Santa Claus has to be a superhero. What other explanation is there for a man having the ability to fly around the world, lift one metric ton of plastic toys over his shoulder and live to be 300 years old?
On film, the bearded fat man has had a long career showcasing his incredible superpowers and captivating the minds of impressionable young viewers. After Cinematical ran a very-NSFW look at Santa's dark side, we felt his image could use a much-needed PR boost.
So without further adieu -- we present to you the most amazing accomplishments ever achieved by movie Santas. You may not believe everything you read or see, but we assure you, every single one of these moments actually happened.
Santa Claus as Biblical Avenger -- 'Santa Claus' (1959)
For Goodness' Sake: With this bizarre Mexican-language, English-dubbed film, producers brought the legend of Santa Claus to a country unfamiliar with the customs of St. Nick. They took a meticulous and delicate approach in explaining American traditions to the international audience. So naturally, Santa Claus lives in outer space on a space-station named Toyland, just above the North Pole. He visits earth once a year to deliver presents to all the good children, with gifts determined by economic status. He is also locked in an eternal battle with Lucifer, who sends his number-one demon, Pitch, to corrupt all the world's children.
Santa's Superpowers: Possesses the Dreamscope, which allows him to view children's dreams -- in a not-creepy way. Is also armed with sleeping powder and invisibility-flowers (aren't those in the next 'Super Mario' game?). Eats clouds for sustenance, is telepathic and bilingual, and has mechanical reindeer. Additionally, is dismissive of the Russian cosmonaut program. Finally, lovingly shares his exploits for free on the Internet.
Santa Claus as Earthly Defender -- 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians' (1964)
For Goodness' Sake: Martians abduct Santa and force him to teach "fun" to all the alien children, because they've been doped up on constant TV-watching and can no longer develop independent thought. Two earth children are accidentally also kidnapped, and the trio are forced to make toys for all the unappreciative Martian brats. However, they must also defend their lives against brutal Martian nationalists, who believe Santa is a corrupting presence and set out to murder him. Santa and the children fight back and escape to earth -- or something resembling that, as the film was made on a $200,000 budget.
Santa's Superpowers: Expert hostage negotiator. Handles a life-threatening crisis with unflappable calm. Able to build a litany of toys under extreme emotional duress. Savvy self-promoter. Can survive the intense atmospheric and elemental conditions of a planet that is over 100 million kilometers from earth. Responsible for one of the greatest episodes of 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' ever.
Santa Claus as Highway Patrolman -- 'Santa Claus: The Movie' (1985)
For Goodness' Sake: Santa has to deal with his first real competition since opening his toy-making business in the 14th-century --in the form of a big-city corporate executive, who dupes a naive elf into revealing some of Santa's toy-making secrets. And then he has to rescue an orphan. Not much else happens; there are a lot of musical numbers.
Santa's Superpowers: Harvester of magic reindeer feed, that grants the power of flight to anyone who eats it. Able to meet the business demand of a rapidly-gentrifying society. Strong independent-minded business ethic. Foster care-giver. Develops the Super Dooper Looper, the first-ever complete 360-degree rotation of a sleigh.
Santa Claus As Straight-Up Butt-Kicker -- 'Santa With Muscles' (1996)
For Goodness' Sake: Blake, the richest man in 10 states and an arrogant blowhard, tries to ditch the cops after a speeding joyride. He disguises himself as Santa, but hits his head so hard that he develops amnesia; when he recovers, he believes himself to be the one, true Santa Claus, and embarks on a quest for good. Some of his heroic deeds include foiling a robbery and saving an orphanage from being demolished by Ed Begley Jr. and his band of evil scientists.
Santa's Superpowers: Super-strength. Master of the crane kick. Licensed(?) cave-diver. Can dodge a bazooka. Able to survive falls from a great height. Skilled in various weapons-combat, including giant candy canes. Avid paintball enthusiast. Played by Hulk Hogan, who was able to body-slam Andre the Giant in front of 93,000 people.
Santa Claus as Robot Fighter -- 'The Santa Clause 2' (2002)
For Goodness' Sake: Tim Allen needs to find a Mrs. Claus before Christmas Eve, or else the holiday will die. At the same time, he has to find a way to get his own son Charlie off of the naughty list. In order to multi-task efficiently, he commissions a robot doppleganger to continue toy production at the North Pole. In a twist, that only Phillip K. Dick could have predicted, the robot Santa goes against protocol; questioning the futile nature of life, Robo-Claus hijacks Santa's sleigh in an attempt to deliver coal to everybody. Can the one true Santa save the day? (Yes.)
Santa's Superpowers: Can grant childhood wishes to jaded adults. Wielder of a magic snow globe. Awesome party decorator. Unfazed by the moral implications of giving life to -- and then taking away from -- a mechanical twin of oneself that attempts to define its own existence. Smooth-talkin' ladies' man.
Santa Claus as Provider of Weapons to Children -- 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' (2005)
For Goodness' Sake: It's always winter yet never Christmas in Narnia, a land ruled under the tyranical control of Jadis, the White Witch. Four English school children -- Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy -- stumble into the fantastical world, and begin a quest to free the fantasy land and all its imprisoned inhabitants. As Jadis' reign of power begins to weaken, Father Christmas is finally allowed to return to Narnia, and in his first officialy duty, does what any kindly father figure would do: arm the children with weapons and push them into warfare.
Santa's Superpowers: Well, if you were a 13-year-old boy and Santa gave you a sword for Christmas, you'd think that was heroic, too.