My pitch for a new Rankin-Bass Christmas special

Last week I talked about the Rankin-Bass Santa Claus Trilogy and how those specials are probably my favorite of all the Christmas specials. On Tuesday, the Nerd Lunch podcast cobbled together ideas to create our own Christmas special. However, in preparing for that podcast and picking the characters and plot points I sort of created my own pitch/idea for a fourth Rankin-Bass Santa Claus special to act as a semi-sequel to the Santa Claus Trilogy.

So check out that Santa Claus Trilogy article for a refresher on the first three specials and sit back and let me tell you about my proposed fourth Rankin-Bass Santa Claus special.

It’s many years after the events of A Miser Brothers Christmas.  The elves are working in Santa’s workshop at the North Pole late in the night.  Tinsel, Santa’s head inventor/technician, is working on some advancements to the workshop’s magical systems.  All of a sudden, there’s an explosion in the Workshop and a terrifying man-beast appears in a magical swirl of smoke and sparks.  He roars, “I’M FREE!” and vanishes out of the ruins of the workshop leaving Tinsel staring at the empty spot wondering what just happened.

santa_and_mrs_claus

Tinsel immediately reports what happened to Santa who is equally as baffled as the elf.  Santa consults Winter the wizard about the strange events and Winter’s face falls and he whispers one word.  “Krampus.”

krampus1

Santa asks Winter, “What is a Krampus?”  Winter explains to Santa and the elf that Krampus is a malevolent being that thrives on making people feel sad and miserable.  “He hates Christmas.”, Winter explains, “And he hates you, Santa.”

Santa obviously wonders why this being he’s never heard of hates him.  Winter explains that Krampus has been around for ages.  He has constantly created mischief in order to make people miserable.  In fact, Winter explains, when Santa first met him, when Winter was known as the evil Winter Warlock, it was because he was being possessed by the essence of Krampus (see Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town).

Evil Winter Warlock winter_warlock

The only thing that broke Krampus’ hold on Winter was when Santa gave him that toy train and forced into him the Christmas spirit.  After that night, Winter pledged his loyalty to Santa and has forever kept watch on Krampus.

Many years later Winter watched Krampus manipulate the mayor of Southtown and the Miser Brothers in order to force Santa to quit his job. Krampus hoped that with no Santa, there would be no Christmas.  It was only with the help of Mother Nature that they were able to overcome Krampus’ hold on Snow Miser, Heat Miser and the citizens of Southtown (see The Year Without a Santa Claus).

Miser Bros

Krampus next tried to manipulate one of Mother Nature’s own offspring, the vain and power hungry North Wind.  Krampus hoped not to destroy Christmas, but replace Santa as the head of Christmas with North Wind who Krampus could manipulate to his own ends.  In essence, putting an end to Christmas as we know it.  Krampus was again thwarted with help from Mother Nature and the Miser Brothers (see A Miser Brothers’ Christmas).

north_wind

After the events with North Wind, Winter was able to capture Krampus and trap him in The North Pole. And there he has been contained for years.  For years, that is, until the explosion in the workshop that very night. Winter explains that they must find Krampus and stop him before he tries to destroy Santa.

Meanwhile, after being freed, Krampus retreats to his own personal hideout in The South Pole.  Once inside, out of the shadows walks the disgraced North Wind.  North Wind explains to Krampus that he is a part of a group of individuals who want Krampus to join them.  It was these individuals who orchestrated Krampus’ release.  Krampus asks, “What individuals?”  From behind North Wind walk Winterbolt the evil snow sorcerer and Kubla Kraus, king of the Cossacks.

Winterbolt Kubla Kraus

Winterbolt continues, “We are big admirers of your work, Krampus. We want you to help us not only destroy Santa Claus, but end Christmas…forever.”

And that’s my idea for a fourth Rankin-Bass Santa Claus Christmas Special.  I began with the idea of an anti-Santa, ie Krampus, and built on that idea.  I really liked the idea of Krampus as a villain.  He’s an actual being in German folklore.  Instead of rewarding the nice kids like Santa, Krampus punishes the naughty kids.  I tried to tie my version of Krampus back into the stories of the previous Rankin-Bass specials.  I also wanted to utilize Winter a little bit more, he is one of my favorite characters and he just gets dropped after Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.  And I wanted Winter to have a previous history with Krampus.  I think it’s a good start, at least.

And, obviously, if you listen to Episode 66 of the Nerd Lunch podcast where we build our own special, you can see some of these ideas were utilized there since that podcast was the reason I was doing this in the first place.

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2 Responses to “My pitch for a new Rankin-Bass Christmas special”

  1. :O ….AWESOME! I always wished that Rankin Bass had done something with Krampus. Heck, even a modern day take would be great, but no one seems to have ever touched on that myth. He’s the perfect Christmas villain!

  2. Jack Frostington Says:

    Hmm… Maybe Tim Burton might like it. It’ll possibly be story needed for “The Nightmare Before Christmas 2”.

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