why-is-santa-claus-the-movie-so-merrily-maligned

by Super User
The Internet is choked with nostalgia for the youth-oriented entertainments of the not-too-distant past : Tumblr blogs regurgitating images of half-forgotten toys; YouTube compilations of long-lost TV-show intros; countless blogs playing “Remember when?” with movies and video games whose rose-colored recollections aren’t always properly earned. With Memory Wipe, The A.V. Club takes a look at some of our formative favorites with clearer eyes and asks that all-important question: Were they really that great to begin with? This installment looks at Santa Claus: The Movie, which hit theaters late November of 1985. SANTA CLAUS THE MOVIE AND BZ TOYS What do we want from a holiday movie beyond a little snow, Santa, and some sort of message of love and togetherness? And is there a reason we like some admittedly dumb and trite Christmas movies and hate others? Or why some movies—Jingle All The Way, for instance—are embraced as pieces of nostalgic ridiculousness while others—in this case, Santa Claus: The Movie—are viewed as complete failures? SANTA CLAUS THE MOVIE 1990'S FILM Breaking down into what’s essential two hour-long TV episodes, Santa Claus: The Movie details the origin of Santa from regular 14th-century woodcarver to international icon. It also introduces the Vendequm, or elves, including Dudley Moore’s Patch, who plays a large role in the second half of the film. After a thwarted attempt at becoming the tired Santa’s 20th-century assistant (elves and Santa are immortal, obviously), Patch decides to take his talents to the mortals. He mistakenly gloms on to John Lithgow’s evil B.Z., owner of evil B.Z. Toys, where he uses magical reindeer flying dust to produce the Puce Pop, a treat he leaves under the tree for every good girl and boy. B.Z. being comically evil, he uses the unworldly elf to both raise his prestige and profits, hoping to bring about Christmas 2 in March with a batch of supercharged and dusty candy canes produced by the elf. NEW YORK CHRISTMAS KIDS Some New York scamp kids get involved, finding out that Patch is making dangerous candy without knowing better. They relay that message to Santa, who swoops in to save Patch and one of the aforementioned kids, right as their sleigh-turned-wacky-car is about to explode due to those naughty candy canes. Patch seemingly feels no remorse and returns to the North Pole, where he’ll continue to dance, invent, and tend reindeer. Scamps Joe and Cornelia go north as well, summarily convincing Santa and Mrs. Claus to let them stay there until next Christmas, laws and families be damned. And, thus, good cheer is once again known by all as Santa and his most beloved elves live to manufacture and distribute toys once again. What’s wrong with that?

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