Image via Thorn Books where you can buy the 1902 edition of this title for...ahem...$1000.00. GOL! (Guffaw Out Loud!)
I'm assuming it was probably one of the last Rankin-Bass stopmotion Christmas specials made, and I assume from the lack of it being played on TV, it is not considered a classic, but The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus has always stood out to me. It was my favorite growing up though I can't remember seeing it more than a time or two on TV.
And I guess I wasn't paying attention because it was until the late 90s that I learned it was based on a book by L. Frank Baum of all people...well, why not by L. Frank Baum?
So...I just finished it. And highly recommend it: especially to anyone who has a shelf of books you tend to read each year around this time - such as A Christmas Carol and/or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The story of how a little foundling raised by immortals to become the "patron saint of children" will fill your heart and/or your soul with a warmth that is nice to have during the cold parts of the year - akin to Camus's finding an eternal spring in the midst of winter.
"In all this world there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child," says good old Santa Claus; and if he had his way the children would all be beautiful, for all would be happy.
OK. So watching this clip...well, the Rankin Bass is a bit heavy-handed - for Santa's sake - the song featured in it is more akin to a Dwarf song about the Lonely Mountain rather than a story that ends in the Laughing Valley.
So, I mentioned this on my Goodreads account. Throughout reading the book this time, I kept thinking of who I'd want to do the voices of a audiobooks version of the story and I came up with this list:
- Christopher Lee as the Great Ak
- Patrick Stewart as the narrator
- Kate Winslet as Zurline the Queen of the Wood Nymphs
- Jenna Louise Coleman as Necile
- Josh Huddleston as the young Santa
- Ian McKellan as the old Santa
- Benedict Cumberbatch as the King of the Awgwas
That's really as far as I got...though there are more voices definitely. IDK