Fron the producers of the first Superman film comes another legendary person, Santa Claus in this 1985 adventure yarn Santa Claus The Movie.
Starring David Huddleston and Dudley Moore, the story starts with Santa giving gifts to local children as he does every year but getting caught in a nasty blizzard where he, his wife and his two reindeer seem to be at death’s door.
But a magical land appears in the distance, and many elves come to greet him and his wife and take them back to the North Pole factory. In a bizarre ceremony, he is christened Santa Claus by the elder, a strange cameo by Burgess Meredith and told he will live forever and every year at Christmas will bring gifts to all the children worldwide.
When his most faithful helper (Dudley Moore) is promoted to Santas main assistant he fails to produce safe and reliable toys and is demoted. He leaves the Noth Pole and travels to New York where he befriends the evil toy maker and owner of BZ Toys played by John Lithgow.
Santa also befriends a lonely street urchin in New York and things reach a climax when the evil head of the toy company and Santa battle it out with the whole of Christmas at stake.
Yes, it is a convoluted and patchwork story which goes off the rails once it moves away from the North Pole and the toy-making facilities. The set design is excellently done as are the other effects for the time, but it is a mess once it relocates to the big city.
Dudley Moore does his best to be charming and faithful to Santa and John Lithgow chews the scenery like he hasn’t had a meal for a week as the evil toy maker. It is painful to sit through at times and has dated badly.
Kids will be more forgiving and many who grew up in the mid-1980s have a soft spot for the film but adults will soon become bored and it’s easy to see why it was a flop upon release.
One good thing about this release is the new 4K remaster looks superb with bold colours and great detail. The stereo soundtrack by Henry Mancini sounds excellent. Extras are a Making Of Santa Claus Featurette, Behind-the-Scenes of Shooting the Press Conference Scene and Deleted Scenes. But this release also brings us a brand new interview with Judy Cornwell, who plays Mrs Claus in the film.
In conclusion, if you have a soft spot for the film then this remastered release shines, if not avoid it at all costs. Available on 4K UHD as well as Blu-Ray.
FILM – 4 PICTURE – 9 AUDIO – 8 EXTRAS -7