A disappointing Christmas movie, this has cheap flying effects, is low on laughs and adventure and, perhaps worst of all, relegates Santa to a supporting player, despite being called Santa Claus: The Movie!
For while the first half is almost sweet, as it tells us how Santa became Santa (he was rescued from a wintry death by elves and whisked off to the North Pole where he was made immortal so he can deliver the presents the elves make each year), the second half is about a disgraced elf named Patch (Moore) who meets an evil businessman (Lithgow) who just happens to make toys, and dangerous ones at that. Unfortunately, the entire film – which unsurprisingly was a box-office disaster – is severely lacking in charm, features an eye-wincingly awful over-the-top performance from Lithgow and has a script littered with bad puns (‘elf-help’ etc, etc).
Is Santa Claus: The Movie suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...