Saturday, December 19, 2015

My Review of Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Written by David Newman And Leslie Newman
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc

Santa Claus: "Don't you know who I am?"
Joe: "Sure, you're a nut."
Santa Claus: "I'm Santa Claus."
Joe: "Right, and I'm the tooth fairy."

For the next few days, I'm going to be reviewing a slew of Christmas movies and one of them is this underrated little gem from the mid eighties, which I was surprised to read wasn't as popular as I had thought it had been.

Before Tim Allen really took on the role of old Saint Nick, it was David Huddleston who had donned the role and this movie began with him taking on the role and learning fairly quickly that time isn't an obstacle when it comes to delivering presents to children all of the world.

The movie however focuses on two children in particular - homeless kid Joe (Christian Fitzpatrick) and rich girl Cornelia (Carrie Kei Heim) as the two of them form a friendship while the latter's power hungry and corrupt businessman uncle BZ (John Lithgow on good, hissable form here) is using Santa's more underappreciated of elves, Patch (Dudley Moore) to boost his profits with some magic dust.

Throughout the movie, there's a good talk about morality and friendships as well as a solid chemistry with most of the main characters. The North Pole also looks quite beautifully depicted onscreen and there's certainly a nice sense of wonder and magic within the movie without things getting too saccharine for it's own good.

It's hard to pick a star from the movie, but I guess given the billing of it and the emphasis in the second half of the movie, perhaps it's Dudley Moore. He certainly plays Patch with the right amount of good intention and naivety to make for a believable protagonist and both Cornelia and Joe are well written enough child characters.

- Burgess Meredith, famously known as the Penguin in Batman 66 TV series and movie has a nice role here as the elder elf. Santa's wife is also played by Daisy from Keeping Up Appearances.
- Real deer were trained to pull the sleigh during certain moments in this movie.
- There's a comic adaptation of the movie courtesy of Marvel.
- Paul McCartney was originally going to write and perform a theme song, but his record label declined.  That's interesting.

An underrated Christmas movie but one I have a lot of affection for. Santa Claus: The Movie is definitely a nice one to watch over the holiday period if you get the chance to. Like most Christmas movies though, most of the adults don't always come across well however.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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