Santa Claus - The Movie
Musically, regardless of the merits or demerits of the film, a golden opportunity was wasted on this motion picture. Never before had there been a major musical film about Santa Claus, and I campaigned incessantly for Henry Mancini and I to be allowed to take the rare chance a film offered to create a major song score. The film was intended to breathe the very spirit of Christmas but ended up being a less-than-hilarious contemporary comedy with a heavy-handed moral about the commercial greed of Christmas, leaving for me, at least, a rather unpleasant aftertaste of the meanness of mankind. It was neither “Scrooge” nor “Santa Claus,” because the canvas was large without being big, if you get my meaning. The characters were smartass U.S. television comedy rather than a Christmas classical. It was a sorry experience, but it deserved to fail, and for me the abiding moral is “If you mess with Santa, your toys won’t work!”