Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Film and Plot Synopsis

This is the story of a master toymaker who discovers a magical kingdom of elves in the North Pole and becomes Santa Claus. But when Santa’s eager-to-please elf Patch leaves the North Pole for the big streets of New York City, he becomes mixed up with a dastardly toy tycoon’s plans to take over Christmas. And so begins Santa’s adventure – to rescue his faithful elf and to save Christmas for all the children of the world! 

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Santa Claus: The Movie (25th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]

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‘Santa Claus: The Movie’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)Santa Claus: The Movie begins in the 14th century when our famous toymaker (David Huddleston) is working as a lowly woodcarver in a small village. The woodcarver, along with his wife Anya (Judy Cornwell) and their two reindeer, deliver presents at Christmas to the children in the nearby local villages. One Christmas, the couple is caught in a blizzard and succumb to the cold weather. The couple is saved by some elves, known as Vendequm, who take them to the ice mountains at the top of the world. The couple is surprised to find that their arrival is expected. They are introduced to a wise elf named Dooley (John Barrard) and an extremely ancient elf known only as the Ancient One (Burgess Meredith) who tell the woodcarver that it is his destiny to deliver toys to the children of the world every Christmas Eve. Dooley shows the woodcarver the large toy shop where the elves, led by an inventive elf named Patch (Dudley Moore), make all the toys. The couples’ reindeer, Donner and Blitzen, are joined by six other reindeer and fed magic food that allows them to fly. The Ancient One renames the woodcarver Santa Claus and the legend is born.

Centuries pass and Santa begins to become exhausted by the constantly increasing workload by the late 20th century. His wife suggests that Santa choose one of the elves to act as Santa’s assistant. Santa has his two best elves, Patch and Puffy (Anthony O’Donnell), compete for the job. Puffy follows a plan of traditional elf toy-making, while the inventive Patch designs a radical machine driven assembly line to make his toys. Patch wins the competition, but is unaware that his machine is making defective toys. Santa makes his deliveries of the defective toys at Christmas and befriends a homeless 10-year-old orphan boy named Joe (Christian Fitzpatrick) in New York City. Santa takes the skeptical boy for a ride in his sleigh around the Big Apple’s many monuments. Santa allows Joe to assist him during his deliveries and the young boy meets Cornelia (Carrie Kei Heim) in her wealthy uncle’s home. Cornelia is also an orphan and has seen Joe living on the streets. Before returning to the North Pole, Santa gives Joe a carving of an elf as a gift that he made himself.

The next day, Patch’s toys begin to fall apart, causing children around the world to begin to question the veracity and validity of the legend of Santa Claus. Even worse, Patch’s failure prompts him to quit his job as Santa’s assistant, leaving Puffy to take over. Patch leaves the North Pole in disgrace and heads to New York City. Patch meets infamous toymaker B.Z. (John Lithgow), a businessman who is under Congressional investigation due to his many unsafe toys. Patch believes B.Z. is a good toymaker and offers to use his elf magic and knowledge to help B.Z. make better toys. Patch’s first batch of toys are lollipops made with some of the reindeer feed, which causes the children to fly. Patch also builds a hovercraft called the Patchmobile to deliver the candy around the world on March 25, which B.Z. calls “Christmas 2”. Patch insists that the lollipops be given away for free and they become a huge hit, causing the demand for the next creation to go through the rough. B.Z. plans to gouge the children of the world by jacking up the price.

Santa monitors Patch’s activities and is disappointed, unaware that Patch is working with B.Z. in order to get back into Santa’s good graces. Santa is also disheartened due to the children of the world’s continued apathy towards him. Meanwhile, Patch is disappointed when B.Z. schemes to make himself the new face of Christmas. B.Z. insists that Patch increase the amount of reindeer feed in the next patch, which Patch decides shall be candy canes.

Patch works tirelessly to make the candy canes. So much so, he does not notice B.Z.’s assistant, Dr. Eric Towzer (Jeffrey Kramer), spying on him. Towzer discovers that the candy canes are unstable and will explode if they are placed near a heat source. Towzer informs B.Z., who decides that they need to collect the money and run to Brazil, leaving Patch to deal with the consequences. Cornelia, who is B.Z.’s niece, overhears the vile plan along with Joe. Joe is discovered and B.Z. has the young boy tied up and gagged in the basement of B.Z.’s factory. Patch discovers Joe and the carving for Joe that resembles Patch. Patch realizes that Santa cares for him, so he frees Joe, packs up almost all of the candy canes, and begins heading to the North Pole in the Patchmobile with Joe. Meanwhile, Cornelia writes a letter to Santa to let him know of B.Z.’s plan and Joe’s capture. Upon receiving the letter, Santa heads to New York with only six of his reindeer. He picks up Cornelia, and the two of them head out in pursuit of Patch. Once Santa catches sight of the Patchmobile, he notices that the candy canes are beginning to glow due to be placed near the rocket engines. Santa leads his reindeer team to perform the Super Duper Looper in order to catch Patch and Joe as the Patchmobile explodes.

Back in New York, B.Z.’s crimes are uncovered when Cornelia calls the police and notifies them. B.Z. eats a large portion of candy canes in order to escape the police. However, B.Z. cannot control his ascent and soon finds himself into orbit around the Earth. Back at the North Pole, Anya and the elves welcome Santa and Patch back. Santa decides to adopt Joe and Cornelia who are excited that they will live with the Clauses and the elves.

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TriStar Pictures released Santa Claus: The Movie on November 27, 1985. Jeannot Szwarc directed the film starring Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, and David Huddleston.

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