You really have to wonder what NBC and the creators of this film were thinking adapting the beloved animated special into this live-action film.
Were they hoping to expand the story (adapted from Phyllis McGinley's novel)? Then why is it that the original version accomplished more storytelling in a one-hour special than this movie does in two? This adaptation with a strange credit of teleplay and "television story" by Larry Wilson and Tom Martin goes off on so many tangents and in so many directions it only makes passing reference to the plot of the original novel and Rankin-Bass special it makes one wonder why they bothered to pay royalties to the original creators at all.
Perhaps it was so they could include the famous "I'm Mr. Heat/ Snow Miser" song, but this rare moment of energy in this movie is rather jarring considering that this is not otherwise a musical and the rest of the score is missing.
The cast is excellent across-the-board, though the lovely Delta Burke is way too young for the thankless role of Mrs. Claus, the prime mover of the plot in the original but reduced to looking concerned and expounding exposition here. You know you are in trouble when a film includes John Goodman, Eddie Griffin, Harvey Firestein and Michael McKean (and a scene-stealing Carol Kane) and is still dull.
An almost-complete waste of time and a scouring of a terrific story. Now go and watch the Rankin/ Bass original!
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