Country of origin United StatesJapan
Written by Jerome Coopersmith
Theme music composer Maury Laws
First episode date 1974
Networks CBS, Freeform
|Based on A Visit from St. Nicholasby Clement Clarke Moore|
Directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr.Jules Bass
Starring Joel GreyGeorge GobelTammy GrimesJohn McGiver
Narrated by George Gobel (main story), Joel Grey (poem sequence)
Directors Arthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass
Cast Joel Grey, George Gobel, John McGiver
Similar Frosty's Winter Wonderland, Nestor the Long‑Eared Christma, The First Christmas: The Story, Jack Frost, Santa Claus Is Comin' to
'Twas the Night Before Christmas is a 1974 animated Christmas television special produced by Rankin/Bass Productions and based on the famous 1823 poem that opens with this line. The special first originally aired on CBS on December 8, 1974 where it aired annually until 1994, when The Family Channel (now Freeform) took over its syndication rights.
- twas the night before christmas clocks
- Additional voices
- Home media releases
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.
twas the night before christmas clocks
The program is set in the fictional town of Junctionville, New York around the turn of the 20th century. Santa Claus is offended by an anonymous letter printed in the town's newspaper (and signed "all of us") claiming that he doesn't exist. In response, Santa returns the entire town's letters to them unopened. Upon reading the anonymous letter printed in the newspaper, Father Mouse — a mouse assistant to the human clockmaker Joshua Trundle — immediately suspects that his brainy son Albert is its author. Albert confirms his suspicions, repeating the letter verbatim 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 not to bypass Junctionville on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, Albert enters the clock to explore it without permission, and inadvertently causes it to malfunction in front of the whole town, seriously damaging Trundle's professional reputation. Furthermore, the Mayor, publicly embarrassed at the clock tower's failure, refuses to give Joshua 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 turn around and come to town after all.
There are three musical numbers in the program.
Home media releases
The special was originally first issued on VHS by ABC Video Enterprises and Golden Book Video in 1987. Then as courtesy of Warner Home Video, the special was re-released on VHS in 1990, and on DVD in 2004, paired with the 1976 special Frosty's Winter Wonderland. A Blu-ray was released on October 5, 2011. It is also available on iTunes for purchase.