Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Tradition Is Shared!

Last year, I mentioned that I re-read The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus and A Kidnapped Santa Claus every year. This year, I was able to watch the Rankin/Bass adaptation on the DVD I made in March this year. (I couldn't watch the Universal version: VCR/DVD Recorder conked out, and I have not yet been able to make a DVD.) I should pop in the Oz Kids "Who Stole Santa?" sometime soon. (Unfortunately, I don't know where you can get the Anime televsion series...) There's also a new version in the works, seemingly live action this time, but it appears to be an indie.

This Christmas, I've been able to share the tale with my youngest siblings, Genevieve, Arthur, and Daniel. (Thank you, Rankin/Bass!)

You can also get free audio books of these stories from Librivox. (The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus) (A Kidnapped Santa Claus, scroll down)

I've also updated and added some information on this Baum tale on Wikipedia.

Now for another matter. Currently, none of the adaptations of this are on DVD. (Seemingly, we have my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to thank for labelling the Rankin/Bass version as "satanic.") So, I've begun a petition for the Rankin/Bass version to be released, as it is the most likely to be released.

You can find a scholarly discussion on the book on Books of Current Focus.

J. Matt Bloom and I have also discussed this and some of Baum's other books and it's grounds in multiple mythologies. (And they thought Narnia was the first one to do that!) Maybe he'll give me permission to post some excerpts from our discussions sometime.

And now, let's close this with a video clip from the R/B version, shall we?


Anonymous said...

Were are the attacks on the book as "satanic"? I do know that Max apple described it as "pagan" (though to some that might mean the same thing).

Jared said...

I got that bit of information from Wikipedia about the Rankin/Bass adaptation. The best I can imagine how that happened was concerned parents and clergies writing to TV stations and possibly R/B.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. I did a very fast search, and the only mention was the Wikipedia statement (with no citation) and one guy mentioning it in his review (of SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN) at To know what's actually going on with a LASC DVD I'd contact Rankin Bass expert Rick Goldschmidt at and see what he says.

Anonymous said...

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and the Oz series by Frank Baum are labeled as Satanic because they have sinister characters magic witches and witchcraft. The Awgwas and King Awgwa are a parallel to demons and Satan in being invisible and in causing children to do bad things and in tormenting Santa Claus. Rankin/bass are good and generally talented. Tales of the Wizard of Oz by Rankin/bass has crude sloppy animation which looks like stick figures and bubbles. Rankin/bass animation is uneven from one special to another. Also some of their specials are extremely depressing and unpleasant to watch such as Nestor the Long Eared Christmas Donkey. Its bad enough that Nestor is laughed at and teased. His human master physically lifts him by the ears and throws him out in the cold. This is cruelty to aniamls. Then Nestor's mother freezes to death in a snow storm. Horrible. Is this appropriate viewing for a holiday special? Arent holidays supposed to be happy and cheerful? The Nestor special ranks as possibly the most depressing animated special ever made.

Jared said...

The term "Satanic" means "of Satan" or "profoundly evil." The works of L. Frank Baum are neither, unless you wish to see them as such.

You can call them "pagan," since they do fall under that category. If that's bad in your eyes, that's up to you.