MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)
(I only own this version and I have never seen the old one)
Director: Les Mayfield
I’m guessing that the majority of you have already heard of this one, whether it be the 1947 version or this one. If you haven’t, then please go see it. Its a very nice story about a 6 year old girl called Susan (Mara Wilson) who has doubts about Santa Claus. Her mother Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) is the director of special events at a big department store Coles and she is the one who puts together the annual Santa Claus parade, so she also doesn’t believe in this as the Santa is just an imposter she hires. That is until she hires Kriss Kringle (Richard Attenborough) as Santa Claus after the other Santa that she hired had an accident. At the same time, Cole’s is facing a takeover from Shoppers’ Express who is their competition and they intervene to taint Kriss Kringle’s name to bring down Coles. Its then they set off Kriss Kringle’s temper and he injures the previously employed Coles Santa and is deemed mentally unstable. Susan’s mom asks her boyfriend, Bryan (Dylan McDermott) to defend Kriss and set out to prove that there is a Santa Claus.
Miracle on 34th Street is possibly one of my favorite Christmas movies. Its about belief based solely on faith. Santa Claus may not exist as we grow older but its part a childhood experience to have had it. It is someone who takes care of a child’s happiness. He can make the most impossible of things happen. Whether Kriss Kringle is actually Santa Claus didn’t matter as much as the fact that he was viewed as him and that his existence was acknowledged. I think that is very magical. This movie is very fun to watch because most of the time, adults view an old man who thinks his Santa Claus and talks about flying reindeers and invisible workshops crazy. Its the idea to preserve that belief to keep a bit of the naivety that we love for children for as long as they can have it.
Another reason this movie is that I love Mara Wilson as a young actress. I first saw her in Mrs. Doubtfire and she is just adorable but yet acts so smart all the time. It makes her very enjoyable to watch. She’s the typical fun little girl with lots of questions and trying to find answers all the time. Another actor I like a lot is Richard Attenborough. Many of us will know him as John Hammond in Jurassic Park. For the record, I thought he really looked like Santa Claus and represented him really well.
With this movie coming in, it rings in Christmas better even than any other holiday based romantic comedy. This brings in Santa Claus, our belief, our faith and is perfect for the whole family. Its a wonderful Christmas flick and should definitely be viewed if you haven’t yet.
On that note, has anyone seen the 1947 version? I’ve heard that its better. Is it? Why do you like it more? Does either of the version ever show up on your Christmas movies?