A young reindeer who suffers from vertigo learns to overcome his fear, takes flying lessons from a clumsy flying squirrel and heads to the North pole to save a troubled Santa and his fleet of flying reindeer.
Heartless Mrs. Mavilda runs an orphanage where kids live in miserable conditions because she keeps all of the donation money for herself. She hires a new assistant who, along with Santa, helps children finally have a merry Christmas.
The Story of Santa Claus was one of those childhood favourites that I forgot about until fairly recently. And it is one of those that I am glad I saw again, as there is a lot to like about it. Maybe it is a little too padded pacing-wise, however that was all that struck me as something that wasn't quite so good. The animation is appealingly coloured and simple in design, the fact that it has the look and feel of both Rankin/Bass and GoodTimes adds to the charm. The animation in the musical numbers is never too flashy but has a good deal of energy. The music score has plenty of fanciful whimsy, and while there are more memorable songs out there in my mind the four songs featured were sweet and appropriate for the story. The writing is a pleasing mixture of droll humour and affecting(but thankfully not overly-maudlin) sentiment, while the story is both charming and heart-warming. To see an interpretation on how Santa Claus came to be was very interesting. The characters are very engaging, I loved how Santa and his wife were kindly and hard-working and the elves are cute and lively. I even found myself relating to Nostros, I know he is like the Scrooge of the story in some way but his job and how he is with abiding to the rules so much so that he neglects his son is an angle that any adult watching would identify with. I've seen this many times, in film/TV and in real-life, and thought it was nicely done here. The voice acting is terrific, Ed Asner and Betty White fit their roles like gloves, and Jim Cummings does a nice job with Santa's singing voice. Tim Curry also stood out, voicing Nostros with cantankerous authority. All in all, a Christmas charmer. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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