Characterization of Santa in the Movies


There are a lot of Santa Claus movies out there, and in each one Santa is displayed in different ways. In many ways it is through these movies that the mythos about Santa Claus have been perpetuated. Many of these movies have answered children’s questions about Santa. In some he is really jolly, in others he is a bit comedic, and in some he is even portrayed as a bit of a villain. The characterization of Santa Claus varies quite a bit, so let’s take a look at the different characterizations of Santa Claus in various Santa movies.

The Santa Claus, 2, 3: In these movies Santa is characterized as a bit of a comedian. Tim Allen plays Santa Claus, and at first he is unwilling to take on this role, and fights it. He kind of thinks he is dreaming until he puts on weight, his hair turns white, and he grows facial hair rapidly. He uses humor to deal with a lot of the things in his life he is not happy about, such as his divorce, etc.

So, in these movies Santa eventually becomes more like the Santa we know, but he is modern, thinks forward, cares about kids, but is still a bit harder edged than you would think of for Santa. He is also younger and less wise than many Santa’s are. The reindeers in this movie fly, but have a bit of an attitude and are not nearly as jolly and friendly as you would think. The elves in the movie are young, and they are feisty. They have teams of elves that cause mischief, etc. So, it is a different take, a younger, more modern take on the Santa Claus most think of.

Miracle on 34th Street: In this movie Santa Claus is everything you would expect him to be. He is older, jolly, kind, etc. He cares more about people then anything else. In the movie he works at Macys department store, but he recommends other stores if they offer items for less. The characterization of Santa in this film shows that he does have a bit of temper if he is provoked. However, his overall concern is making good little girls and boys happy, promoting the Christmas spirit, and fostering love for mankind. He is shown as sort of a loner, who lives by himself, and enjoys the company of his reindeer.

Fred Claus: In this movie Santa Claus is shown as being saintly, and unable to be tough, but is a sort of push over, especially when it comes to his brother. However, in this movie, they show Santa as one who is concerned about his health and weight, and is trying not to gain weight. It also shows him as having the flaw of judging children’s naughty or nice-ness by their actions alone, not their intentions. He is shown as a family man who spends time with his family regularly.

As you can see, many movies, all of which show Santa in a different way, and all of which give him different characterizations. In general however, Santa is still the man who is jolly, the man who cares about children, who wants to share Christmas love, who wears red, has a sweet tooth, and has a round belly. With all the different characterizations of Santa we get the enjoyable benefit of being able to watch several different movies with different plots, making life more fun!

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