Christmas can be a difficult time.
Whether it be dealing with all the shopping, spending money we simply don’t have, spending time with extended family, time that is far too extended, or perhaps spending time alone. Whatever the reason, Christmas is not always the harbinger of joy for some folks.
For others, though, it’s a time to celebrate with family and friends, to enjoy family traditions, and to rest and relax. And still for others, it’s a time of religious reflection and significance.
For me, it’s a little bit of all of these things, except for the rest and relax part. Of all the holidays, Christmas is the one I least associate with rest and relaxation. It’s anything but. In short, it’s incredibly exhausting, and more often than not, stressful.
Regardless of where you fall on the Christmas meter, if there’s one thing that most of us can agree on, especially those of us who grew up watching all those Rankin Bass animated Christmas specials, is that they were always a highlight of the season.
So, let’s have a look at some Christmas monsters and villains, courtesy of Rankin Bass.
Here we go:
Professor Hinkle, FROSTY THE SNOWMAN (1969).
For my money, the most evil villain ever to appear in a Rankin Bass Christmas special was the dastardly Professor Hinkle, voiced by Billy De Wolfe. Hinkle, that mad magician, was responsible for locking Frosty in that greenhouse, causing him to melt. Yup, Hinkle killed Frosty! Wow. Talk about your demented movie villains! Thankfully, this being a Christmas special, we learn that Frosty was made from Christmas snow, and thanks to some help from Santa Claus himself, he returns to life. Phew!
Heat Miser & Snow Miser, THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS (1974)
Arguably the most famous of the Christmas Special villains, the Brothers Miser certainly own the best song/dance number. Say either name and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t break into song immediately. “I’m Mister Snow Miser, I’m Mr. Snow.”
Snow Miser, voiced by Dick Shawn, and Heat Miser, voiced by George S. Irving, are by far the most memorable part of THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS. And they remain villainous throughout, until the end, when they’re scolded by their mother, Mother Nature.
Winter Warlock, SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN (1970)
The Winter Warlock, voiced by the great Keenan Wynn, was such a strong presence in SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN, that he nearly gave me nightmares when I was a kid. Of course, he’s only a baddie for half the special, as later on Kris Kringle softens his heart and he joins the side of Santa and his friends.
The Abominable Snowman, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (1964)
By far, my favorite of the Christmas Special monsters and villains. He’s so ferocious that he nearly eats Rudolph for dinner! But thanks to a quick thinking Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius, he’s overpowered, and the young wannabe-dentist elf Hermey removes all his teeth, making him harmless, so harmless in fact that by the end of the story he’s helping decorate the massive Christmas tree at Santa’s house.
And while this is certainly a happy ending, I’m not so sure it’s so happy for Mr. Abominable Snowman. I think Hermey went a bit too far. Pulling all his teeth? Jeesh!
Anyway, at least he survived the fall off the cliff, and that’s because— “Bumbles bounce!”
Okay, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this look at Christmas specials’ monsters and villains.
Have a monstrous Christmas, everybody!
The lesson seems to be that most villains are just unhappy creatures….Perhaps we should keep the mirrors handy!