Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la etc.
Right about now we imagine Santa's hard at work with his minions, packing the sleigh full of toys for all the world's boys and girls. Can you see him? Has he got a broad face and a little round belly, does it shake when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly? But who is it? Is it Tim Allen from The Santa Clause? Is it Ed Asner from Elf? Everybody's got a favourite on screen Santa and given that we in entertainment.ie can't quite agree who the best one was, we thought we'd compile this here list so you can decide for yizzer selves.
1. Tim Allen - The Santa Clause
Why? Well you don't take on the role of Santa three times in your career (a career that's mostly consisted of Christmas themed movies) and NOT earn yourself a spot on this list. Sure, it's unlikely that you'll find Tim Allen popping up in a Tarantino or Scorsese movie any time soon but on a cold winter's evening, as RTÉ shovel out the same festive dross with each passing year, we can't help but feel like we've got a belly full of mulled wine when Tim Allen's Scott Calvin appears on screen. (The trick is to just block out the part where he pretty much murders the original Santa, to nobody else's dismay.)
2. Lord Richard Attenborough - Miracle on 34th Street
Why? First off, he's a Lord. Secondly, because that's his own white hair and beard. Thirdly, if anyone on this list could pass as the real deal, it's him. Those half moon spectacles, those 'I only see the good in people' eyes - this Kris Kring is the real deal. Starring as Santy in the 1994 remake of the 1947 original, Attenborough took over from Edmund Gwenn who back then, earned himself an Oscar for his performance. Hence the reason he too features on this list.
3. Edmund Gwenn - Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Why? See above. He also rocked quite the handlebar moustache atop his cotton wool beard.
4. Ed Asner - Elf
Why? Well he wasn't exactly front and centre in this film, playing second fiddle to the scene-stealing Will Ferrell, but nevertheless, Asner's as good a Santa as they come. It's not every man with a high-pressure job like his would take the time to take a regular human being like Buddy under his wing. That's unconditional Santa love right there. We also like his cute button nose.
5. Billy Bob Thornton - Bad Santa
Why? He's certanily not the nicest Kris Kringle on this list - he lies, he cheats, he's a bit of a pisshead - but still, Billy Bob's wreckless interpretation of the man from up North made for one of the most enjoyable Christmas flicks of the noughties, giving Jim Carrey's Grinch a run for his money.
6. Danny Elfman - The Nightmare Before Christmas
Why? Danny Elfman's Jack Skellington isn't the most conventional of Santas, in fact, being the king of Halloween Town, he struggles to understand the concept of Christmas Town at all. That being said, though he might be a little on the skeletal side, his heart's in the right place and he sure makes for a refreshing take on the rosie-cheeked gift giver we've seen repeated time and time again.
7. David Huddleston - Santa Claus
Why? Really it was Dudley Moore who stole the show here and while David Huddleston is more known for his role in The Big Lebowski, his Santa brings us right back to our youth; no matter how many times we've seen it, it's always welcome viewing come Christmas morning. In the face of adversity (that being John Lithgow's evil toy manufacturer who wants to take over the market leaving Santa Claus redundant) Santa puts his trust in his head elf - Patch (Dudley Moore) to save the day. A real Christmas cracker with an oldy worldy vibe and one that offers a realistic telling of how Santa came to be.