16 December 2001 | pirate1_power
One more look back with the Elf Without Jingles
I, Richard Washington, am the self-proclaimed "Elf Without Jingles." Santa Claus: The Movie is the major reason why. Since posting my previous comments on this film here on the Internet Movie Database, the web has been flooded with never information not only about this particular film itself, but also about the further adventures, and subsequent downfall, of the father-and-son production team of Alexander and Ilya Salkind, without whom, as I mention on my KringleQuest.com website, the magic of Santa Claus: The Movie would not have been possible at all. Nevertheless, more and more Santa Claus: The Movie fans are coming out of their shells, and letting their voices be heard about director Jeannot Szwarc's delightful holiday odyssey, which follows the over-imaginative elf named Patch on a journey of discovery, as he becomes the first among Santa's Elves to experience in depth the full spectrum of the human condition. The visual effects are quite state-of-the-art, given that we are talking about a movie that was made in 1984-85, long before computer-generated imagery ever became so much as a gleam in the eyes of those wizards at Industrial Light & Magic! Derek Meddings makes an excellent effort in supervising these spectacular sequences; aided by David Lane and Roy Field, he leads a team of magicians whose work is best described as --- WOW!!! The performances cannot be faulted, either. Dudley Moore as Patch himself conveys the spirited wonder and tragic naivete of a child just learning the dark side of play; John Lithgow, portraying the instrument of that dark side, chomps the scenes with over-obsessedness; and David Huddleston radiates the wisdom of the Multiverse as the Knight of Christmas. One of the reasons I founded KringleQuest.com was to increase public awareness of the films of the Salkinds; since Alexander's death nearly 7 years ago, the Salkind film library --- which encompasses his pre-Superman films from 1945 to 1977, including the two Musketeer movies and Crossed Swords (based on The Prince and the Pauper); plus Supergirl, the never-released Where is Parsifal?, and (of course) Santa Claus: The Movie, are all languishing in various studio vaults throughout the world, abandoned by their original copyright owners. This, to me, is wrong. In the United States, no motion picture should be abandoned because its copyright has expired; and this, I fear, is what is happening with the Salkind Library. Perhaps by increasing public awareness of this senseless treatment of film, maybe more fans of Santa Claus: The Movie will emerge and save this very special film. Which, as you might expect, was what I had hoped to accomplish with KringleQuest.com all along. So, fellow elves, anyone out there willing to lend a hand and help an Elf Without Jingles rescue a very unusual Christmas movie? I'm here if you'd like to learn more. The e-mail address is above. Please let me hear from you soon.