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Santa Claus: The Movie (Bluray Review)

3 min read

Courtesy of Studiocanal

Fresh from the 80s is the restoration we didn't know we needed. That film we all used to watch over the festive period and wonder why years later. Santa Claus: The Movie has everything a typical Christmas film needs; a Santa Claus origin story, a heartless toy manufacturer villain, a comedy icon using far too many elf puns, orphans ready for an adventure and some of the best costumes to come out of the North Pole.

When a woodcutter, Claus and his wife, Anya, get caught in a blizzard, they are saved by elves who take them to their magical home in the North Pole. They are told by the elves that their arrival was prophesied and that it was Claus' destiny to deliver presents to children around the world every Christmas Eve. Throughout the centuries, they all live harmoniously, changing with the times. But when the over eager elf, Patch, believes he needs to prove himself to Santa Claus, he runs away to modern day New York. Soon the naïve Patch ends up in the clutches of a corrupt toy manufacturer who intends to take over Christmas. It's up to Santa Claus, with the help of some new friends to save Patch and restore Christmas.

Courtesy of

Whimsical fun aside, the story structure of the film is odd. We are introduced to what is essentially an origin story for Santa Claus but nearly half way through, the story switches. Patch takes centre stage and we spend a good portion of the rest of the film in bleak modern-day New York. Moving from the brightly coloured magical workshop to this rather grim setting featuring two orphans in very different circumstances is an odd choice. As this is a Christmas film, you are supposed to expect children to feature at some point. This imbalance of story however is peppered with likeable characters and a few amusing ways to show time passing. For example, when the poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas is first published and sparks comments about Santa's ‘little round belly'.

Everyone looks and feels as if they are having the greatest time. Attached early on is the centre and sometimes annoying heart of the film as Patch, an elf ahead of his time. and are a sugary delight as Mr and Mrs Claus, but its is the one steals the entire film. In role where he could have so easily put little effort in, Lithgow as B.Z. gives us a maniacal genius like performance and its clear he's enjoying every second of it.

Before the new release, fans only had a DVD of the film featuring an image of David Huddleston on the cover with only Dudley Moore's name included. The restoration treats us to a more defined viewing experience, including even brighter coloured outfits the elves wear and the colourless 80s of the time. We also get extras never seen before including an interview with Mrs Claus herself, Judy Cornwell.

For anyone discovering the film now, you're in for a family friendly festive experience, even with the slightly disjointed story and abundance of elf puns. For some, this will be a Christmas nostalgia trip. Those who saw the film when it was first released and those who discovered it on TV one Wintery day. Santa Claus: The Movie is and mostly likely will never be a cult hit, but it'll be a film you'll always remember, even if its just for those elf costumes.

Santa Claus: The Movie is released on 4K UHD, Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital this 13th November