Second Union

Second Union

FILMS TO MAKE YOU FESTIVE: Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Welcome to Second Union’s “Films To Make You Festive“. For the majority of December, Second Union will be talking about our favorite “festive films” in an attempt to get our readers ready for the holiday season. Expect action, adventure and all the nostalgia a Christmas period can possibly produce!

He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake. Oh! It’s no wonder younger children find Santa terrifying when you think about it. If you told me some random old guy watches me while I sleep I’d be beside myself with fear. Thank God that Santa is Richard Attenborough then, otherwise Miracle on 34th Street would have been something VERY different.

I’m obviously kidding, Santa watches us in the nicest possible way I’m sure… Anyway, moving on before I dig this grave any deeper! Miracle On 34th Street is the beautiful story, written by John Hughes, of Susan Walker (Mara Wilson), a six year old girl whose cynical mind struggles to believe that Kris Kringle (Attenborough) is in fact the real Santa Claus.

Before I continue, I must address the fact that there are a lot of people who swear by the 1947 original version of this film, and rightly so. However, having seen this version more often throughout my youth, to me, the only Miracle on 34th Street is the one with Rayden from Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (James Remar) and Daphne Moon from Fraiser (Jane Leeves) menacingly lurking in the shadows, doing everything they can to ruin John Hammond’s attempts to give Matilda the best Christmas ever.

Obviously, as this is a remake, there have to be certain beats that must be satisfied, Kris Kringle has to assault a drunk man for example. However, there are so many elements that touch the soul, that you can forgive the fact that this is a paint by numbers Christmas film you’d expect to find on Christmas 24.

I can only speak from my experience now. I can avidly remember watching this for the first time when I was around 6 years old, so as far as I was concerned, Miracle on 34th Street was made for my eyes only. Anyway, I remember seeing the scene where Kringle speaks with the girl with hearing difficulties in sign language, and being filled with such warmth and affection that, in that moment, meant Santa was, and still is, the most benevolent force this life will ever witness.

Wrapped in problems of the early 90s, this adaptation will probably seem as distant to the youth of today as the original did to me when I was their age. However, what will surely resonate is the emotion, the charm, and the wonderfully simple performances of everyone involved to create a Christmas sensation that we can all, in one way or another, appreciate regardless of decade or generation.

Not seen Miracle on 34th Street (1994) before? Let us know what you thought! Use #Festive2U with your reactions and let us know what other films make you feel festive!

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