This time of year, nobody is animated more than old Chris Kringle himself. In addition to all the classic cartoon holiday specials that air on TV every December, the season always managed to bring a plethora of new toon representations of the man with the beard and the red suit. So how does he feel about being the subject of so many animated productions? We recently got him on the phone to find out.
Animation Magazine Online: Are you ever dismayed by the animated depictions of yourself?
Santa Claus: I wish I could say it’s flattering, but come on. Have you seen these representations of me? I’ll have you know that I’ve been on the South Beach Diet since 2004 and I’ve got killer pecs and abs from the Bowflex the elves pitched in to buy me. Everyone’s talking about how buff 60-year-old Sly Stallone looks in than new Rocky movie, but none of these cartoons acknowledge the fact that I’ve made some major lifestyle changes. I was watching Dr. Phil one day and I had a light-bulb moment. Eating all the cookies the kids left out on Christmas night just wasn’t working for me. So kids, would it kill you to put out some rice cakes or Power Bars? And please, make the milk skim.
AMO: Are there any animated holiday show that you like more than others?
SC: The Rankin/Bass specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town and A Year Without Santa Claus were all made in the ’60s, back when I still had the spare tire, so I can’t fault them too much. I come off looking like a swell guy in those, but they make my wife look like an old biddy with a lot of junk in the trunk. Have you seen my wife? She’s hot. They don’t call it the North Pole for nothing.
AMO: What’s one thing you’d like animation producers to consider when making another movie or TV show about you?
SC: You know what really roasts my chestnuts? It’s the notion that every year Christmas needs saving. There’s always some snot-nosed little brat who thinks it’s up to him to make sure all the little gentile boys and girls of the world get their presents. What a load of reindeer turds. Insinuating that I can’t pull it together one night out of the year is like saying the President of the United States can’t be trusted to run the country. Okay, so that’s a bad example. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Christmas isn’t some fragile snow globe that’s going to crack if little Timmy Rosycheeks can’t get Rudolph his magic flying dust in time.
AMO: On that subject, there have been reports in the tabloids that you may be indulging in the magic flying dust yourself.
SC: That’s medical magic flying dust. Next question.
AMO: We hear that the elves love animation and the studios all send you prints of their animated features. Which one do you think should win the Oscar this year?
SC: I’m a bit biased with Happy Feet since I know a lot of those cats, the penguins I mean. I had mumble up the house just last week and he entertained the troops with a little soft shoe. I also liked that Scanner Darkly, but then again, Robert Downey Jr. has also been to the house. He wasn’t invited, I just came home one night to find him sleeping in our bed. Guess he found the flying dust.
AMO: You get a lot of letters from kids who want stuff from you. Do you ever feel like your job is all give and no take?
SC: It’s always more satisfying to give than to receive. I get a lot of enjoyment from seeing the joyful smiles on the faces of children, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, it can be a bit thankless at times, especially when I get angry letters form kids saying I gave them the wrong Bratz doll or the Xbox instead of the PlayStation. Where do these ankle biters get off? Maybe I should take a page out of these animated Christmas shows and not load up the sleigh one year, make it the Christmas that didn’t happen. That will teach them to be grateful for what they get. When I was a kid, a lump of coal was a great present because it meant you had something to burn for heat or throw at wild animals.
AMO: One last question: Do you really know when we’ve been good or bad?
SC: Yes, and the staff of Animation Magazine has a lot of explaining to do