The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (Video 2000) Poster

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Should Have Been Better
Christmas-Reviewer9 September 2017

This film had great source material! However the makers of this film add and subtract the wrong things. What they get right is the tone. What they do wrong is everything else. They add songs (not a bad idea) however these songs are terrible.

They also dumb down the story because since this is made for small children they break the rule about children's show. The makers of this film think children are too stupid to get the subtext and they dumb down the story and dialog.

Based on the popular book by L. Frank Baum, the beloved author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," comes "The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus". The story starts off many centuries ago, long before toys had even been invented, a baby abandoned at the edge of an enchanted forest was adopted and raised by a beautiful wood nymph, thus beginning the life story of Santa Claus. From his truly magical childhood through the discovery of his life's work of making children happy, discover the origin of every tradition surrounding Santa Claus!

I hope one day someone with more talent will adapt the book into a full length feature film. If done correctly it would become a classic. This however is barely worth watching.
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Inspirational and fun
Sunshine9520 December 2006
I thought the movie was a very inspirational movie. It showed and taught kids that when you give you receive. I'm sure some adults who watched the movie with there kids perhaps thought it was a very good movie as well. Every year I watch the movie with my family, and we always enjoy it very much.I definitely recommend this movie for kids of all ages. I loved it very much and as I said I watch it every year with my family its almost like a tradition. So if anyone is in need of a Santa Clause movie I hope they will have a chance of getting to watch this movie. Because they will enjoy it very much. So I assure you to watch the movie.For it will be something good to remember!!!
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Positive role model for kids
suzannadavi14 December 2002
My son loves this and it is beautifully animated. Unlike the 1985 version of this same story, the angel of death is beautifully unthreatening. Let your kids try it out and you might not mind watching either. To quote my son, "It's kind of cheery watching these Christmas shows."
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Great for the little ones and Christmas spirit!
kericat-117 December 2005
This version is better for little ones. The original version has a bit of darkness, so it's better to stick to the lighter version without having to worry about a little one's reactions to it.

The characters are still enchanting, and it's a very touching, light movie.

It's also an excellent way to open up a child's mind to the best part of Christmas... To bring happiness to the lives of others. It's a lot like the Pagan holiday Yule, so it's not as focused on religion but the Spirit of the Holiday... TO spend time with those you love in celebration and bring happiness to all, making winter a little brighter.

This is definitely a great movie to get to the heart of Christmas spirit.

(If you love this one, be sure to check out 1985 version.)
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Not as good as the stop motion version
CountVladDracula23 March 2005
This version of The Life and adventures of Santa Claus is a pale, saccharine sweet sham when compared to the supurbly done stop motion animation of the 1985 version of this same story done by Rankin / Bass. This felt cheesy and half-hearted whereas the stop motion animated one has the distinct feel of a classic and was more true to the heart and feel of the old story by L. Frank Baum.

The story is good but it feels dumbed down compared to the stop motion version. A seldom known fact, Baum connected this story to his loved The Wizard of Oz by saying the immortal faeries of this story are the ones who enchanted the land of Oz to begin with.
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Not as great as the stop motion Rankin Bass but a nice story for younger kids
meisterburger238 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I'm going to be honest here, personally I do not like this Christmas special, It's not awful and don't get me wrong, I grew up in the early 2000's so I defiantly saw this one year during Christmas time at school. It's not bad, but it's not great either, I think personally this is a waste of time.

The story narrated by the great Ak explains how Santa Claus a foundling baby adopted by a fairy grew up to help children and become Santa Claus. It's a nice story and it has decent songs for kids. Having seen both versions of the Life and Adventures Of Santa Claus, the animated version is very weak and It feels too dumb-ed down for children. I lost interest in this movie after ten minutes of watching this.

Maybe this is geared toward younger children and that is personally fine, the Rankin Bass version is awesome in both the story-line and the characters. I like the look of the Awguas in the original and Necille supposedly is a nymph in the animated version, and acts older while in the Rankin Bass she is very young and looks like a fairy

Over all I'm being nice and am giving this special a 4/10 It's not great, but it's decent. I recommend the Rankin Bass version, It's much better
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Santa Gets A Backstory
zsofikam26 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Just for the record, I have never the Rankin-Bass version (never even heard of it until now) but I have a long history with this version. I have also not yet read the original story but I was aware of it due to the book being mentioned in the movie trailers. What else is there to say? This is one of my all-time favourite Christmas stories. The songs are quite lovely, especially alongside the Celtic influenced score. The animation is very lovely too, having a soft warm quality to it perfect for anything relating to Christmas. The characters are also very enchanting and the augua are great villains. It's very touching to see how Santa grew up to become the jolly good fellow we all know and love and to see a Christmas story that celebrates the joy of giving rather than some flashy commercial. Santa is the ward of a wood nymph who breaks all her kind's laws to raise him, and after he grows up makes gifts for the village children on a regular basis until, after being attacked by the augua, he's forced to make a deal with Ril, who is responsible for all deer. Ak the master woodsman explains that there is one night a year where the humans are a little more warmhearted and Santa begins delivering toys on that night with the help of some reindeer lent to him by Ril. The rest of the story is the wonderful story of Santa's travels and it even touches on how he manages to get into houses without chimneys. Overall a very beautiful Christmas movie, one of my favourites.
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A wonderful Christmas movie for all ages
mabergin25 October 2006
In today's market where the flashiest commercials are used to optimize profits at Christmas time, this movie takes us back to the early days of Santa Claus, St. Nicholas. It's a relief to see the joy of giving. Although L. Frank Baum is known, justifiably, for his other classic, his style shines through in this movie, inspired by Baum's book. Clearly, Nicholas is the main character. But his mother, his carvings, which became the first toy gifts to children, the lion, the fairies, especially Winky add substantially to the plot. The youngest child will enjoy this movie. However, don't think it's just for young child. Our teenage children also like the playfulness and innocence that shine through in a good versus evil plot within the movie.
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An enjoyable fantasy with real Christmas spirit
Cylex16 December 2001
I caught this film on Sky Premier and was glad I did. The characters were appealing, especially Nicholas, Blinky and Whist. The Argawal were good villains. The story was filled with the joy of giving and caring for others which is what Christmas is all about. The songs were pleasant to listen to and the ending was touching. 7/10
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See the oh so much better Rankin Bass version.
cipolliniclan7 January 2004
I saw this special on Cartoon Network( which I usually avoid at all costs) and I was expecting the one from 1985, instead I got this lame, uninspired version. It may work for some, but for me it simply diden't do anything.

It was basically nothing more than Saturday morning blah. The version from Rankin Bass was so much better. The characters were much more involving, the story was better laid out, and the overall look and sound of it was better.
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Really beautiful
TheLittleSongbird22 September 2012
I have not seen the Rankin' Bass version, but I will definitely check it out as I am such a big fans of their Christmas specials. What's for sure though is that I love The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus. The animation is vibrant and looks really clean and beautifully coloured, while the music is enough to warm anybody's heart with its heartfelt simplicity. The writing is sweet, touching and sincere, and the story is heartwarming, gives you the feeling of Christmas and has a message that will inspire any child without doing it in a didactic way. The characters are likable and engaging, with cute animals and fairy characters and Santa is so kind and jovial that it is easy to fall in love with him. The voice acting is excellent, with Robby Benson brilliant as Santa.

Overall, this is a really beautiful Christmas movie. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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One of the loveliest of the Christmas Specials
twilight200024 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Of all the Christmas specials we watch (most every Rankin/Bass stop motion with Santa ever made) this is one of our very favorites. Let me note that this is the animated version, not the stop motion one - it's the only of Rankin/Bass's productions I've ever taken a pass on.

The animation is beautiful, the script is at once touching and terrifying and lovely. Hal Holbrook voices both The Great Auk and the Narrator - they couldn't have found a better choice. Robbie Benson outdoes himself as "Young Santa" and Jim Cummings as "Older Santa" - the two of them make a seamless performance of Santa and give a wonderful fully- developed character.

*Spoilers* This story is much more ancient than most we see - This Santa was a foundling that a Wood Nymph breaks all her kind's laws to raise in the Forest of Berzee. This Santa, after he grows up, wears the Christmas Wreath we've seen in historic engravings - The Great Auk is introduced to us as "The Master Woodsman" ruling over Faeries, Nooks & Rills (& wood nymphs) in a very woodland interpretation of the Santa Claus story. Santa delivers toys as gifts to children many times a year on a regular basis - until the Augua start attacking Nicholas of Berzee (his name during his mortal lifetime) and endanger the children. Then he negotiates with the Ril who is responsible for all the deer for one night a year - and when they ask which night, Auk suggests there is one night the humans celebrate each year when their hearts are a little more full and a little more caring - that should be the right night. They agree and he begins delivering toys one night a year with the 8 reindeer he's able to borrow from Wil (the deer keeper). In the Great Battle the Augua are joined by Dragons & Giants - they're defeated by the great magic of the immortals. The rest is the wonderful story of his travels as what we think of as Santa and Christmas presents and even touches on how he gets in even without a chimney! In the end, Nicholas is, after all mortal. And when he must finally pass, Auk petitions for immortality for him. The story ends well - but you should watch to see the particulars.

This Santa is wonderful - he's constantly amazed at the world around him - all is new and lovely and surprising and wondrous. This story by Frank L. Baum, is lovingly told and animated and given to us in voice by Hal Holbrook.

Of all the Christmas Specials we watch, this is one of only 2 my teenager still asks for - the other is Call Me Claus (Whoopie Goldberg & Nigel Hawthorne). That's pretty high praise - and very well deserved!
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A beautifully animated Christmas Fantasy
My mom and I read this wonderful Christmas fantasy story from the creator of "The Wizard of OZ" one Christmas ago (I don't which one), and after that, I had love it and is has become one of my favorite Christmas stories. You know to me, Necile reminds me of Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid, when it comes to disregarding the rules of contacting with humans.

There had been only two film adaptations made for TV, and not one theatrical release. In this version, Disney's Beauty and The Beast's Robbie Benson lends his inimitable vocal stylings as young Nicolas (Santa Claus); Dixie Carter as his fairy mother Necile and Hal Holbrook as Ak, Master Woodsman of the World. Misha Segal (composer for the film The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking) provides a Celtic-inflected score for the film, along with song lyrics by Harriet Schock.

As I said many times, I don't have a favorite scene, because I love the WHOLE film. I also loved Rankin/Bass' version of the story, which was a TV special made in the same year I was born in - 1985.
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A very cherished and well-done version.
greys_anatomy_luvr30 December 2006
I watched this on YTV every year I could since they started airing it. I love it and so does my sister. My mom likes to watch it too. It gives that very Christmas-y feel to our home and when it came on the TV, we knew it was Christmas. I haven't seen the original stop motion one and I'm sure I wouldn't like it as much if I did considering that I think all of those movies are very dark and not filled with as much cheer as the animated ones. I know that this version is excellent for both adults and children and that its a very good movie for the Christmas season.

Watch it! =P
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