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Life & Adventures of Santa Claus [VHS]

Earl Hammond , Earle Hyman , Arthur Rankin Jr. , Jules Bass    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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This bizarre, pagan take on the Santa Claus legend, which is based on a story by L. Frank Baum (The Wizard of Oz), was produced and directed by Rankin and Bass, the reigning kings of the Christmas special (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer), using their brand of puppet animation. In the forest of Burzee, the immortals gather to discuss the fate of Santa Claus. Found when he was an abandoned baby by the Great Ak (a wizard with big wooden horns on his head), the boy was named Claus because that means "little one" in the language of the forest. Raised by immortals and knowing nothing but peace and harmony, the adolescent Claus is taken on a tour of the mortal world by the Great Ak, and he discovers the world is rife with misery and injustice. This is when he decides he will dedicate his life to making kids happy, and he learns the best way to do this is to give them toys. After years of service, the immortals must decide whether or not to give him eternal life. Indeed, this is a very strange Christmas tale. --Andy Spletzer

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By Chauvin
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We ordered 2 movies, 1 came as an empty case and the second one had the wrong movie in the case. The cases were new and still in wrap?
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Christmas Film! Dec 23 2007
Format:VHS Tape
I remember watching this every year as a little girl along with Rudolph and Frosty. This film is different then the traditional story of Santa Claus, with the use of the "Immortals".It offers a explaination for why Santa is still living after hundreds of years. Based on the book by the same name it remains true to the spirit of "Santa Claus". Some of the imagery may seem pagan, however Christmas it's self is actually a pagan holiday. Thus I don't see the problem. I woueld suggest that parents not allow very young children (6 or less) to view, as there are some scarry moments. Overall a wonderful film, albit hard to get a hold of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truely enchanting program July 7 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I remember as a child, every Christmas, watching this portrail of Santa Claus. It is a truely enchanting version that really portrays the magic of Santa Claus and how children love the legend. It is different, but all the more wonderful. It is one of my favorite Christmas programs to watch even as an adult.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical Christmas special Dec 7 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This genuinely strange 1985 Rankin-Bass production (based on a little-known L. Frank Baum novel) certainly avoids most of the cliches associated with Christmas specials. Who'd have thought Santa Claus was raised in a Norse wood by pagan gods and faerie folk and had to battle hordes of crazy-looking demons before he could deliver any toys? I thought I knew every Christmas special by heart, but I seem to have repressed all memory of this one, aside from being traumatized by its horrifically scary monsters. Fans of stop-motion animation and Ray Harryhausen should definitely check this one out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Dec 6 2003
Format:VHS Tape
When my father told me that I could get this movie, I jumped for joy! I had worn out my copy that he taped for me when I was a child. You know that happens when you watch a tape 15 thousands times. I was fascinated with the movie the first time I watched it. Now I understand people may be worried that a Christian child may want to move away to the "Laughing Valley of Ho Hi Ho" But as long as an adult will sit there and explain to the child that the story is only pretend. The child will soon understand that it is only pretend. I would recommend this movie to any family. I believe any child will fall in love with it. It will teach them to use their imagination and in this day and time the youth of today need to use their imagination more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SHOW - forget people who say it's weird Nov. 25 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this video as a child and loved it. Before those people who complain about it being too 'Pagan' or too 'weird' or whatever, I was raised a Baptist, and Christmas to me was special because of the religious meanings, but also because of the fairy tales and imagination it could inspire. The idea of Santa Claus in this story, is someone who does good in the world. This story lets you imagine. It shows you that Santa Claus is truly altruistic and a good person who gives all he can. Above all, it's a great story, religion or no religion. It's only weird to those hung up on pushing their thoughts on others and trying to force their child to think like them. They often forget children have minds that are limitless with imagination. Anyways, it's a great feel good movie!
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Christmas Movie Aug. 17 2003
By Carrie
Format:VHS Tape
This was and always will be my favorite Christmas movie. I love most all of the Rankin/Bass stuff. I was greatly saddened when I lost my copy of this tape, along with The Hobbit (on the same tape) in a house fire. I thought I was the only one that had heard of it. My brother and I watched this over and over from the first time it aired, in 1985, until we were well into our teens. In fact, I still break this one out even when it's not Christmas. The story line and the music are classic, as well as some of the neat names (I named my kitty Necile after Claus' "mother"), and as always the stop animation is just beautiful. You could not go wrong buying this if you remembered it from your childhood, or if you are simply curious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a childhood classic June 24 2003
By deist
Format:VHS Tape
i remembered this from my 80s childhood. i love this stop-motion stuff. this movie is a little darker than normal kid movies, which is why i liked it so much. great songs too. expand your child's imagination.
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