Docs That Rock - Becoming Santa

Santa Needs a Drink

November 18, 2012 - Leave a Comment

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade always marks the unofficial start to the holiday season.

Despite this, retailers have increasingly begun their Holiday marketing earlier and earlier each year. Unlike our neighbours to the south in the U-S of A, we don’t have a buffer holiday since as our Thanksgiving is at the start of October. Once Halloween hits the Ho-Ho-Ho’ing begins in full force.

NYC Xmas Tree

So, instead of fighting it, especially now that the parade has come and gone (side note: I love the parade site! Great UI and Design! The “Memories” section is really sweet), for this segment of Docs that Rock, may I present to you a gem of a documentary called “Becoming Santa”.

I had the chance to see “Becoming Santa” during Hot Docs 2011 at the end of April. It was as enjoyable to watch in the Spring as it is now in late November.

Jack in Becoming Santa on the Polar Express

The doc follows the story of Jack Sanderson looking to reconnect with the Christmas spirit after the death of his father. To do so, Jack takes on becoming Santa Claus for a Christmas season. But it’s a lot more than just donning a costume and asking children what they want for Christmas. “Becoming Santa” lifts the curtain for a glimpse at what’s really required for those involved in the Santa Trade. A fascinating look at a cherished childhood icon and the men and women who work so diligently each year to bring this character to life.

Jack Dying His Beard White in Becoming Santa

For any film surrounding the legend of Santa Claus, a fine line is often tread with being overly saccharine, “Becoming Santa” manages to handle the material very well and avoids being unnecessarily sweet. Jack Sanderson is naturally endearing with a wry sense of humour and is delightful to watch as he experiences getting kitted out in just the right Santa costume, to his classes as the surreal ‘American Events Santa School’ in Denver, Colorado.

OMG! Look at all the Santa's!

The doc is peppered with fascinating interviews of other Professional Santa’s and those in the industry in addition to some historical insight into the legend of Santa and how we celebrate the season in North America.

A thoroughly enjoyable and heart-warming documentary to watch!

Santa learns how to make a cut out snowflake