Friday, December 23, 2011

Jim Backus in Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (1974)

This holiday special is based on the true story of a girl who wrote to the editor of The New York Sun asking if there was really a Santa Claus. The response has become iconic "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." Directed by Bill Melendez, the force behind the Peanuts specials, this half hour special has the same quality and also features the voices of real children. Though the story takes place in 1897, it's full of 1970's multicultural imagery. Listen for the voice of Jim Backus as the narrator and Santa Claus and for little Jimmy Osmond singing the closing theme.

Unlike Melendez's Peanuts specials, this one has fallen into obscurity. It can be seen in full on YouTube, but there has been only a VHS release - no DVD yet. Part one is above, uploaded by pressmin.

Obscurity factor: 9 (not on DVD, available on YouTube, largely forgotten)