and I quite liked the new villain, the brother of Heat and Snow Miser. Best thing out of it, as far as I'm concerned. The new redemption of their songs was also a treat, though I remember them doing it more than once, but REALLY nostalgic when Heat Miser sung. I live for those moments! :D

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Post by Neal » February 2nd, 2009, 7:25 pm

Being as "The Year Without a Santa Claus" is my favorite Christmas Special/Rankin Bass film, I'll share my thoughts.

I was set to be disappointed and with that mentality, it was mildly okay.

Designs:

I don't know why they chose to make the designs so different than the originals - I mean, this WAS advertised as a sequel, but nonetheless some designs were good and some were bad:

The elves - I liked the old design better. These were too cute, too modern. The older elves had more variation and their hairstyles were comb-overs and such. They gave them a timeless look. Here, I saw a fro and lots of straight hair. Too 2008ish.

Santa - I liked the old design better. New ones beard was too curly Q.

Mrs. Claus - I liked the old design better. She looked more kind. The new one looks like a skeleton - an evil grandma.

Mother Nature - I like the new design better. The old was ugly, the new makes her look pretty as nature should be.

Miser Bros. - very similar in both. Can't complain. Only characters they got on model.

Mother Nature's Children - I love these kind of manifestation characters. Old Man River, etc. are from folklore and are different parts of nature in a physical existence. I enjoy these types of characters so it was fun to see that Mother Nature had a whole family of them comprising all aspects of weather. Except, North Wind looked too much like Lord Barkis of "Corpse Bride".

Songs:

Wow, these were terrible! They weren't songs so much as words painfully strung together. I don't know how they could be so dull, below average, and forgettable. Reprising The Snow/Heat Miser Songs just showed how bad it was. Here's a catchy, fun song, with production value bookended by crap.

Story:

Well, many people are bashing on it for being a sequel I guess I'm not opposed to it because Rankin/Bass themselves made sequels. This isn't like Disney sequels where Walt Disney once said he didn't see the need for sequels when there were new characters to explore. Is 'North Wind jealously injures Santa to claim Christmas for himself' (this movie) any stranger than 'Rudolph must set off on an adventure traversing various time periods to find the baby new year' (Rudolph's Shiny New Year)? Rankin/Bass had some questionable sequels themselves. So was it a lame story? Hm, maybe no worse than the originals - but was it necessary? No. Then again, sequels usually aren't.

It worked fine for what it was meant to do.

Some dialogue actually managed to be entertaining. I thought the remarks on Greenland/Iceland were particularly witty. As was the comments about global warming/a new ice age - although they immediately dated the film.

Overall feeling:

Why the Miser Brothers? The Miser Bros. were supporting cast in the original. Jingle and Jangle had bigger parts. The original was about believing in Santa and Christmas Spirit. How is it everyone forgets that and only remember two characters? The song is catchy but is it that catchy?

Like a Disney sequel. Weak songs, off-model characters, some decent bits of dialogue that are lost within a recycled story. If you go in expecting nothing, you'll find something to like. But if you go in expecting anything like the original, you'll hate it.

Certainly won't last like the original has, but kids should like it. I just hope they don't open up the Rankin/Bass library to do this again!
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Post by Ben » February 2nd, 2009, 8:20 pm

Just to throw this off topic and say that I love Dick Shawn.

Okay, back to the conversation... ;)

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Post by Neal » February 2nd, 2009, 8:47 pm

Further off-topic - Ben - I know you like Roger Rabbit, well, there was a parody involving him on the claymation American parody show "Robot Chicken". It was the January 18th (67th) episode entitled 'Love, Maurice'.

It was a parody of "Strangers on a Train" and the roles of Bruno Anthony and Guy Haines were replaced by OJ Simpson and Roger Rabbit.

Don't know how funny you'd find it - but thought you might like to know just the same.
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