A Boulder Of Tinsel On A Hill Made Of Mistletoe: A Review Of “Santa Claus: The Movie”

A Boulder Of Tinsel On A Hill Made Of Mistletoe: A Review Of “Santa Claus: The Movie”

A woodcutter named Claus goes out in a blizzard and nearly gets himself killed trying to deliver a bag full of toys to the village children. He and his wife eventually get lost and succumb to the cold, clutching a sack full of carved wooden horses and dolls with yarn hair. Looks like the Dolly Parton Country Christmas Special is going to need a new set dresser.

Then some elves rescue him and take him to their toy factory at the North Pole. The elves are like, “The good news is, you’re immortal. The other news is, you’re locked in an eternal cycle of gift giving until the Earth crashes into the sun. Also, your name is Santa Claus now. Here’s a sleigh that operates outside the laws of space-time. It’s essentially a TARDIS with reindeer tied to it.”

Centuries pass until the 1980’s. An adorable street urchin presses his filthy hands against the window of a McDonald’s. People eat Quarter Pounders right in front of his smudged orphan face while he looks on hungrily. The homeless kid is then casually pepper sprayed by Officer Big Mac and locked in a cramped McDonaldland police van for six hours with no bathroom breaks.

Santa flies over the Statue of Liberty and says, “Merry Christmas, pretty lady!” After several centuries of making love to Mrs. Claus, even the judicially robed green copper physique of Lady Liberty is sexually attractive to Santa.

The homeless kid warms himself with a trash can fire. Santa appears and invites him to ride along and deliver toys. Like Sisyphus beckoning from behind a boulder of tinsel on a hill made of mistletoe, Santa doesn’t hesitate to involve a child in his timeless, deathless errand.

Later, Santa ditches the homeless kid and promises to meet up with him again next Christmas. “See you later, unprotected minor with no legal guardians, who is incapable of feeding or clothing yourself, and who lives on the streets with pimps and transients and sex perverts. I’m going home to my magic workshop where people are constantly sleeping in warm beds and drinking cocoa and making toys.”

Meanwhile, an elf played by Dudley Moore implements an assembly line manufacturing process at Santa’s workshop. Unfortunately, all the toys he makes fall apart after Santa delivers them, and a generation of tearful 1980’s latchkey children look on in dismay as their toy wagons disintegrate in the street faster than their parents’ marriages.

Dudley Moore is fired and goes to work for John Lithgow, a sleazy toy baron on trial for violating safety laws and manufacturing highly flammable toys. In Lithgow’s defense, the only toys that burst into flames were Bratz dolls that had been handled by children who were pure of heart.

Dudley Moore designs his own magic sleigh to deliver toys with on Christmas. Guess Santa should have had him sign a non-compete Claus. He delivers lollipops that give children the ability to hover in the air. He bases the technology on nerds’ hands when they come within two inches of a Slave Leia’s bare shoulder or arm in a comic book convention photograph.

Santa returns to visit the homeless kid and gives him a carved wooden statue of Dudley Moore. “Thanks,” says the kid, “I’ll put this right next to my signed VHS copy of Arthur 2: On the Rocks.”

John Lithgow pressures Dudley Moore to develop candy canes that grant children the ability to actually fly. Turns out the candy canes explode when exposed to heat, so the police arrive to arrest John Lithgow. He jumps out of the window with a mouth full of candy canes and flies away, and is later seen screaming in space, flailing in the cold void of an unfeeling universe.

And presumably his business-suited skeleton still floats through the black, uncaring cosmos to this day, his grinning skull a testament to the perils of capitalism, skeletal teeth clenched around a pair of magic candy canes. Merry Christmas!