First, let me say that I own this movie because it still retains it's charm more than three decades later, and still get a kick out of it. I can recall watching it on TV when I was a kid, and would sing the catchy Miser's songs. So having it on hand to watch it every year at Christmastime is a pleasure.
I was looking forward to upgrade from my older DVD of YWASC to this "Deluxe Edition" since I was keen on seeing a couple of documentaries and noted the product being advertised as "Newly Remastered". Well, in looking at the ORIGINAL 2000 DVD release, I realized that it is quite sharp in picture, as well as having a decent mono audio track. I noticed there were scarcely any grain or dirt on this print. So maybe I could not see a need to upgrade after all, and, as it turns out, I was correct in my assumption. I rather like to make picture comparisons with different DVD releases of a favorite movie, and I did the same with YWASC. Much to my surprise, the image is not only NOT an improvement, but to my eyes, in some instances has less sharpness and is duller in the colors! Again, in the first DVD release, one can see the finest details in say the puppet's hairs. Great clarity. With this new edition, there are periodic (though admittedly minor) inconsistancies in image. It is indeed puzzling that such a reduction in clarity (and I do know that the overwhelming majority of folks wouldn't know of them--and further, would not detract from their viewing enjoyment).
Sorry, I know I could get flack for what might be considered a minor quibble, but I feel that, apart from two (fairly interesting) documentaries, one could just as well not bother to invest in this repackaging of what was an already very adequate DVD release.
But either way, by all means enjoy and share with the family. Along with Rankin and Bass' other, earlier classic, Rudolph, The Red-nosed Reindeer, Year Without A Santa Claus is a gem that will charm for generations. So let me make very clear that the two-star rating is for this DVD release, of which the content is a decent four star.