Well I hope all the boy and girls in film fanland tonight will brush their teeth, hang up their stockings and get some shut eye as our favourite overweight man with a big white beard and a iconic red and white suite will be delivering his presents as we sleep. Ole Santa Clause is the icon for this time of the year outside the religion importance of this time of the year and is subject to many Christmas based films every year. Lets step back in time to over 100 years ago and thanks to BFI (via Filmschoolrejects) we have 5 films all short films which show Old Saint Nick or the spirit of Christmas.
George Albert Smith‘s 1898 short Santa Claus (aka The Visit From Santa Claus), which is one of the first on screen adaptations of Santa showing the big man deliver gifts to a house but compare it to The Night Before Christmas not the Tim Burton film but Edwin S Porter’s version. produced by none other than Thomas Edison which expands on the delivering with going into Santa’s workshop as well as a wonderful sleigh ride. A Little Girl Who Did Not Believe in Santa Claus based on Virginia O’Hanlon story Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus which expands more on the characters magic and a myth of a boy who lasso’s Santa taking him back to Virginia and to homes of poor kids which apparently he doesn’t do! In the 1914 docunmentary come fantasy Making Christmas Crackers, we see a set of women create the crackers we like to pull at our dinners with the final part we see Santa appear when some kids pull a giant cracker. Finally we have Wladyslaw Starewicz’s The Insects’ Christmas a creepy but intriguing Polish short which sees a Santa ornament celebrate Christmas in the company of insects.
We all take Christmas for granted and expect certain things, traditions so it’s always fascinating to go back to a period before high tech films, computers, technology in general dominated our lives, when life was more innocent and the true message of Christmas wasn’t about commercialization.