Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Wow, this movie has serious pace issues.

It is slow slow slow.  It switches plot at least three times, and each new storyline is only tangentially related to the others. This makes the movie feel even longer than it is. The plots themselves don't make a ton of sense, and the tone is wildly inconsistent.

The worst part is that every so often there's a sliver of a moment when it is almost a good movie.  You can see where it could have turned away from stupidity (by, say, not changing plots again, or by not making Dudley Moore suddenly the focus) and been something actually good.  Erin pointed out while we were watching it that every time it started to look serious or magical or otherwise interesting, in came the annoying repetitive cartoon music and the slapstick-prone elves.

I should mention that these are some mighty unconvincing elves.  The height and behavior isn't consistent at all.  It also didn't help that all the toys the elves make look ridiculous, so when they start breaking (and why doesn't that actually come up again?) it's just funny.

And I know they were parroting Superman, but why?  Why not come up with your own plot structure, something that doesn't involve introducing John Lithgow at the 11th hour as a cartoonishly evil toy exec?  Now, wait a minute, you're saying, that sounds interesting!  It isn't.  Even watching Lithgow mercilessly chew the scenery can't quite pull this movie up.

Oh, and why were there two kids out of Dickens dropped into the 80's?  That was utterly surreal, and I just didn't buy their situations at all.  A lot of the plot seemed to depend on the audience making illogical assumptions about what was happening off-camera.

Not to mention that the final climax is an anticlimax, utterly pointless, and has zero emotional weight.

This is not a good movie, although it is occasionally pretty.  Skip it.

(If you want to punish yourself, it's on DVD.)

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