Santa Claus is a film for children of all ages, but will probably skew best toward infancy or senility.
Oddly enough, even Scrooge himself might adore the first 20 minutes when Santa develops a charming attitude, lovely special effects and a magical feeling that the audience may indeed be settling down for a warm winter’s eve.
After that, however, the picture becomes Santa Meets Son of Flubber or something in a mad rush to throw in whatever might appeal to anybody. Bah, humbug.
David Huddleston is a perfect Claus, first introduced several centuries ago as a woodcutter who delights in distributing Christmas gifts to village children. Wondrously, Mr and Mrs Claus awake to discover they are at the North Pole, where their arrival is excitedly hailed by elves led by Dudley Moore.
Moore manufactures a batch of bad toys and, sorry to have disappointed Santa, flees to 20th Century New York City, where he ends up working in a crooked toy factory run by John Lithgow, saddled with an absolutely horrible, cigar-sucking performance as a greedy corporate monster.