Warning: Contains Spoilers***
I first saw this film last year around the holidays. I can’t remember why. But I enjoyed it both then and this year. It’s about the legend of Santa and his early life, why he does certain things, and much more.
I’m not going to narrate the whole movie. But I am going to point out what I thought worked well and what could’ve been better.
First with the strengths.
1: The plot and reasons behind Santa’s life and choices
Using the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” as a guide, I must admit that this was done with lots of thought put into it. It was likely no easy task, let alone the stop-motion animation. You find out why Santa was called Kris Kringle in his early life, why he wears red, why he goes through the chimney to deliver toys, and a lot more.
2: The musical numbers
Every song in this film is fantastic. They have great tunes, lyrics, and emotional sensation.
3: The brief Rudolph cameo
When the children are naming Santa’s reindeer, one almost acknowledges Rudolph until the narrator stops them and says, “That’s a different story.” Even the character’s design in this film differed from the Rudolph in 1964’s “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”. Lol.
And now onto the parts that could’ve been improved.
1: Kris Kringle’s character design as a young man
As much as I enjoyed this movie, to be honest, I was never a fan of Kris Kringle’s youthful face with mature voice. I don’t know his age at the time, but still.
2: Why were the wizard and penguin still alive when Santa reached old age?
Unless the wizard was supposed to live longer with magic, even if he lost most of it (and this was made long before “Harry Potter”), shouldn’t he have died years before? Same with the penguin?
Yes, yes, I know. It’s a child-friendly movie. So death might be too mature. Even if it was never mentioned and the warlock and penguin disappeared without reason, it still would’ve raised questions to parents.
However, to young childless adults, like me, it feels strange and unrealistic. Oh well. It’s a cartoon.
3: The characters never really expressed strong emotions
Even in high-stressful situations, characters barely reacted. Their emotions seemed weak and neutral. It’s kind of hard to relate to them like that. In other child-friendly movies, characters will react more strongly, thus making them more believable.
That’s all. Despite some of the flaws, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” is a great film, worthy of 5 out of 5 stars.