Welcome to the all-new KringleQuest.com, Fourth Edition, beginning our fourth decade as your home for all things Santa Claus: The Movie! But of course, there's always MUCH MORE to our Kringleverse than Santa Claus: The Movie per se, so we've risen to the challenge with an Opening Page with which to welcome you; from whence we take you to KQ4 Special Features, and spotlight the incredible stuff you'll explore as you journey here. Our Sitemap helps you get the most out of this, the only unofficial Santa Claus: The Movie website --- from our List of Sources & Acknowledgements, where you can check out a few of the books and people that helped us develop this website in the first place, to our words of wisdom for those who'd like to set up a Salkind tribute site all their own!
This site was conceived and developed during Christmas 1998 as SCTM.com: A 15th Anniversary Tribute. It's one of several websites that have been influenced by the vision of the webmaster known only as Hiphats, who, in September 1996, led the charge that inspired the campaign to share with the world a fully-restored edition of Superman: The Movie. Now, 40 years after the original release of Superman: The Movie, our site has even more news, links and other information! There's always more Santa stuff to be done, and we keep doing more of it than any other Santa site on the web! So tell your friends, the local media, or anyone else about us! Send us your Kringle stories, too: Richard@ElfWithoutJingles.com through firstname.lastname@example.org and Santa@ElfWithoutJingles.com!
Given that Richard has a super-fabulous Santa suit, he figured it was time you folks should want to give him a jingle, and have the chance to watch our favorite Elf Without Jingles make his own special Kringle magic happen for your special event or gathering! Details here, or go here, here and here!
Created by Santa Tom Zimecki, GigSanta.com is the only resource for any professional and/or amateur Claus to land a gig! You can even find GigSanta.com on Facebook! And more, KQ Founding Elf without Jingles Richard Washington is among the almost 100-plus Santas and counting who are involved with the project.
Recently, more than 300 Santas returned to Albion, New York, birthplace and lifelong home of the first great Kringle teacher, Charles W. Howard, for a Conference devoted to Howard's memory. From a vendor display to various award presentations, from the administering of the Santa Claus Oath to the rededication ceremonies for the still-in-bloom International Peace Garden, this event made sure that Charles Howard's legacy will never be forgotten.
We've always loved how the world celebrates Christmas. Find out more about it here!
This unusual hour-long documentary, The Real Face of Santa, takes you deep into the heart of the physical Claus as, for the first time, digital forensic technology creates a stunning representation of what Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, would have looked like in his mid-60's.
A new Christkindlmarkt setting was constructed in the village of Sandee for a new contest organized and hosted by Heiner Sjols, owner/operator of das Nordseehostel at Sandee, and patroned by Olaf Lies, Minister of Economic Affairs, Labor and Transportation. Proceeds from the event benefited Children's Hospital at Wilhelmshaven. For additional details, click here!
Father Joseph Marquis executive produced and starred as both Santa and Sinterklaas in Saint to Santa: How St. Nicholas Became Santa Claus, a delightfully kid-friendly recap of Santa's historical origins. Learn more here!
This from our friends at Kickstarter.com:
Peters Entertainment --- yes, THAT Jon Peters --- has optioned the rights to Elise Primavera's Auntie Claus book series, with a view toward making the books into a fabulous stop-motion animated film, release date unknown. Originated at San Francisco's Athena Studios, under producer Brice Parker, Auntie Claus: The Movie received $42,486 from 591 backers via Kickstarter.com. More details: www.facebook.com/AuntieClausTheMovie.
Our friends at the Film Society of Lincoln Center showcased the films of Richard Lester, including both Musketeer movies, A Hard Day's Night and Help!, SuperII and III, and, in its U.S. big-screen debut, the ill-fated Return of the Musketeers. The presentation's title: Richard Lester: The Running, Jumping Pop Cinema Iconoclast.
You, kung fu legend Jackie Chan, film editor Anne V. Coates and documentarian Frederick Wiseman were chosen as recipients of Honorary Oscars®, and were celebrated at the Academy's Governors' Awards Dinner. See highlights of the celebration during this February's live telecast of the 90th Anniversary Academy Awards, to be once more hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Cheers!
There's no better place to share the wonder of the season --- and spend some face time with Santa, too! --- than right here. C'mon up!
It was an unprecedented gathering the likes of which the world had never seen before: Santas of every description coming together for the first time in the most family-friendly city on Earth: Branson, Missouri. They'd call it Discover Santa. Now, a decade later, the call sounded again ---- Discover Santa 2016!
Jolly Old Elves from all 48 continuous United States and all 11 Canadian Provinces, plus Europe and Australia, reassembled for a full week of fellowship, exploration and excitement. A decade ago, over 40 Santa organizations across North America, representing some 4000 Santas, Mrs. Clauses and others..... and last summer, they returned to Branson for an entire 4-day festival of EVERYTHING Claus, at Branson's Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center, where a spectacular list of items made magic: The Parade of the Red Suits; Morning Breakfast, two days of Workshops with special guest speakers; plus the first-ever "SNO-lympics," along with a Gala Reception and Closing Night Dinner. Discover Santa 2016 was developed by Tim Connaghan's Kringle Group LLC and the Branson Convention and Visitors' Bureau in partnership with local, regional, national and international Santa organizations throughout the world. And, as you might expect, proceeds from the event benefitted Toys for Tots. For more information, please visit Tim's various websites of the Kringle Group, or e-mail email@example.com. And now available, through Tim Connaghan and the Kringle Group LLC, is Discover Santa 2016's companion documentary, Claus Encounters: A Search for Santa, directed, as Fate would have it, by one of the event's attendees, Santa Bo Turner.
Who's the latest webpage to insult our fave Kringle movie? The Huffington Post, that's who! (We just talked about them here.) Santa Claus: The Movie is now ranked among the residents of Dan "Mighty Movie" Persons' "Temple of Bad"! Now, we're cool!
From the files of CarrickFergusTimes.co.uk:
As part of its 2013 Christmas film programme, Northern Ireland's Courtyard Theatre Picture House at Ballyearl, Newtown Abbey, recently offered its customers a chance to vote for the films that they would most like to see over the coming holidays. Throughout the summer, visitors to the Theatre @ the Mill's Facebook presence looked at 11 holiday blockbusters: Santa Claus: The Movie (natch!); The Polar Express, Lassie, Miracle on 34th Street (presumably the 1994 version), It's a Wonderful Life, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, White Christmas, The Railway Children --- and, for some stupid reason, Bad Santa and The Towering Inferno. And the four films who got the most votes were: The Polar Express, Home Alone 2, Miracle on 34th Street (1994) and It's a Wonderful Life. Thanks to those who at least voted for us.
The Man of Steel --- Santa's next-door neighbor --- is eight decades old, Salkind fans --- and the Jolly Old Elf has composed a very special Birthday Greeting, just for us! Man of Steel is now out on DVD and Blu-ray; click here for our thoughts on it.
Here's the site that wants to find out!
From the files of the Kansas City Star, and archived by the Elves of Christmas Present, here is an inspiring, true story of the Saulsbury family who, having lost their 3-year-old daughter Hannah to cancer, sent her 5-year-old brother Hunter to make Hannah's last wish a reality: to fly into the Christmas night with Santa.....
Discover the ultimate cinematic Santa adventure: when the future of Humankind is at risk, only one force can rescue the world on Christmas Eve: the Christmas Knight. The full trailer can be found here! Brace yourselves, Kringle fans .... the future of Santa at the movies is here for the very first time!
Macy*s most recent adventure benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation was called The Santa Claus Project, serving as a counterpart to Yes, Virginia: The Animated Special. The half-hour CGI-animated event coincides with the store's official declaration of National "Believe" Day. In addition, there's Yes, Virginia: The Musical, book and lyrics by Bill Schermerhorn, music by Wes Whatley, based upon the animation teleplay by Chris Plehal. The show was created for students in Grades 3 through 6, and previously tested by students from Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center at Loch Sheldrake, NY, who premiered the show during Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yes, Virginia: The Musical was then followed by Yes, Virginia --- The Concert, performed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, John Morris Russell conducting. The live performance originated at Cincinnati Music Hall, as part of the annual Holiday at Pops Weekend, hosted by Ann Hampton Callaway.
This from Santa Kevin Klosowski in Santa Claus, Indiana:
Many of you may already be familiar with an independent film entitled Nicholas of Myra: The Story of Saint Nicholas. For those who aren't, the film hopes to be the first to share the complete saga of St. Nicholas with a worldwide audience on the big screen. It also seeks to show everyone that Santa embodies the true spirit and meaning of Christmas in a way that is deeper and more profound than most people had ever imagined. The film's writer/director, Gerald Hartke, has posted this announcement on the movie's Facebook page, regarding domestic and foreign distribution of this film:
"I'd like to thank everyone who has continued to offer words of support and encouragement for the movie, and who have asked what they can do to help. Thus far, your kind words have fueled our efforts to navigate the various obstacles which, so far, have prevented us from bringing the film to a wider, more global audience. Recently, we unveiled a plan to actively involve YOU with helping us overcome the ultimate obstacle: distribution. To prepare for our announcement of this bold initiative, we invite you to recommend our fan page at facebook.com/NicholasOfMyraMovie and recommend it to your friends and family. By liking our page, individuals will be made more aware of future announcements and events."
The 5th Anniversary St. Nicholas Institute wrapped up recently at the St. Paul of the Cross Retreat & Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan, where Father Joseph Marquis, in his full Sinterklaassian splendor, once more served as your Master of Ceremonies, with Fr. Rennie Kaufman, Associate Director, co-hosting and doing double duty as musical director.
This year's honorees:
To learn more about the St. Nicholas Institute Banquet Awards Gala, and to find out about next year's event, visit www.stnicholasinstitute.org.
That's right, kids! For three Monday nights in December ---- December 4th, 9th, and 18th, to be more precise ---- six families, whose video submissions have been randomly selected from video clips submitted by families from all over the country, showcase their Christmas displays based on originality, adherence to to the Christmas spirit, and plain ol' awesomeness! Your judges are the fabulous Taniya Nayak and Carter Oosterhouse. At stake: a shot at $50,000 per each of the six episodes. For Year Five, the team is looking for beautiful, traditional displays; unique and bold displays; precise and elaborately synchronized light shows; next-door neighbors (which means, two houses that both decorate); and interior decorations along with an exterior display. The deadline for submissions has now passed; but you can still visit lightfightcasting.com if you wanna nominate your own house, or somebody else's house, for Year Six in December 2018!
When you're totally crazy for Christmas, chances are you're gonna have at least one Scrooge in the family --- and this new film is about her, her long-distance boyfriend, and the Christmas party they plan together. And the most exciting part is, YOU get a chance to help make this movie happen!
Starring Santa Hall of Famer Edward Asner, Yvette Rachelle as Snowflake the Elf, and the film's writer-director, Bryan Michael Stoller, this ho-ho-ho-larious romp through a four-legged friend's journey through all 12 Days of Christmas is bound to tickle everyone's funny bone!
Returning to the Theater @ Madison Square Garden, from December 12th through 29th, the Buddy story is back on the case, demanding its legions of fans to believe! The new production is directed by Sam Scalamoni and choreographed by Connor Gallagher. Music supervised and coordinated by John Mezzio. Set design by Christine Peters; costume design by Gregg Barnes; lighting design by Paul MIller; sound design by Shannon Slaton; hairstyles and wig design by Bernard Ardia.
They, of course, were the late Arthur Rankin, Jr., and his partner Jules Bass --- and now, famous Rankin/Bass historian Rick Goldschmidt has taken his Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass website to its next level, with the official Enchanted World documentary film, which he also hosts and executive produces. As part of the project, Rick has also published The Arthur Rankin, Jr. Scrapbook, featuring never-before-seen printed material from the Rankin/Bass Archives.
The International Brotherhood of Real-Bearded Santas is about to take control of Denver's Omni Hotel Complex for its International Santa Celebration, to be hosted by Arvada, Colorado's own RockyMountainSanta.com and all the other Rocky Mountain Santas! This 5-day global gathering of Clauses will be packed with EVERYTHING: workshops, seminars, an exclusive fashion show, a talent-and-music show, a new Vendor Showcase and Reunion Luncheon --- and much, much more! Mark your calendars for April 18th through 22nd, 2018 --- and get ready to welcome the next generation of Kringles! More info: P.O. Box 3411, La Habra, CA 90632-3411, or e-mail Chairman Fred Selinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or President Bob Elkin at email@example.com !
Hosted by Santa's Elves and the Santa Claus Museum and Village, this weekend-long salute to Jim's legacy promises panel discussions about Jim's overall impact on life in America's Christmas Hometown. Marking the 70th Anniversary of the publication of Jim's booklet, It's Fun to Be a REAL Santa Claus, the event will be headquartered at Santa's Lodge on West Christmas Boulevard in Santa Claus, Indiana. Further information and updates coming soon!
It is, simply, the world's oldest and most legendary school of its kind: Midland, Michigan's one and only Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School! Always three days in October, never compromising, never accepting advertising, and still watched over faithfully by Tom and Holly Valent! Now, a second Charles W. Howard Santa School has been developed, for those who wish to attend but are waylaid due to the main School's extensive waiting list. Those dates are November 2nd, 3rd and 4th! Tom, by the way, is a Year Two inductee into the Santa Claus Hall of Fame, whose Claus class remains the undisputed crown jewel in our business. Here's the New York Times profile and video of one particular session at Midland.
Denver, Colorado's American Events and Promotions' Professional Santa Claus School celebrated its 35th Annual Session recently at the Central Denver Conference Center. It's the nation's most comprehensive educational program devoted specifically to the training of professional Santas and Mrs. Clauses!
With the The World Santa Claus Congress having wrapped up a stellar 60th Anniversary session at Bakken, the world's oldest, continuously-operational amusement park, in Klampenbourg, Denmark, near Copenhagen (which we simply just can't stop talking about), .... well, you just stay tuned --- because there's still a whole lot more happening in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas Eve!
Join Santa Nigel Harvey in his secret storytelling grotto in London, where his latest adventures come to magnificent, elegantly real life! You can also count down with Nigel here! Nigel also stars in a new holiday musical, Santa, Santa!
You've believed a man can fly before, Salkind fans, but now, get ready to give your Blu-ray player the Greatest Superworkout EVER! Now from Warner Home Video: It's a bird, it's a plane --- it's Superman: The Complete Motion Picture Anthology, 1978-2013 --- and, like its predecessor, it is beyond faster than a speeding bullet! We're talking Superman: The Movie in its Original Theatrical Release and 2000 Expanded Versions; Superman II in its Original Theatrical Version and the Richard Donner Cut; Superman III; WB/Cannon's Superman IV: The Quest for Peace; Bryan Singer's Superman Returns and Zack Snyder's Man of Steel! Plus, two making-of documentaries narrated by Ernie Anderson; Superman's 50th Birthday Special, hosted by Dana Carvey, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels; the SuperIII making-of narrated by Al Matthews; the 2001 documentaries hosted by Marc McClure; vintage Supertoons from Max and Dave Fleischer; an exclusive-to-Blu-ray tribute to Christopher and Dana Reeve --- and tons more! Can you handle it all?!
It was the only TV show good enough to be an Alexander and Ilya Salkind Production --- and now, one of its longtime fans, Rennie Cowan, hosts, directs and executive produces this full-length documentary about the legacy of Superboy: The Series (a/k/a The Adventures of Superboy). Other than Ilya Salkind, the documentary features interviews with stars John Haymes Newton, Gerard Christopher, Stacy Haiduk and Jim Calvert. Click here for more details, e-mail Ronnie at firstname.lastname@example.org, or log onto KryptonChronicles.com.
(We should also note that Superboy: The Series --- The Complete Second Season, along with The Adventures of Superboy: The Complete Third Season, are currently available on Blu-ray and HD DVD from DC Comics and Warner Home Video.)
WBKR-FM Radio in Owensboro, KY offers this revealing look at the Santa Claus: The Movie cast --- then .... and now!
Prior to Quartet Records' recent announcement, we received word about another version of the Santa Claus: The Movie Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, composed and conducted by Henry Mancini. This version is available through the website iOffer.com, and contains two bonus tracks for material presumably never used in the film: Carol for Another Christmas and The Christmas Song (it must be assumed that this version is NOT the Nat "King" Cole original). Click here for the full details.
The website alone should explain things, but for you newcomers, the Santa Claus Hall of Fame is dedicated to the study and research of some of the most iconic Santas and Mrs. Clauses in history. The Hall's mission: to document the men and women who over the years have contributed to carrying on Santa's Christmas legacy. Headquartered at Santa's Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana, the Hall of Fame now numbers 47 inductees. They are:
KQ4 invites our fellow Kringles to check out five exciting documentary features about the magic of Santa! First, They Wore the Red Suit: The Santa Documentary, written, directed and photographed by Larry Peter, examines three aspects of the Kringleverse: "the legend of Santa, the vocation of being Santa, and the Santa industry, showing how all three have merged into the public's perception of what Santa is today." They Wore the Red Suit is a project of Power Plant Productions LLC. Meanwhile, Becoming Santa, directed by Jeff Myers, introduces us to Jack Sanderson. For a single year, Myers' camera follows Jack as he struggles to triumph in his efforts of becoming a successful first-time Kringle! This was the 2010 South by Southwest Festival Audience Award Winner; and so far, it has generated a whole lotta buzz! Next, there's John Paget and James Waugh's Believe! The True Story of Real-Bearded Santas, which explores the passion, joy and wonder that go with being a Real-Bearded Santa! In a fourth documentary, Tommy Avallone's I am Santa Claus, we meet several Real-Bearded Santas and reveals their true, human side. To see footage from the new film, click here. Finally, there's Santa Land, in which we meet Ray and Marlene Kraatz, official Santa and Mrs. Claus of Zephyrhills, Florida, as they spend what will later prove to be their last days on Earth attending the 2009 Santa Gathering at Branson, Missouri.
It was America's first true theme park. Now, a documentary has entered its final post-production phase so that, if all goes according to plan, at long last the real story can be told about Santa's Workshop at North Pole, New York, and about how one local family continues to run it against literally impossible odds! Visit the Kickstarter campaign or visit the Facebook and Twitter presences to discover more about a park where Santa still rules long after the rest of the landscape gave up!
The IBRBS had a successful first International Santa Claus Convention in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida. For a look back, check out facebook.com/groups/IBRBSantas/!
Carolina Christmas is a spectacular 2 1/2-mile drive-thru park and village on the track and infield of Charlotte, North Carolina Motor Speedway. It's one of the biggest-ever holiday LED shows on American soil, encompassing over 500 displays, plus a realistic Living Nativity, and special kids' zones with food, rides, and Santa photo ops. The LED technology used to create Carolina Christmas generates over 12,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, less than 10 typical North Carolina households in a given month. Salisbury, NC-based Miller Davis is the event's official management company.
There were three officially sanctioned Closing Santa Claus Oath Ceremonies in the epic saga of the Great Santa Claus Oath Book! The first was held at the National Christmas Center in Paradise, Lancaster County, PA; the second, at Charles W. Howard's old homestead in Albion, New York; and the third and final ceremony, at Santa's Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana, starting point of the Book's epic journey. The Book remains sealed and protected in its Santa Claus Time Capsule, which itself has been buried beneath the World's Largest Santa Claus Statue. Here's what's in that Time Capsule:
The Complete Santa Claus Oath Book, including:
The Time Capsule also includes:
So when will the world see the Book again? Saturday, November 3rd, 2035, that's when --- the 100th Anniversaries of four significant Santa-related events, all of which took place in 1935 A.D.: the founding of Santa's Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Indiana; the dedication of the Town of Santa Claus' World's Largest Santa Statue; the founding by Santa Jim Yellig of the Santa Claus American Legion; and the first year in which Charles W. Howard began his career as a department store Santa Claus! The KQ Beyond Team salutes Legendary Santa Claus Phil Wenz for his efforts as creator and author of the Santa Claus Oath; and we certainly hope that the next generation of Santas, Mrs. Clauses, Elves, Helpers, and Reindeer Handlers will be there to renew the spirit kept alive by those who have gone before them. Please send your tributes and thank-you notes to Phil at email@example.com
When New York Times staff photographer Fred R. Conrad decided he wanted to pursue Santa, he did it in a very big and a very cool way! Check it out; and check out some of the Times' visions of Santa in glorious black-and-white!
Santa Claus: The Movie is too jam-packed to be saluted by just one website! That's why there's the KringleQuest Group on Facebook, where the latest Santa-themed and/or Santa-related news, events and info has a newer, more advanced headquarters! Look for the KQ Group at Facebook.com, Keyword: "KringleQuest Group." You can also find several members of the Danish Santa Claus Guild on Facebook, too; simply type their names in the search window, and then you can take it from there.
It had shut its gates in September 2005, and it gave Phil Wenz his many years of inspiration. Now, like the Phoenix arisen from its own ashes, Santa's Village has returned, bringing a new kind of Christmas magic to the folks in East Dundee, Illinois. Check out their Facebook presence, along with Phil's book-length history of Santa's Village East Dundee, in bookstores now from Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series.
The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony still makes President's Park in Washington, D.C. sparkle! Now, for the 2016 ceremony, the National Park Foundation concluded its year-long Find Your Park celebration, marking 100 years of America's National Parks, with President Obama's final Christmas address! Airing on the Hallmark Channel, and hosted by Eva Longoria, the 2016 show starred Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood! Joining them were: Chance the Rapper, 2015 Chicagoan of the Year, local singing groups Afro Blue and The Lumineers, and gospel singer and award-winning syndicated radio hostess Yolanda Adams! Backing them up as the house band were the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note. Watch the entire show and its 35-minute preshow at TheNationalTree.org; and look for Santa, direct from The Best Santa Claus Company LLC; and Michelle Obama's last reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The program was produced by AEG/Bounce!
From the Editors of Film Score Monthly Magazine: this 8-CD set explores the entire decade of music that, in Richard Donner's words, literally speaks the word Superman! Starting with a remastered vision of John Williams' complete score, including previously unreleased cues, the set ventures into the never-before-heard complete scores from Superman II and III, composed and conducted by Ken Thorne, plus the complete Quest for Peace adaptations by Alexander Courage. Two additional discs are also stuffed with never-before-released material, along with complete versions of the four credited songs featured in Superman III --- "They Won't Get Me," sung by Roger Miller; "Rock On!", performed by the Marshall Crenshaw Band; "No See, No Cry," performed by Chaka Khan; and the Love Theme. The set concludes with Ron Jones' themes from the 1988 Ruby-Spears Superman Animated Series. Superman: The Music is now available exclusively at ScreenArchives.com.
Christmas always finds a way to make headlines. That's why KQ4 is your Santa Claus NewsCenter! From our connections with MyMerryChristmas.com's Christmas Newswire to our key news-gathering partner, the ClausNET.com Gazette, we bring you the Santa stories YOU wanna find out about, while we scan the latest celebrity Santa sightings from the files of WireImage.com and GettyImages.com! So, if it has to do with the season, or Santa, you know we're here, ready for action! Just remember: as of Black Friday, 2017, our name's KringleQuest.com, Fourth Edition, but our URL remains as it always has: http://kringlequest.tripod.com --- and even if there's bound to be more and more spectacular interest in Christmas headlines from all over the world, with your help, we're gonna stay the ONLY website that covers them ALL!
SantaUpdate.com's revolutionary tracking system still has what it takes to scan the skies for the ol' sleigh!
That's us all over --- and one website is as dedicated to the cause as we are! Click here to enlist in the War on the War on Christmas!
The Month of Nice Campaign is brought to you by our pals at ClausIBelieve.com! Every Christmas Season, from Thanksgiving to New Year's, Santa wants you all to simply BE NICE. The idea is that, if you can make the commitment to be nice to yourself and to others every single day, then maybe --- just maybe --- the holidays can be a magical time of year for EVERYBODY! So just say it to yourselves: "I, (your name here), do hereby pledge and promise to be nice in the Month of Nice." 39 days, one mission: BE NICE. Please.
It was the only convention ever of its kind, where over 850 Santa Ambassadors from all over the world, along with their Mrs. Clauses and other Helpers, descended upon Branson, Missouri's Radisson Hotel, for an unprecedented 4-day festival of camaraderie, seminars, workshops, training, and more! The Amalgamated Order of Real-Bearded Santas had staged its first-ever National Convention, Discover Santa! From Dealing with Special Needs Children and their Families to The Business and Literature of Santa and Christmas, from Working with the Photo Companies to Myths and Truths About Reindeer, from How to Start or Expand Your Own Santa Business to The Reason for the Season and the Symbols of Christmas --- over 50 professional Kringles took on more than 30 workshops and forums covering Santa topics unlike any that ever were experienced before!
In addition, there was a 3-day Trade Show, open to all delegates and their families, as well as the general public, where 20 professional organizations spotlighted their own connections to Santa. And that wasn't all! Russian-born comedian and resident Branson legend Yakov Smirnoff was personally inducted into the AORBS Inner Circle; and the festivities also included an official Parade and Chorus of AORBS Delegates (no doubt, all the major network morning news shows, as well as all national and local print and electronic media covered all the hoopla), along with special appearances by cast members from almost every live attraction in and around Branson; and even the first-ever concert by (get this!) the One and Only Official Real Santa Band!
That Band consisted of: Bob Gerardi, lead vocals; Bruce Long, backing vocals; Allan Buford and Rick Harden, drums and percussion; Charlie Allen, accordion, Cliff Snider, fiddle; Jac Grimes, trombone; Larry June, guitar, mandolin and ukelele; Ralph Brakus, guitar, ukelele, fiddle and kazoo; Jim Tait, string bass; Patricia Tait, Celtic harp and lead female vocals; Luther (Luke) Augustein, six- and 12-string guitars; Roger Tripp, acoustic guitars and harmonica; Warren Clement, saxophones; Gary Sula-Goff, music director; lead and backing vocals; and keyboards, synthesizers and programming! Accompanying the musicians were the Real Santa Vocal Chorus, under the direction of Reese Williams!
In addition, one of THE true Santa Legends brought his own special Santa magic to the Convention --- Dr. Carl Anderson, Ph.D. Dr. Carl has been a professional Santa for almost 40 years; with his wife and partner, Peyton Hayslip, their Thistle Mouse Productions provides magical merriment for children and families throughout Austin, Texas and beyond.
But then came.....
.... in which Ira and his team visited the Cool Springs Galleria Mall in Franklin, Tennessee, to explore the life of a mall in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Centerpiece of the hour was Segment Three, "Santa Fight Club," Josh Bearman's hard-hitting 27-minute expose on two controversial Kringles! (There had been plans to bring "Santa Fight Club" to the big screen when Paramount Pictures and producer Scott Rudin announced that they were developing a comedy based on this saga, to be titled The Santa Wars. But in the intervening years, the Santa Wars project was abandoned for various reasons.)
But the real heart of the controversy occurred when the husband-and-wife Kringle team of Joe and Mary Moore singlehandedly transformed the Gatlinburg, Tennessee Convention Center into the homebase for the first Celebrate Santa! Festival and Convention, conceived to mark the 70th Anniversary of the first-ever gathering of Kringles in New York City: the first General Meeting of the Benevolent Order of Santa Claus, founded by Charles W. Howard and several others to call attention to Santa's department store presence in the Big Apple. In November 1939, that first assembly was held at the Hotel St. George in Midtown Manhattan! Some seven decades later, over three incredible days, over 115 vendors and exhibitors welcomed over 700 Santas and Mrs. Clauses, Elves, reindeer (including 35 of their best breeders and owners) and other Helpers of all sizes, shapes and descriptions, regardless of experience, affiliation or interest, representing 39 American States and three Canadian Provinces! And at the heart of the entire event: the Inaugural Holly & Shamrock Parade and Gala Ball, staged, appropriately enough, on St. Patrick's Day! St. Nicholas met up with St. Patrick, so to speak, as parade marchers wore their full Santa and/or Mrs. Claus regalia, and even dressed up as their favorite Leprechaun(s)!
The Parade attracted an estimated 20,000 spectators who marveled at all the floats, bagpipe and traditional brass bands, and Santas, Mrs. Clauses, Elves, Leprechauns and assorted other red- and green-suited enthusiasts of every shape, size and description who marched along the center of Gatlinburg's main thoroughfare! About 5 million lights lit up the afternoon's festivities; later that evening, a special silent auction was held, to benefit East Tennessee Children's Hospital and SantaAmerica.org. Santa Ernest introduced SantaAmerica.org, along with special guest elves Cathy Barnette and Nita McQuee.
Santa Jim Morrison brought along several items direct from the soon-to-be-closed National Christmas Center, with a St. Nicholas Museum set up right at his booth, too! And there was tons of local, national and international media covering the event as well, to say nothing of several entertainers from the Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga areas!
Wanna get the whole story? Click here to see our Special Recap of all the fun! The best gallery of photos from Gatlinburg is over here, too! And in March 2010, Celebrate Santa: What a Wonderful World kicked off with a second spectacular Holly & Shamrock Parade, where the stars and producers of the indie feature Nicholas of Myra served as Grand Marshals! The full 3-day Convention was highlighted, among other things, by the first-ever Jingle Bell Ball, dedicated to the theme Magic Under the Mistletoe!
But the plans for the 2011 Celebrate Santa Festival were not as legitimate as we had previously announced. The Moores had intended to make several negotiations to move the 2011 Parade, Convention and Festival to Nashville, Tennessee .... and to do everything during the third weekend in May, 2011! And yet there was to be much, much more to the fiasco itself than was originally revealed. It began when the City of Gatlinburg sued Joe and Mary Moore, who'd organized the Celebrate Santa Festival at the Convention Center during the last two years. The suit, filed in Sevier County Chancery Court on August 20th, 2010, accused the Moores of failure to pay the City for use of the Convention Center and assorted concessions. Total amounts: over $69,000! In the end, the Moores were forced to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which also meant that they'd have to liquidate all non-exempt assets --- which, oddly enough, they never even claimed.
And just when it couldn't get any weirder, what happened next? Charlie and Cindylu Thomas launched ClausFest Gatlinburg, at the Convention Center. The Thomases had hoped to transform ClausFest into a biannual event; all that changed with the passing of Cindylu Thomas in 2016. But it all came to a very jolly, and an obviously very happy ending earlier this spring when the Santa Family Reunion successfully wrapped up. Visit the various Santa-related Facebook presences for photos and videos galore!
Richard Donner's Director's Cut of Superman II and the Christopher Reeve Superman Collection are all available from Warner Home Video! And of course, Jim Bowers has contributed imagery from his CapedWonder.com to all future Superman DVD marketing and packaging. As you know, Richard Donner had been fired by the Salkinds after having finished up both Superman: The Movie and Superman II, yet some 70% of the two films had been completed but unreleased, despite the fact that portions of Donner's footage were used in SuperII, although not nearly all of it. Well, Donner and Warner Home Video have created a version of the first two Superman movies, according to Donner's original vision. The package has a set of original featurettes, in addition to the Marc McClure-hosted documentaries --- plus, the two complete making-of documentaries narrated by Ernie Anderson; Superman's 50th Anniversary Special, hosted by Dana Carvey, and executive produced by Saturday Night Live founder Lorne Michaels; the Superman III making-of, narrated by Al Matthews --- and much, much more! There's also audio commentary with Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler, too. And so, after a long-overdue decade, Hiphats' dream, which he has championed since September 1996, is finally and once-and-for-all realized! Click here for Richard Washington's very special letter to our first great Salkind standard-bearer!
From the pages of Film Comment, June 1983, here's a rare treat indeed: Alexander and Ilya Salkind, in their own words....
As mentioned, this longtime friend of, and consultant to, KQ4, is also an inductee into the Santa Claus Hall of Fame! Brady has loads of photos at Flickr.com and GettyImages.com, along with a cool YouTube clip called "Santa's Wrap," which you can also download at CDBaby.com/cd/BWhiteSanta!
When Richard noticed that fans of Santa Claus: The Movie didn't have their own place on Wikipedia, he decided that something had to be done! Now, the Wikifolks bring you a full-length article about the film itself, along with two additional articles: one about Ilya Salkind; the other about Santa himself, David Huddleston.
Our look at Santa Claus: The Movie on YouTube began with a 24-year-old L.A. dude calling himself "Wildchats," who was obviously just as obsessed with Santa Claus: The Movie as we were --- so much so, in fact, that he put eight of his favorite scenes from the film on YouTube.com! While the quality of the footage sucked, you couldn't deny how much of a fan he was! Sadly, the eight scenes were removed from YouTube; however, we've since found a few other ways for you to check out Santa Claus: The Movie from a YouTuber's perspective --- from Sheena Easton's Christmas All Over the World to two classic Kodak commercials, one of which was actually filmed right on the Santa Claus: The Movie set at Pinewood Studios! (Look for appearances by Dooley, Puffy, Boog, Honka, Vout and Goober!) And for more 'Tubin', check this out! And this! And this! And this! And how about this! And this one, we just found to be too darn funny!)
What's new again: an old way to link to us becomes a new way to link to us! Preview here!
Visit www.wscc.dk for the complete schedule of events for next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 25th, 26th and 27th, 2018! And click here for photos from the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 World Santa Claus Congresses at Bakken, the world's oldest continuously operational amusement park, near Copenhagen, Denmark! And for the latest photos from Per Krogh Petersen, click here and here! You can also explore the Danish Santa Claus Guild by clicking here, and then click here for our look at the proceedings, "King of the Kiddies, Revisited!"
Click here for an expanded, three-part interview with Ilya; and get more of the real stories straight from Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler by visiting their separate pages on Facebook, with photos, updates, anecdotes and more! You can also click here for even more stuff from our hero, and visit the Hungersite, Ilya Salkind's official charity, where visitors learn about how to support organizations that are committed to feeding the children of the world.
And as always, click here for our "Return of Ilya Salkind" editorial!
#96? What list, exactly? Why, the case file of The Onion's "My Year of Flops," where Nathan Rabin seeks, in 140 chapters --- and counting! --- to bring you a few life lessons via a journey into some of the 20th and 21st Centuries' greatest bad movies! Be warned, though: this blog presents language that may not be suitable for all audiences.
Santa Claus: The Movie still has its share of lovers and haters. Here are several of each, starting with Forbes Magazine! Forbes.com Contributor Scott Mendelson's piece is called "When Superman: The Movie Became Santa Claus: The Movie;" while The Corner Critic's December 6th, 2011 grumbles at the movie; and there was a Christmas Eve 2008 episode of the weird blog Vinnie Rattolle's You'll Never Get Out! that spotlighted Marvel Comics' Santa Claus: The Movie adaptation, with the addition of a link to KQ 3.0 (Thanks, Vinnie!); ParentPreviews.com gave us their own assessments on the film; and then, we had to contend with that silly Nostalgia Critic (a/k/a That Guy w/the Glasses [here, too, be warned: his remarks may not be appropriate for younger web-surfers]) --- and even the Los Angeles Times has ranked our Kringle, David Huddleston, among the best on-screen Santas, in a web-gallery spotlighting the best and worst Santas in the movies. We even got ranked in OpenSalon.com's Film Warriors' 12 Days of Cinema; we got dissed by Brian Salisbury at FilmSchoolRejects.com; and we made #9 on A Dusty Corner's Nice List; and even Millionaire Playboy liked our good parts, too! And just recently The Onion's A.V. Club has pondered the question: "Why is Santa Claus: The Movie So Merrily Maligned?" Cool, huh?
Well, with Man of Steel on DVD, we're sharing our opinions about it in our KQ.commentary; then we salute one special musical Santa named George Heid, Sr.; and then, there's the full text of "Day of the Elves," the Prologue to the KringleQuest book that will in time serve as this website's companion piece; then you have the KQ4 Blog; and then there's Richard's review of the first version of the Santa Claus: The Movie DVD. Then, in a more serious vein, Richard also presents another KQ.commentary, this one focusing on Dudley Moore's possible dark side!
Our nasty ol' B.Z., fresh off of winning the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Miniseries or TV Movie, for his role as Sir Winston Churchill, in Netflix's The Crown, has now been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series! Also nominated is Claire Foy, for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series; Claire, of course, stars as Elizabeth II herself! Congratulations, John and Claire; as well as the show itself, for its own nomination as Outstanding Dramatic Series! Cheers to The Crown's entire cast and crew, and good luck on your second season, which begins December 8th! (We should also mention that Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love is up for the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Made-for-TV Movie.) Now out on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital DVD is John's most recent NBC Primetime series, Trial & Error. Set in the fictitious Southern town of East Peck, John portrays Larry Henderson, an eccentric college professor recently arrested for the murder of his wife. Nicholas D'Agosto stars with John, as Josh Segal, the New York City attorney assigned to Larry's case. Now, John has returned to the big screen again, co-starring with Salma Hayek and Connie Britton in Roadside Attractions' dark romantic comedy, Beatriz @ Dinner, coming soon to DVD, Blu-ray and Digital DVD.
Turning to other Lithgow developments, John's ninth children's book, Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez, is in bookstores from Simon & Schuster, and once you read it, you'll understand why you shouldn't! Hear John in Disney/Pixar's The Good Dinosaur,, now on DVD Digital and Blu-ray, and also starring Neil Patrick Harris, Frances McDormand, Bill Hader, Judy Greer, Sam Elliott, and newcomer Lucas Neff!
As we said, John plays Sir Winston Churchill on the 10-episode The Crown, being the story of the first years of the reign of Elizabeth II, portrayed by Claire Foy (who won the SAG Award for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie), with Matt Smith co-starring as young Prince Phillip. The show follows Elizabeth and Phillip from their wedding in 1947, right up to the present day. Executive produced by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon), and already guaranteed a six-season commitment, The Crown also stars, among others, Victoria Hamilton as the Queen Mother; Jared Harris as King George VI; Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret; and Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary. The Crown's new season, the second in a planned six-season run, streams beginning December 8th on Netflix.
Other ways to see and hear John include: Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, and in Ira Sachs' Love is Strange. All are now out on DVD. And check out John's more intellectual side as he narrates Einstein's Big Idea! Also available on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS Video, this 2-hour special edition of NOVA tells the story of how E=mc2 came into being. Check out the transcript!
In video stores now: Lionsgate Home Entertainment brings you a new way to discover the world of Santa Claus: The Movie! The entire film, in all its widescreen glory, upgraded for a hi-definition generation, along with the making-of documentary; Jeannot Szwarc in conversation with Scott Michael Bosco; all four trailers; and profiles of both Jeannot and Dudley Moore! Plus, an exclusive to Blu-ray look at the filming of the Press Conference sequence, along with first-time looks at deleted scenes (the ones they didn't show you on previous DVD editions)! Vendequm viewers, this is one sleigh ride you NEED to be in on! Click here for our Brief Footnote to our Alexander Salkind: In Memoriam segment! Then, click here for a Christmas Eve Message from our Boss Elf, Richard Washington!
And you can always leave us a holiday or other message by e-mailing us, at either Richard@ElfWithoutJingles.com via firstname.lastname@example.org or at Santa@ElfWithoutJingles.com!