Saturday, December 01, 2018
I did a radio interview with Marcellus Angel for Tri State Public radio today! Jock says it reaches Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. I enjoyed it! #christmas #radio #rankinbass 🎅
Jerry and his wife drove 80 miles to exchange an original damaged copy of my Rudolph book, for a first printing! 🎅 #saturday #booksigning
Friday, November 30, 2018
Thursday, November 29, 2018
I will be doing my annual radio interview with Bob Mangels to air Dec 16th at 6am on WJQZ 103.5FM, and on WLSV 100.3 fm and 790AM Dec. 17th at 930 am.
So much nonsense being shared on the internet about people hating on Rudolph. They started some of this last year for click bait on another site. People acting like the characters are real and hateful, etc. Romeo Muller was the genius writer behind the story and it has been on for fifty four years and is still a ratings winner. Go and hate on something else that really deserves it....lord knows there is plenty of garbage in the Entertainment world today to choose from.
How to Get from Sombertown to Beautific Joy:
Romeo Muller's Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
Copyright 2018 by George Zadorozny
Beneath the dazzling and delightful surface of this remarkable film, Rankin/Bass's greatest writer Romeo Muller (superbly supported by the songwriting team of Maury Laws and Jules Bass) explores in many ways two questions fundamental indeed: how should we live in a world beset by so much sorrow and strife and heartlessness—so much spiritual darkness? Is there a way from that terrible darkness to a life-giving light?
The storytelling framework is established in the lighthearted introduction hosted by Fred Astaire in his Animagic guise as mailman S.D. ("Special Delivery") Kluger, who promises to answer all the children's mailed questions about why Santa Claus does all sorts of things unique to him. Astaire/Kluger then sings the title song and after the credits transitions into telling the story proper, which begins in Sombertown. An abandoned baby—bearing the nameplate Claus—is taken to Sombertown's mayor, Burgermeister Meisterburger, and his reaction to the note found with the baby begins to tell us just how somber a place Sombertown is. For that note contains nothing but the most reasonable of requests:
"Please sir, take care of my child, and protect him from the dangers of the Mountain of the Whispering Winds. He will be exceptional if only given the love he needs."
The Burgermeister coldly and angrily spurns this request, and orders the baby taken to the orphan asylum. Magical happenings intervene of course and baby Claus quickly ends up in the abode of the ever-cheerful and delightful toymaking Kringles, who indeed give the baby—renamed Kris Kringle—"the love he needs."
And that is the key dichotomy. Sombertown is somber not just because all the buildings are gray, and all the clothes the people wear are grayish or gray or black, and even (with one exception) everyone's hair is gray or black—Sombertown is somber because, under the thumb of a loveless tyrant, it cannot give love.
And that is also the fundamental problem fueling the Winter Warlock's stone-cold mercilessness, and Jessica's icy denunciation of Kris Kringle's daring to bring toys to the children of Sombertown. And Kris Kringle overcomes both not so much by merely giving each a present but via the meaning inherent in that gift-giving.
Astaire/Kluger the narrator answers: "It wasn't a hard decision to make. They chose of course the holiest night of the year—the night of profound love—which was the perfect night for giving ... Christmas Eve."
And what is it that makes Christmas Eve the perfect night for giving? Although Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town is primarily a secular film and touches but lightly on the religious underpinnings of Christmas, nevertheless there is no denying that here it evokes a key doctrine of Christianity, namely, that on Christmas God the Father gave to mankind his Son so that all could achieve after death a beatific and transfigured resurrection, and endless, glorious, and dazzlingly transcendent life.
Whether or not any given viewer of Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town holds that belief, nevertheless it explains just what the narrator means when he says Christmas Eve is the perfect night for giving, and is the holiest night of the year—the night of profound love.
And the choo-choo that Kris Kringle gives to the Winter Warlock melts his icy heart, and the China doll that Kris Kringle gives to Jessica thaws her icy denunciation of Kris Kringle's daring to bring toys to the children of Sombertown, precisely because Kris' gift-giving is done not to move merchandise but to reflect on a human scale the profound love of the divine for humankind—which the Winter Warlock and Jessica (unlike the Burgermeister) prove still capable of accepting, leading to their transfigurations into fully loving beings.
The magic in the gift-giving is human love intertwined with divine love. And giving and accepting such transfiguring love is precisely how to get from Sombertown to beatific joy in Romeo Muller's Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, as summarized towards its close:
"But what would happen if we all tried to be like Santa—and learn to give, as only he can give—of ourselves, our talents, our love, and our hearts. Maybe if we could all learn Santa's beautiful lesson, maybe there would finally be peace on Earth, and goodwill toward man."
CBS to Re-Broadcast Rankin/Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer December 8th at 7pm Central time, followed by Rankin/Bass' Frosty the Snowman at 8pm!
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
I will be returning to WGN RADIO on the Bill & Wendy Show December 13th at 11:05 AM! Merry Christmas!
Looking forward to going back on the Bill & Wendy show on WGN Radio! Last year, not only did I appear, but I became part of their Christmas show, which was broadcast on Christmas Eve and Christmas day! We will be talking about my NEW book The Making of Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town and The Daydreamer, my sixth book, AMC's Rankin/Bass Marathons, the horrible 2018 Blu Ray and DVD releases and so much more! Tune in for some Christmas fun!
Romeo Muller, Jr. is the man who created all of the characters in Rankin/Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer except for Rudolph himself! He is the man that deserves all of the credit!
c. 2014 Miser Bros Press/Rick Goldschmidt Archives
We talk a lot about writer Romeo Muller, Jr. in my new book! Why? He was the genius writer behind the Rankin/Bass Holiday TV specials and a big part of the reason they have lasted over fifty years! He created, as a member of the writer's guild, all of the characters in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, except for Rudolph himself (Which was created by Robert L. May), including the Island of Misfit Toys, Hermey the elf/dentist, Yukon Cornelius, Sam the Snowman, the Bumble, Clarice, Charlie-in-the-box, etc. Strangely, I am not seeing his name represented in derivatives of his work and his estate is looking into. At any rate, he is the creator of these classic characters and also wrote The Little Drummer Boy, Nestor, the long-eared Donkey, The Year Without A Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town. He created all of those characters in those specials as well, which were designed by Paul Coker, Jr., after the scripts were written. Look for more information on him in our new book The Making of Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town and The Daydreamer! I will be talking about Romeo in the hundreds of radio and TV interviews I do this season!
Really looking forward to my appearance at the Western Illinois Museum at Dickens on the Square! I hear it is a wonderful Christmas event complete with Santa Claus, carolers and more!