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With: Peter Demeo (narrator)
Written by: Dr. Heiki Nelsen-Minkenberg
Directed by: Martin Papirowski
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 47
Date: 03/18/2013

In Search of Santa Claus (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

St. Nick Start

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Smithsonian Channel's In Search of Santa Claus is not very cinematic or artistic. A narrator tells us the entire story, talking over a bunch of awful re-creation footage of events long past. But it does contain some interesting factoids. Saint Nicholas started out as a kindly Greek Bishop who liked to give presents and help people; some supernatural legends eventually sprung up around him. He was adopted during the American Civil War for some cartoons, and then again by the Coca Cola corporation in the 20th century. Their advertising cemented imagery of Santa Claus that holds to this day. (For some reason, it doesn't seem to cover either the Clement Clarke Moore poem of 1823, or the L. Frank Baum book of 1902.) The documentary then tries to tie together these various strands of history. It talks a lot about identifying Nicholas's bones, and also manages to get behind the scenes in the Coca Cola board room. For such a potentially interesting subject, the DVD is rather dry, though. Extras include some trailers for other titles in the Smithsonian Collection. Infinity Entertainment released the DVD.

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