9. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
A strange one, this, as I watch it and see the flaws but enjoy it nonetheless. This is definitely a film which was very special to me when I was young - I think I saw it at the cinema - and I'm never going to dislike it.
This tells a couple of different stories, which are woven together with partial success. The film starts hundreds of years ago with the story of Santa Clause - a nice ordinary man who is whisked away to the North Pole with his wife to start his life as Santa. Once he is established, we are taken to the present, where one of the elves, Patch (Dudley Moore) leaves the North Pole to make his own way in the big bad world. He goes to the USA and is quickly taken under the wing of a gloriously evil "B.Z," played to perfection by John Lithgow. While Patch only wants to use his skills to make children happy, B.Z. wants to make as much money as he can. Things go awry, and Santa, Patch and a couple of kids have to try and save the day.
Certain moments in this film have remained with me since I was a child. I remember really wanting one of Patch's red lollipops that make you fly. I remember being quite scared of John Lithgow for a while. I only knew who Dudley Moore was from this (and Arthur 2) for a while. The meal that the little girl leaves for the homeless kid, complete with can of Coke, always made me want Christmas dinner. And the reindeer really did look like they could fly...
Thinking back on it, the film probably suffered from having Dudley Moore as the main character. This should have been all about Santa, but he's not even on the credits on the front of the DVD box! It's all about Patch and B.Z. and Santa hasn't got too much to do in the middle of the film.
Still, always makes me think of being little and enjoying Christmas, which is no bad thing.