'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town' airs tonight on ABC13

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020
A young Kris Kringle, voiced by Mickey Rooney, on his way to deliver toys to Sombertown.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Rankin-Bass holiday classic "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" is coming to your TV Wednesday night!

The beloved special, which first aired on ABC in 1970, will be shown at 7 p.m. on ABC13.

The special was filmed in the "Animagic" stop-motion style that is a distinct feature of so many of the Rankin-Bass holiday productions, like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "The Year Without a Santa Claus."

The film tells the origin story of Kris Kringle and featured the voices of legendary actor Fred Astaire, as narrator S.D. Kluger; Mickey Rooney, who plays Kris Kringle/Santa Claus; Keenan Wynn as the Winter Warlock; and Paul Frees, who performed different roles throughout the film.

Fred Astaire narrates this timeless tale of Kris Kringle, the future Santa Claus, starting from when he is an orphaned baby taken in by the Kringle family, who happen to be toymakers.

When Kris is all grown up, he is tasked with delivering toys to the gloomy city of Sombertown, which is, as the name implies, not a happy place because it's run by the despotic Burgermeister Meisterburger, who won't allow toys into the town.

Kris Kringle finds a way to beat the odds, but not before tangling with the Burgermeister and the Winter Warlock, and along the way meeting the woman who becomes Mrs. Claus.

A number of classic holiday songs are also featured, including "Put One Foot in Front of the Other" and, of course, "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town."