Santa and the Three Bears

Watch Santa and the Three Bears

"It's Wintertime"
  • G
  • 1970
  • 46 min
  • 6.7  (695)

"Santa and the Three Bears" is a charming and heartwarming animated holiday film released in 1970, directed by Tony Benedict and Barry Mahon. The movie is a delightful tale that weaves traditional Christmas themes with the enchanting world of three bears living in the midst of a picturesque forest. The voices of Hal Smith, Jean Vander Pyl, and Chris Gilmore bring to life the colorful characters that inhabit this festive story.

The story unfolds in a serene forest where a family of bears is preparing to hibernate for the winter. The bear family consists of a wise and caring Mother Bear, voiced by Jean Vander Pyl, and her two curious and playful cubs, Chinook and Nikomi, voiced by Chris Gilmore and an uncredited child actor respectively. Mother Bear is intent on teaching her young ones about the cycles of nature and the importance of their annual long winter sleep.

As winter approaches and the first snow begins to fall, the bear cubs are filled with excitement and wonder. During their preparation for hibernation, the bears come across the friendly Park Ranger, voiced by Hal Smith, who is wrapping up his duties for the season. Through their interactions with the Park Ranger, the cubs learn about the human traditions of Christmas for the first time.

In particular, they are captivated by the magical tales of a jolly man named Santa Claus, who brings joy and presents to children all around the world on Christmas Eve. The more the cubs hear about Christmas and Santa, the more their fascination grows. Against their mother's initial wisdom, the cubs become determined to stay awake and experience the wonders of this special holiday.

As the narrative progresses, the two bear cubs set out on a mission to experience the joys of Christmas firsthand. Their imaginations are filled with the colorful lights, the festive decorations, the gifts, and most importantly, the opportunity to meet Santa Claus in person. Mother Bear, ever patient and understanding, decides to guide her cubs and help them understand the true meaning of the holiday.

The film is peppered with a series of encounters and preparations that serve to build the excitement and anticipation of the holiday season. Each character brings their own perspective and contribution to the Christmas spirit. Alongside the central story of the bear family, the Park Ranger embodies the essence of kindness and generosity as he prepares for the holiday, highlighting the themes of community and giving.

While it is in many ways a simple narrative, "Santa and the Three Bears" is teeming with holiday cheer and lessons about family, tradition, and the joy of experiencing something new. It also touches lightly on the themes of respecting different traditions and the beauty of cultural exchange, as the bear family learns about human festivities and incorporates them into their own experience.

Throughout the film, the beautiful hand-drawn animation captures the essence of the 1970s style, offering viewers a nostalgia-tinged look at yesteryear's holiday celebrations. The animation also serves to bring out the distinct personalities of the bears, from the playful cubs to the nurturing mother, and the friendly Park Ranger who acts as their guide to the world of Christmas.

The film is also remembered for its music, with songs that capture the joyful and sometimes humorous aspects of the cubs' anticipation and preparations for Christmas. The soundtrack complements the story perfectly, underlining the emotions and creating a festive mood that will charm viewers of all ages.

At its heart, "Santa and the Three Bears" is a film about the innocence and purity of childhood wonder, the value of family traditions, and the universal joy that the holiday season can bring. It's a gentle reminder that the spirit of Christmas isn't only about receiving gifts but also about the happiness that comes from shared experiences and the anticipation of magical moments.

This animated feature might not be as widely recognized as some contemporary holiday classics, yet it continues to be enjoyed by those who appreciate the tender and warm-hearted stories of yesteryear. The wholesome storytelling makes "Santa and the Three Bears" an ideal holiday watch for families looking to spend some quality time together and introduce their children to the nostalgic charms of classic Christmas animation.

Santa and the Three Bears is a 1970 animated movie with a runtime of 46 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

Santa and the Three Bears
Where to Watch Santa and the Three Bears
Santa and the Three Bears is available to watch free on Peacock, Crackle, Plex, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, Philo, Peacock Premium, FlixFling, Sling, MGM+ and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Santa and the Three Bears for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    46 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (695)