"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" is one of the most popular Christmas films of all time. The Rankin-Bass movie made its debut on television Dec. 14, 1970, and continues to be shown every year.
The kid-friendly film tells the story of how several Christmas traditions came to be, as it follows Kris Kringle on his journey to become Santa Claus. The movie stars Fred Astaire as S.D. Kluger, the narrator; Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle, aka Santa Claus; Keenan Wynn as Winter Warlock; Robie Lester as Jessica, aka Mrs. Claus; and Joan Gardner as Tante Kringle, Kris Kringle's adopted mom.
Check out four fun facts you should know about the classic holiday film:
1. "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" Is Based On A Song Of The Same Name
The song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" was introduced on radio in November 1934 by Eddie Cantor. It has since become a wildly popular Christmas song, reworked by several different artists including Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Frank Sinatra, the Four Seasons, the Jackson 5 and Perry Como. Faith Hill, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, Miley Cyrus and Tamar Braxton have also released their own versions of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."
2. The Christmas Movie Was Also Made Into A Video Game
The 1970 film was turned into a video game of the same name in November 2011 for the Nintendo DS and Wii. In the game, Kris Kringle has to deliver presents to the kids of Sombertown and collect letters on the Mountain of the Whispering Winds. There were also appearances by different movie characters such as Winter Warlock, Tante Kringle and Jessica.
3. Rudolph Makes Only A Brief Appearance In "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town"
Even though Rudolph is arguably the most popular of Santa's reindeers, he only makes a small cameo appearance in the film. Astaire's S.D. Kluger explained in the movie that it's because Rudolph's backstory is its own separate story. Of course, everybody knows the reindeer was featured in a stand-alone flick, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which tells the story of how he becomes one of Santa's helpers.
4. "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" Is A Part Of 25 Days Of Christmas
Even though the film has been airing on TV since its debut in 1970, ABC Family added it to its 25 Days Of Christmas lineup in 2014. This year, the movie will air several times, beginning Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. EST. You can view the full 25 Days Of Christmas lineup here.