L. Frank Baum’s Santa Claus Coming to the Screen
It’s nice to see people remember that L. Frank Baum wrote stories featuring characters other than the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In fact, he also tackled someone even more impressive: Santa Claus.
Variety reports that Hyde Park Entertainment will team with Toonz Entertainment to adapt The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus as a CGI-animated film, similar to the just-announced John Boorman-directed interpretation of Oz. And like the oft-adapted Oz, this one will be coming for Christmas 2010.
Tom Tataranowicz, president of Gang of 7 Animation, will direct alongside Rich Arons, and Dick Sebast. Tataranowicz co-wrote the script with animation veteran Mark Edward Edens (Hot Wheels, Sonic, Young Hercules). The film is being produced at the Toonz Animation Studio in India.
The trade describes the story as following “Santa’s formative years, including a battle against the heart of evil that establishes the Santa mythology.” There’s a lot more to it and was a personal favorite to read the kids in days gone by.
The 1902 novel has previously been adapted less often than Oz, beginning with the 1985 Rankin-Bass production. Japan, in 1994, tried their hand with Shounen Santa no Daibôken (Young Santa’s Adventures). America folded it into The Oz Kids’"Who Stole Santa?" In 1996. Gen Hill also did an animated version in 2000. Michael Ploog also turned it into a graphic novel, published by Tundra in 1992.