Years Without this Movie
Santa Claus (John Goodman) has become thoroughly disheartened about the way Christmas has become with him feeling like he is little more than a toy delivery service, pushed around by his assistant Sparky (Chris Kattan). In fact it gets so bad for Santa that he decides to take a year out and spend Christmas in bed. Whilst Sparky sees it as an opportunity to tighten his grip on Christmas, Mrs. Claus (Delta Burke), with a couple of loyal elves, set about changing his mind. Not an easy task when the elves first have to negotiate Heat Miser (Harvey Fierstein) and Snow Miser (Michael McKean) on their way to a town in the USA where they hope to find a child who can give Santa hope again.
I have to be honest and say I thought they had stopped making movies like "The Year Without a Santa Claus" back in the 90s or maybe that was just wishful thinking. You see what "The Year Without a Santa Claus" ends up is one of those corny American Christmas specials, almost like a British pantomime but turned into a TV movie with lots of unimportant characters and set piece scenes. It is a form of entertainment which maybe will still entertain young children but ends up a cheesy and groan filled experience for any grown up watching with the likes of John Goodman and Chris Kattan going beyond over the top in delivering their characters.
But "The Year Without a Santa Claus" appears to have another issue beyond the corny style decision and that is there are many who have cherished memories of the 1974 animated version and have found themselves beyond disappointed when they watched this. In truth I haven't yet watched that 1974 animation by the same name but don't need to find this a disappointing experience and know how others must feel who love the original.
What this all boils down to is that maybe a very young audience will enjoy the forced, almost pantomime nature of "The Year Without a Santa Claus". But for grown ups this offers up little other than some familiar faces in various roles and lost of bad jokes.