This made-for-TV Christmas special is a classic. Based on a Dr. Seuss book, it is about a Christmas-hating Grinch who wants to make everyone as miserable on Christmas as he is. The poor, small-hearted Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas through the loving Whos in Whoville.
The story of how Santa Claus came to be is brought to life through the magic of stop-motion animation in this Christmas-themed production for the family. A friendly postman (voiced by Fred Astaire) explains how friendly Kris Kringle (voice of Mickey Rooney), a foundling taken in by a family of toymakers, took it upon himself to bring some happiness to the children of Sombertown, despite the grumpy opposition of Burgermeister Meisterburger (voice of Paul Frees) and the Winter Warlock (voice of Keenan Wynn). Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town was directed and produced by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., who created another popular animated story of the season, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.
One of the most popular novelty songs of recent memory forms the basis of this animated holiday-themed comedy. As if young Jake Spankenheimer doesn't have enough problems on Christmas Eve, he has to help his mom and dad prevent mean-spirited Cousin Mel (voice of Michele Lee) from taking ownership of the family store. When his grandmother gets lost in the cold in the midst of the confusion, Jake is sent out to find her, only to discover that she's become the victim of a rather unusual hit-and run accident -- and that Santa is real, but not quite the sort of guy he was expecting. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer was directed by Phil Roman, who previously helmed several of the Peanuts TV specials in the 1970s and was a producer for the TV series King of the Hill and The Critic. Elmo Shropshire, who as one-half of Elmo and Pasty recorded the hit version of the song, narrates the story and contributes new songs for the soundtrack.