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The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful stop motion classic

Author: CountVladDracula from United States
23 March 2005

I thought this was a beautiful and surreal stop motion animated film. It's certainly superior to the cell animation version. I thought it was beautifully done by the Rankin / Bass people- who brought us such classics as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the snow man, among many other holiday specials. I don't think this has been released to DVD yet and it's a shame that it hasn't been.

It's a true classic. It's based on the short story by L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. In fact, though neither movie tells you this, the immortal fairies in this story are the ones who enchanted The Land of Oz to begin with.

If you love beautifully done fantasies and stop motion animation I highly recommend this movie. I read another review that called this film pagan and frightening- I think this person was looking for reasons to hate it and simply didn't understand the fantastical creatures portrayed. It's not scary at all, it's quite beautiful, just not what you'd expect. You should keep an open mind when viewing it, it's quite beautiful.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Best Santa Clause movie ever

Author: grubby_d from Canada
11 July 2005

The only reason I ever even heard of this was by putting in blank VHS tapes out of boredom one day when I was about 10. For me this movie has special meaning because I used to watch it with my buddy when we were little. We could probably recite almost ever word and sing every song.

But about the movie itself, it is a rare gem that almost nobody has ever heard of. This is a side of Christmas that is so refreshingly different, bearing absolutely no resemblance to any other Santa story ever written, capturing the Christmas spirit in its own way.

This gets a full 10 from me for the stunning art-work of its creation and magical creativity that brought it to life.

Go get it! Journey with Clause from the forest of Berzee to the Laughing Valley of "Ho Ha Ho" in this one in a million production. Expect the unexpected with characters such as Peter Nook, the great Ak, and the commander of the wind demons.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best films i have ever seen

Author: cijidunn from Newcastle
8 April 2003

I have watched this movie since i was little, and for all i do admit the subject and the themes used in the movie are slightly darker then the average kids movie, it is one of the best i have seen. I've always loved the entire premiose of the story, and the characters are brilliant, especially the Commander of the Wind Daemons (The Bat like Creature) and Blinky the Cat.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Beautifully Animated Stop-Motion Fantasy

Author: frey-2 from Boston, MA
22 December 1999

If you prefer fantasy to holiday hokum, you'll want to check this one out. A little dark at times for very little ones, this stylish take on the Santa story will appeal to older children or little ones accustomed to fantasy and fairy tale themes. Alive with Faerie folk of all kinds it offers a colorful journey through Santa's life. Santa is not spared the horrors of the human world, however, and this story illustrates how he developed compassion for the human race. Very moving in parts, this story gets to the heart of the Christmas spirit, without getting preachy or religious.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Scary? Are you kidding me?!

Author: draysonte from United States
22 December 2004

This was one of my favorite Rankin-Bass productions. This particular telling of the Santa story is based on L. Frank Baum book of the same title: "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus." The immortals are gathered by the Great Ak to decide whether or not the mortal Santa deserves the honor of becoming immortal (something the immortals can only grant once). The story is narrated by Ak and recounts how he found the young babe and watched over him as he was raised by some of the nymphs and animals that fell under Ak's jurisdiction.

As with any Rankin-Bass stop animation production the creature concepts can be wildly imaginative (and scary... the Nooks tend creep me out, but I wouldn't mind a plush version of one) and be sure that there are numerous musical outbursts as the story progresses.

This Baum story has also recently received an animated retelling. I am saddened that this particular version does not receive as much airing time, but I am very grateful that we always recorded Christmas specials when I was younger.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys Rankin-Bass holidays escapism and has an imagination that enjoys being stimulated.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

very nice

Author: zordon42 from san diego, ca
25 March 2003

when i first saw this movie, i completly loved the songs, but now that i've got it recorded and got another look at it, i found that i loved the storyline. the characters were amazing, i loved how they represented themselves, and the scenery, i just loved this film for........ everything it had.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


20 September 2004

AWESOME CLAYMATION Christmas CLASSIC...a must have for the Christmas holidays .It is unfortunate that the networks no longer show this tale of how Santa Claus becomes the symbol of Christmas. This tale has gods ,elves,fairies and Santa Claus . If you like the Lord of the Rings ,Harry Potter and other Rankin and Bass classics , then this will be a welcome addition to your movie collection.I have seen this movie so many times and every time I see something new. However, do not buy this UNLESS YOU CAN STAND SEEING IT YEAR-ROUND.This is sort of hard to find so get it when you see it .I OFTEN SEE THE WELL KNOWN OTHERS LIKE RUDOLPH THE RED NOSE REINDEER AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN but this one is sort of rare .

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

My Favorite Christmas Movie

Author: tropiqalkiwi from United States
10 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I grew up watching this movie every year at Christmas time and continue to look forward to seeing it every year. This movie has a beautifully done story that shows how "Claus" goes from being a child to a Saint. He is not born in the faerie land, but adopted by them. Because of his unique experiences growing up with faeries instead of other men he brings unprecedented happiness to the children that he meets through a new creation of his, a toy.

If anyone is wondering about whether to show this movie to children or not, I would say go for it. Others feel it is a bit scary, and the "war" near the end of the movie is too harsh for children, but I disagree. The war only happens as a last resort after Great Ak tries to talk with King Awgwa. There is no actual killing in the war, the "bad guys" are simply turned into flowers through very gentle means, and the remaining ones flee.

This is in response to Goon-2's comment on this movie: The bat-like creature, who sits at the table with the other immortals, symbolizes the wind, he is NOT death. At the very beginning of the movie (with the credits) all of the immortals (each representing a different natural force) are introduced and he is the commander of the wind demons. I just want to make sure people know he is not representing death, and is interested in saving Claus not killing him.

Overall it is an uplifting tale of doing what you can to make the world a better place, and finding creative ways to do so when there are problems.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Best Christmas special yet!

Author: Angel Meiru
13 February 2004

Somehow, most Christmas related movies and specials seem to be sendemental, campy or some times even sickening sweet. But "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" is a big relief from those Holiday special clichés.

Think of putting together a typical Rankin Bass special, Mythology of the British Isles and Jim Henson's "The Dark Crystal" and you get this movie about a mortal named St. Nicholas and how he came to be.

Some people seemed to complain about the film being too dark. But face it, some things may tend to be *gasps* ARTISTIC, and *gasps* original and *gasps* not sappy or an un-artistic film just made to tell you to shell out your bucks on the crappy merchandise.

If you catch this on TV or on any VCR format, or if you love "The Dark Crystal" or Mythological based films, you will love this special. I know I do!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Psychedelic Tale Of Santa's Beginnings

Author: tdimitriou from Seattle
4 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of my favourite Rankin/Bass offerings. I think this was one of the last of the Christmas Classics they made. Basically, Santa is raised by wood elves and wild animals, fights off an ogre army, then has to go to trial for the mantle of immortality so he can continue delivering his gifts. Honestly, I think they were high on mescaline or something to come up with this wild tale.

Wonderful battle scenes of the hellbent ogres attacking the peaceful elves. There are many deaths in this children's cartoon, but do not despair, Santa wins in the end.

Highly recommended for:

- the Great Ak and his clan

- most deaths in a Rankin/Bass Christmas special

Highly Recommended!

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