The Year Without A Santa Claus

It's December again, friends. And you know what that means? Our commercial and capitalistic society can shove pseudo-Christmas stuff down our throats! Cynicism aside, those Christmas specials are airing again, and I thought it'd be interesting to try and critique one while putting in some 'family time' as well.

The concept of the film, as suggest the title, is that Santa is sick this Christmas - ergo he can't deliver presents this year. According to Santa, it's not a big deal anyway since Christmas spirit has been long dead, anyway. So, Mrs. Claus sends two elves, Jingle & Jangle, to try and prove that Christmas spirit does indeed still exist.

The theme of 'the Christmas spirit' dying, while it does ring true, isn't exactly well-executed, though. In fact, one might say Mrs. Claus is the worst offender, going so far as to say that, without Santa, Christmas will be ruined. Geez, Mrs. Claus, so much for restoring that Christmas spirit...

This film also doesn't really bring anything new to the traditional Christmas special, with the exception of two rather interesting characters - the Miser brothers, Snow-Miser and Heat-Miser. These two new, original, and,admittedly, likable characters bring freshness to a film that can feel pretty dry, at times.

The majority of the songs, another traditional special aspect, are really nothing special. The only purpose they seem to serve in this film is prolong itself, either that or they try to expand a concept into a three-minute song. Despite the mediocrity of most of the songs, you'll find a gem or two in the film, with the best song being Mickey Rooney and Ron Marshall's "I Believe In Santa Claus". Though the song tries to bash you with "believing in Santa or you're a fool", there's something whimsical and hauntingly charming about it. Ron Marshall, especially, epically delivers on his solo.

The acting in the film is a mixed bag, as you'll get some good and some bad. As I said earlier, the Miser brothers really steal the show here, with Snow-Miser being my personal favorite. On the other end of the spectrum, however, Mrs. Claus is...pretty bad. Not to mention her hammy narration really puts a damper on the film, while also insulting the viewer's intelligence by feeling the need to narrate 80% of the time.

While it does have a few fresh elements, The Year Without A Santa Claus is pretty much your typical Christmas special.

5/10 - Average





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