I really, really love old movies. Everyone is so beautiful. I was very tempted to watch both versions of this movie before writing the post, and then comparing them, but eventually decided against it for the sake of time. Lame excuse, I know.
This movie changes things, I think. This movie isn't about kids growing up and coming to realize that Christmas less about magic and more about stress and family time and making everything go off without a hitch, but instead it's about trying to get adults to not grow up so much and see that magic still exists. It just so happens to be that one of those non-believing adult characters is a child. It's actually terribly sad that her mother was at one time so wishful, but had her heart broken and dreams shattered so violently, that she couldn't bare to raise her daughter with the same whimsy that became her downfall.
I think this movie is fun, because the watcher really has to suspend the belief that (and Christmas movies' favorite joke) that parents put the presents under the tree and call it Santa Claus, in favor of there actually being a real man being Santa Claus. I actually find it really confusing that the adults in this movie don't believe in Santa Claus, because wouldn't there be gifts under their tree every year that they didn't buy?
I like the imagine that the pitch for this movie was, "What if everyone was just as skeptical and unconvinced about Santa Claus or magic, but it was actually real." Which is pretty great. They give him psyche evaluations and humor his craziness in a completely realistic way. It seems a little dramatic that the whole issue goes to court in terms of "is he Santa Claus or mentally unstable?" and not "did he hit the psychiatrist because he is senile or because the psychiatrist is a jerk?" The second is the real issue here. Obvi, he's Santa Claus.
Also, the way Mr. Gailey wins the case is sort of thanks to the whim of a postal worker with a since of humor and not because "the government must believe he is Kris Kringle, because the Postal Service is a government agency and the letters to Santa were delivered to the courthouse." It's a somewhat faulty logic, but a good way to win the court case. He should have just done MAGIC, if you ask me. (Like in The Santa Clause 2, when he gives all the adults their favorite toys from childhood magically!)
HE'S SANTA, DUH.
So ready to have some animated Tom Hanks in my ears tomorrow...