Review on Santa Claus: The Movie

Well it's time for another fun Santa Claus movie.  Well it's time to really look at how this story actually can be pretty messy but at the same time appealing.  It doesn't follow too much from Rankin/Bass' way of writing fiction either.  Now for the plot- it all starts when Claus and Anya are just mere human beings who deliver presents across the viking village.  So I guess life wasn't easy for them and they are quite old, they have no children.  I was thinking that part of the whole beginning manages to make them that they were always doign what they did in that village.  One day while trying to make a delivery and I'd say, Claus was pretty crazy when he was trying to make that delivery across the snowstorm with two reindeer (that will soon join the rest) and two, his wife could have died.  But in the midst of that, they awake in the North Pole where the magic kingdom exists led by the Vendequem who only prefer to be called elves.

So what happens next is pretty amazing.  Claus and Anya are saved and are told of their mission that they will deliver toys around the world.  The elves soon give them the same kind of lifespan that elves do, that is they will both outlive their normal lives.  Frank Baum's story "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" is completely ignored here and none of the immortals in the story exist in here except Father Time who makes Claus and Anya both humans become one of them.  Now there's some fun characters like Patch who goes from being inventive but also naive at the same time, which plays more in the movie.  Dooley and Puffy aren't so focused.  Just then Father Time the only immortal from Frank Baum's book to actually appear here (and he will make another appearance in Tim Allen's version in The Mrs. Clause) gives Claus too much buildup.  So Father Time dubs Claus with the title of Santa or "saint" and he is told that time travels with him on December 24, and only that date and the passage of the world becomes an endless night but only for that night which explains to us why he is able to do the impossible.

So pretty much, Santa Claus remains pretty human most of the time.  In fact as the centuries pass by, it was only until a certain someone named Sarah Foster wrote a complaint that her brother mistreated her pet that the naughty and nice list began.  If we are to look at Rankin/Bass, I think Father Time in here would also be equal to the Winter Warlock in his role but shortly fades away after that!  Part of the comical humor had to be when Santa Claus goes in a diet after a poem about him was written that he had a big round belly.  Well, he ate a lot of cookies and still lived through that after all.  Also another complaint is that Rudolph is totally non-existent here and some fantasy elements that could have been fun like talking reindeer were removed to "add some realism".  I guess the Salkinds didn't like Rudolph so poor him got left out.

What amazes me is that even throughout the centuries, they haven't learned to make better toys (which he still uses wood as the main material) which of course puts him in contest with the modern world.  Patch is pretty much a visionary with inventions but one day, his invention fails when it creates sloppy toys in the next batch- which the elves could have checked for quality control.  So I guess Patch needs to learn quality control.  I do like the role of Patch in this film as the inventive elf who also makes mistakes though he has made some stuff that actually worked.  Also, Santa Claus is again portrayed with his limits when he doesn't realize that the toy making machine was working too fast and creating bad results.  He could learn some quality control from then on.

So the film moves into the 21st Century to which again proves some weak plot.  So why doesn't Santa Claus notice any homeless kids in the film during the past few centuries?  I guess the times were pretty forgiving but one day, maybe due to his powers being slowed down, he runs into Joe a homeless kid.  Cornelia develops a friendship with Joe and then with Santa Claus.  So the North Pole's toys are obviously inferior to the commercialized world.  Come December 25 and some of the toys that were made by Patch falls apart causing Joe to be bullied and Cornelia to be mocked.  I thought that Joe does have a tenacity to survive or two, maybe Santa Claus was probably secretly running a charity service which may contribute to his fatigue.  I mean Joe survives until the next Christmas Eve.  But it's possible fairies looked after him after they noticed his attachment to Santa Claus.

Later we are introduced to the villain who has much more complaints than toys that fell apart and could be repaired at home by dissatisfied parents.  This is B.Z. acted by John Lithgow.  Aside from David Huddleston, I would say this guy had his charm acting the rather hammy, loopy villain who for some stupid reason likes to stuff his teddy bears with nails.  I mean, this guy is after a profit but why does he have to stuff his teddy bears with nails and other hazardous objects?  It's pretty much "For the Evulz" which while the cheaply made doll makes sense but you need to have a CONCENTRATED effort to do what this guy does.  Fortunately this guy isn't real because I'd hate to think if he were.  I just thought that what's even funnier is that when Patch visits him.  So here Patch shows he can also be stupid when even after learning B.Z.has always been in the naughty list for a LONG TIME (since B.Z. mentions in this film Santa Claus never brought him anything), he still wanted to work for him.  Also here's what, WELCOME TO CORPORATE AMERICA FOLKS!

So time passes and it's another Christmas Eve and Santa Claus is faced with popularity battle.  Patch doesn't want to overthrow Santa Claus, he just wanted to show how great he can be.  Now here Patch creates a lollipop that can allow anybody to fly thanks to the magic dust that is fed to the reindeer.  As we know, Patch left the North Pole because he felt discouraged after failing Santa Claus but his boss wanted him back. The whole battle was that B.Z. got popular again for the moment and made me think, doesn't Santa Claus even remember B.Z. was in the naughty list a LOT?  I guess, there were a lot more naughty individuals then again, Santa Claus in the film apparently suffers from bad memory but doesn't forget about Joe.  Joe and Santa Claus are reunited at the same time.

Now the battle is here when B.Z. attempts to upstage Santa Claus which I think is pretty silly but it fits well for a silly film.  I mean, why would a kid write to him for anything when he charges astronomically high prices for one toy and two, parents would probably buy them modern toys somewhere else than him with all the issues of how harmful his toys are?  Of course, I guess even kids know of how harmful B.Z. Toys are and that guy really doesn't care about safety because he's evil for evil's sake.  Another, B.Z. has no supernatural powers either and also, Patch was planning to leave B.Z. soon and bring the candy canes.  Now a revelation happens is that, those candy canes that were made will EXPLODE when near heat.  Now I wonder why Patch didn't figure that out.  I guess nobody in the North Pole figured it out either but anyway, it was pretty dramatic at that point.  B.Z. shows he can be pretty evil when he attempts to escape to Brazil while letting Patch take the blame.  Meanwhile Joe is captured so he can't blurt out confidential stuff, this also results to something else.  Cornelia writes a letter to the North Pole which Santa Claus quickly responds to help Joe which again, I guess no kid ever tried to do that but her, at least in this continuity.  Plus, the North Pole staff were still resting from the whole holiday fever which makes him only use six reindeer since two out of eight got sick.  I wonder though what the writers were thinking when they wrote B.Z. in the first place?  I guess they wanted something overly hammy.

Despite the supposed suspense with the near finale, the movie still remains loopy and silly.  I mean, when Cornelia reports to the police about the candy canes, they immediately believe it which is stupid.  Then again, B.Z. has so many criminal charges (Doesn't Santa Claus read the papers here?) it might have made it easily believable.  While he was about to be arrested, he eats a lot of those candy canes which causes him to fly too high into the air.  Meanwhile Santa Claus rides with Cornelia to rescue Joe who had ridden with Patch.  Patch wants to go back to the North Pole and of course, give the candy canes instead wishing to give Santa Claus a year off or something like that.  Joe agrees to that, it would be great but Patch doesn't realize the dangers of the candy canes.  After the suspense of the Patchmobile exploding, they are rescued.  It seems that Joe will be adopted by the Clauses from now on since Santa Claus always wanted a child, I guess this time Father Time will try to make adjustments about Joe... hee hee I even want to imagine Joe replacing his foster parents soon enough and will have to find a Mrs. Claus soon.  Now for the rather silly ending...

The ending is also really funny.  After Joe is now with Claus and Anya, it becomes rather silly when we see John Lithgow fly into outer space, still screaming and I mean, he's still breathing.  Well this kind of villain fate was later repeated in Big Time Movie with Atticus Moon.  My only wild mass guess is that B.Z. probably died in orbit when a rocketship or whatever hit him.

Overall this movie is pretty silly but still entertaining for me.


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