So wonderful and exciting to my generation was The Santa Clause with Tim Allen that I had no knowledge of the existence of Santa: The Movie which had premiered the previous decade. Though I have now seen both films, The Santa Clause holds a much more modern and life-like telling of the story of Santa Claus that I love the most.
What was it that drew me to The Santa Claus and what made it so life-like and believable than the other films and cartoons I'd seen growing up? In fact, the latter films in the series are of a different tone altogether, a missed opportunity in my opinion. Looking at the budgets, the second and third films had a much bigger one, so it cannot be dependent on that. But what made the first film - The Santa Clause - so amazing?
I believe it can be summed up in two simple words: Production Value.
Everything produced as actual tangible pieces looked amazing and unique. So much so, you can recognize the sleigh Scott Calvin sees on his roof as the same used in Mrs. Santa Claus with Angela Lansbury the following year. The suit was different, the belt and buckle, the boots, the sleigh, the Naughty and Nice lists in those red boxes, the beard growing so fast, the North Pole with its pewter hot cocoa mugs with little reindeer legs, it ALL worked towards the story. Nothing was half-done, it was all amazing.
There were no closeups on half of the items I've mentioned, and yet those are some of the most beautiful pieces I've ever seen in the Santa Claus world. The filmmakers didn't focus on those things but on the real and gritty story that the script contained. Everything else just existed in that dimension. Simply brilliant.
I'll be covering a bit about my Naughty and Nice List build in an episode for Season 02, but I wanted to share with you a bit more about the journey I am on for the Tim Allen look.
Though there are replica buckles and suits, none of them are what I'm looking for. Sometime I may get permission to see the wardrobe used in the film if I'm ever out in Hollywood, but I don't believe that day to be anytime soon. I have done what I can to emulate the look of The Santa Clause without actually copying it directly.
My suit is based on how it fits Santa in the second and third films (I do prefer those suits over the first film with the two fluffy ball buttons), and I do style my human hair set very much like Tim Allen when I have the time to. The most covetous piece of the ensemble in the Santa Claus community seems to be the belt buckle.
Though it's small design on a smaller than 4 inch wide belt by my calculations, the belt and buckle combo just capture the magical little details that the unknown world of The Santa Clause has to offer. I had to get something that was up in that vein, though I do have plans to design some buckles myself and have them made in the future.
Though apparently scarce for a while, Santa Thomas Cortemeglia who runs SantasClauset.org offers the wonderful buckle pictured in this post. The belt itself was the cause of taking such lovely photos, and that came from Greg Wood of New Creation Leathercraft. Two products which together capture the magic I love to chase.
Whether it be a Christmas film or some other resource of inspiration for your own portrayal of Santa Claus, I hope you will find what makes you happy (and perhaps even a little bit giddy like a child on Christmas morning) when you get it out of the closet or look at it. Though I'm not a clone of the Scott Calvin/Tim Allen Santa Claus look, I have used what the film had to offer and adapted it to become more of my own.
Yours as always,