|Santa and the Three Bears|
|Directed by||Tony Benedict |
Barry Mahon (live-action portions)
|Produced by||Tony Benedict |
|Written by||Tony Benedict|
|Starring||Hal Smith |
Jean Vander Pyl
|Music by||Joe Leahy|
|Edited by||Milton Krear|
|Produced by||Tony Benedict Productions |
Key Industries, Ltd.
|Distributed by||R & S Film Enterprises Inc.|
|Release date||7 November 1970 (USA)|
|Running time||46 minutes|
Santa and the Three Bears is a 1970 animated featurette, which aired on television regularly during the holiday season.
It was later released on video in 1992 by Kids Klassics and distributed by GoodTimes Home Video in VHS format, with live-action sequences at the beginning and end of the film edited out.
The film was originally pitched to TV networks, who rejected it as it lacked a villain, but was then shown in theaters instead. This special has been rerun on TBN, USA Network, FOX Family (now Freeform), and on KTLA channel 5 in Los Angeles.
Two young bears, Nikomi and Chinook, know nothing of Christmas until the local park ranger tells them about the legend, and they become curious to meet Santa Claus. Their mother, Nana, is preparing for Winter hibernation and cynically tells her children that there is no Santa, but they are determined to believe. Mother finds it impossible to begin their sleep, since the young cubs wish to stay awake until Santa arrives.
- Hal Smith as Grandfather/Santa/Mr. Ranger
- Jean Vander Pyl (credited as Jean van der Pyl) as Nana
- Christina Ferra-Gilmore (credited as Annette Ferra) as Nikomi
- Bobby Riha as Chinook
- Joyce Taylor
- Ken Engels
- Beth Goldfarb as Beth
- Brian Hobbs as Brian
- Lenard Keith
- Kathy Lemmon
- Roxanne Poole
- Michael Rodriguez
The theatrical release of the film contains live-action sequences directed by Barry Mahon, running for around four minutes in total. These live-action sequences feature actor Hal Smith and two young children (Brian Hobbs and Beth Goldfarb) sitting in a cabin and conversing by the fireplace and Christmas tree, and a short montage of mechanical toys, Christmas decorations, and a pet kitten, during the opening and closing credits. The film has been also released by Modern Sound Pictures Inc. with the said sequences cut.