Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (Bass, Rankin Jr., 1970)

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (Jules Bass & Arthur Rankin Jr., 1970)

I haven’t seen any new movies lately, so I’ve decided to go ahead and give my thoughts on what is probably my favorite Christmas special. Full of endless humor that is both subtle and off-the-wall, I laugh no matter how many times I’ve seen this. Kris Kringle, as portrayed here, is an odd duck. From his bold declaration of, “I’m a man now.” to his mockery of almost everyone around him, he’s an energetic, confident figure. He isn’t the only entertaining character. The film’s antagonist – Burgermeister Meisterburger – is a perfectly awkward tyrant prima donna who trips on toys,  is suckered by Kringle’s tricks, and is consistently flustered by everything around him. But the humor is all punctuated perfectly towards the end when the Winter Warlock conjures up some of his lost magical powers and shouts in the background, “I’m not such a loser after all.” A fine piece of comedic genius.

The film has heart too, though. Kringle cares for the oppressed town, especially the children. He finds himself angry with injustice and rebels against the law to spread love. He also meets his mate amongst the civilians and marries her under the moon-lit, winter sky. And when the two grow old and word of his generosity spreads, he chooses the day of Christ’s birth as the one day he can reach children all over the world. Despite what Santa is today, in this version of the story, he puts himself second to his God, and I’ve always greatly appreciated that aspect of this story.  8.25/10

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3 Responses to “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (Bass, Rankin Jr., 1970)”

  1. So glad to see this one hit the blog! This movie is one that I look forward to every year and you’re right – it never disappoints!

  2. I love this movie almost as much as the classic GRINCH!

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