Miracle on 34th Street is a heart warming classic

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Photo Credit: DeAndre Oglesby

Miracle on 34th Street is a heartwarming classic!

By: DeAndre Oglesby, Senior Editor

Watching Christmas movies is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. However, one holiday movie you definitely shouldn’t miss is Miracle on 34th Street.

Miracle on 34th Street (the 1994 version) is about Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough), an old man who believes that he’s Santa Claus. He soon comes to work for Cole’s, a department store in New York City. However, when Mr. Kringle is put trial, questioning his sanity, it’s up to Susan Walker (Mara Wilson), her mother Dorey Walker, and Bryan Bedford to help prove that there indeed is a Santa Claus.

Attenborough’s Santa is probably the best Santa I’ve ever seen put to film. He looks and feels like the real thing. Throughout the film, his smile is just contagious. His Santa suit looks stunning, and the way he interacts with children is just so Santaesque. Especially in that one scene when he speaks in sign language with a deaf girl. It’s just totally heartwarming. Which really makes you feel for him when the police put him away.

Wilson’s Susan Walker is an odd one. In the film, Susan is a little girl. However, she talks as if she’s all grown up. Mr. Bedford even brings this up in the movie! He describes her as, “About 4-foot tall, brown hair, talk like she’s 64 years old?” I mean sure she can be funny and entertaining to watch at times, but it just feels weird. She doesn’t seem like an actual kid, which is a bit off-putting to me.

Mr. Bedford and Dorey were kind of bland in my opinion. The romance between them didn’t really feel authentic. And their acting was mediocre at best. Sure Bedford’s loyalty to Santa and Dorey’s transition into becoming a believer in Santa was heartwarming. But it doesn’t really make up for their other flaws. If we had the chance to get to know these characters better, I feel that their romance would be more meaningful.

The scenery and visuals of this film were lifeless and boring. Every scene felt like it had a grey cloud cast over it. The colors appear to fade and have a dark ambient. And there wasn’t much diversity when it came to the set pieces. Almost every scene either took place in an apartment, on the streets at night or at Cole’s. The most diversity we get is the courtroom or the house at the end.  

The musical score wasn’t anything special. None of it really stuck out to me. So it’s not like I’m going to be going out of my way to listen to it anytime soon.

However, probably the single best thing about the movie Miracle on 34th Street is the final ruling of Santa. Towards the end, Susan presents the judge with a Christmas card that has a dollar bill with In God We Trust circled. I’m not going to spoil exactly what the judge says, but trust me, this movie is worth watching for that scene alone. Also, the scenes where a reindeer is brought into court and where a kid is called as a witness are pretty hilarious.

Despite popular opinion, I believe the 1994 adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street is pretty good. It’s not the best, but it’s definitely not the worst. At the time of the publication of this article, you can get Miracle on 34th Street for $5.00 on Amazon, so you should get yourself a copy of this wonderful holiday movie.

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