The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (1985)

life and adventures of santa claus poster 1985 review
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Weird Santa story is Santa meets Lord of the Rings

Just too odd

TV Show Info

TV Show Name:  The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus

Studio:  Rankin-Bass

Genre(s):  Animated/Seasonal

Release Date(s):  December 17, 1985

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

life and adventures of santa claus great ak flying

Come fly with me…come fly, come fly away!

As Santa Claus grows close to death, the immortals gather to debate if he should be given the Mantle of Immortality and the Great Ak relates the story of Santa Claus’ life. Santa Claus grows up among the fairies and ventures into the world to help those less fortunate. Santa Claus travels to the Laughing Valley of Ho-Ha-Ho and begins giving gifts to children around the world.

Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus were one of the late releases of the Rankin-Bass Claymation Christmas specials. Originally airing on CBS, it adapts Wizard of Oz creator L. Frank Baum’s 1902 story. It isn’t very readily available in comparison to the other Rankin-Bass specials, but it does often air on cable during the holiday season (though often edited for time).

life and adventures of santa clause monsters

Yes…typical Christmas monsters

The special isn’t Rankin & Bass’ best outing, but I do think it is better than some of the later entries like the painful Nestor, the Long-Eared Donkey or even the relatively popular The Little Drummer Boy. The Claymation is quite good and though it doesn’t have the same weight and feel of the early movies like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.

The strength of The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus is the rather strange story. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town seems pretty normal when compared to this odd tale. The story for the most part follows the Santa Claus story presented by Baum, and Baum used Santa Claus in other stories including The Road to Oz in 1909.

life and adventures of santa claus great ak battle

You Shall Not Pass!!!!

Like Baum’s other works, the story relies heavily on fantasy and fantastic creatures. The creations for the special are rather fun and the characters are mostly voiced by actors who provided voices for ThunderCats at the time. The music for the story is rather forgettable, but “Big Surprise” is kind of catchy.

I do recommend checking out The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus if you get a chance during the holiday season. I realize it isn’t the best movie, but it is an odd one. The book leaves a bit more for interpretation and is more fun, but this is one of those specials that you won’t forget just because it is so strange.  This story was also made into an animated movie in 2000.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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