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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Positive role model for kids

Author: suzannadavi from United States
14 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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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Inspirational and fun

Author: Sunshine95 from Miami, Florida
20 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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great for the little ones and Christmas spirit!

Author: ( from Canada
17 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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Really beautiful

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
22 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

Author: twilight2000 from United States
24 December 2009

*** This review may contain 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

Author: Julia Arsenault (ja_kitty_71) from Canada
17 December 2008

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 became 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 maded 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. And I also Rankin/Bass' version of the story, which was a TV special maded in the same year I was born in - 1985.

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A very cherished and well-done version.

Author: greys_anatomy_luvr from Canada
30 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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A wonderful Christmas movie for all ages

Author: mabergin from Canada
25 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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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An enjoyable fantasy with real Christmas spirit

Author: Cylex from England
16 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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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Not as good as the stop motion version

Author: CountVladDracula from United States
23 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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