Revisiting A Beloved Christmas Classic: ‘A Visit To Santa’
By Perry Michael Simon on December 22, 2010
In the holiday mood? This’ll get you right out of it.
Surely you’ve seen by now the classic 1963 short film called “A Visit To Santa,” featuring whiny kids, bad acting, creepy narration, skipping, underaged elves, what appears to be the Pittsburgh Christmas Parade circa 1963 (with Santa in a rocket!), and Santa’s living room, which looks suspiciously like cardboard with “stone” drawn onto it in Magic Marker, all in Unfocused-O-Vision and Fade-O-Color. Plus hair on the lens, “animation” that involves zooming in on artwork with a shaky camera, and a great yet also disturbing moment when the little girl noticeably hesitates as Santa exhorts her to get on his lap. She must have known something. Plus dolls to “wash, dress, and spank!” while “Dick shows no delight.” And “Look out, children! Don’t let that train run over you!” How cheery. It all wraps up with a reminder of the “reason for the season,” just to cover all the bases. Made by Clem Williams Films, so you know it’s good.
Yes, another fine artifact of western civilization from the Internet Archive. There’s a Rifftrax version that I’m sure is funny — haven’t seen it, but this is tailor-made for the MST3K treatment — yet the original is creepy enough on its own. It sometimes shows up on Turner Classic Movies, too.
Here’s a sample of the Rifftrax version: