Fred Astaire narrating a stop-motion movie about Old Saint Nick himself? Sign us up.


Santa Claus is coming to town sooner than you think! Mr. Kringle will make an early visit to our homes this year with the 51st anniversary airing of Santa Claus is Comin' to Town this Friday, November 26 at 8 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. CT on ABC

The beloved TV special first aired on ABC in 1970. Since then, generations of families have made watching the classic Christmas film a part of their annual holiday traditions. The movie is filmed in the "Animagic" stop-motion style of other Rankin-Bass productions like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Year Without a Santa Claus. And we're absolute suckers for the deep nostalgia felt while watching those little plastic and wooden characters run across our screens!

Santa Claus Is Comin' to town
Credit: Getty Images / Walt Disney Television Photo Archives / Contributor

Iconic actor Fred Astaire voices S.D. Kluger, who narrates the origin story of Kris Kringle (voiced by Mickey Rooney), beginning with his adoption by a family of elves as baby. The Kringles are a family of toymakers, and young Kris is trained in their craft. 

When he's old enough, Kris volunteers to deliver his family's toys to Sombertown, a famously gloomy city ruled by perpetually grumpy Burgermeister Meisterburger, who coincidentally has banned toys from the town. The movie chronicles Kris's adventures battling against the scrooge-like despot, all the while revealing the story of how Santa Claus came to be—including the moment Kris meets his future Mrs. Claus! 

If you don't catch it this Friday, the film will air for a second time this season on Thursday, December 23 at 8 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. CT. We can't wait to sing along to classics like "Put One Foot in Front of the Other" and of course, "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"!