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Western Animation: The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus
L. Frank Baum's story of the origins of Santa Claus, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus received two animated adaptations: A Rankin-Bass Christmas special that would be their last stop-motion Christmas project and a 2D animated film released in the year 2000 featuring Robby Benson and Jim Cummings playing the title character at different ages.The Rankin Bass version utilizes the ending of the book as a framing device, where Ak, the Master Woodsman of the world, argues a case for Santa Claus to be granted immortality to a council of his peers. Both versions tell of how Santa Claus was an orphaned baby found by the immortals of the magical Forest of Burzee, being shown the unfortunate state of other human children by Ak and finding his calling of making toys. However, monsters called the Awgwas oppose Claus's efforts to bring joy to the children that they torment, leading to Ak and the immortals to intervene.
These works provides examples of:
Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In the Rankin-Bass special, Peter Knook never explains why Claus is only allowed to use the reindeer to deliver toys on Christmas Eve, which causes conflict since that date means Claus only has ten days to make enough toys for the journey. In the book it's a deliberate attempt by the Knook King to sabotage Claus' efforts.
Disproportionate Retribution: In the book, Will Knook threatens to torment the deer who pulled Claus' sledge with stinging gnats for the "heinous" crime of returning to the forest one minute after the curfew he set.
Happily Adopted: Claus shows absolutely no curiosity about his birth parents. Possibly justified seeing as he was abandoned as a baby and he had a happy childhood with Nicelle and Shiegra.
Invisibility: An ability of the Awgwas in the Rankin-Bass special... which somehow lets them pass through solid walls too.
Ak can grant this ability, and uses it to show Claus how mortals live without them being observed.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Most of the Knooks in the book save Peter Knook, who's simply kind without being a Jerk Ass. The "jerk" part is toned down in the special.
Mama Bear: Well, lioness, but you don't mess with Claus when Shiegra's around. The Awgwas are only able to abduct Claus the first time because they ambush and tie her up first.
Manly Tears: Shed by Claus when he sees the children's reactions to receiving their first toy, and later when he learns the immortals intend to fight on his behalf.
Narrator: This is the only Rankin-Bass Christmas special to not have a celebrity narrator, though Ak serves as one in-universe as he tells Claus' story to the rest of the immortals.
Never Say "Die": Both played straight and averted in the special. The Awgwa leader declares that Claus will be "done away with for good" (he flat-out states they'll kill him in the book). In a later scene, however, Ak informs Claus that the Awgwas have "perished," averting the trope.
Omniglot: Tingler in the Rankin-Bass version, being a Sound Imp, can speak any language, including animal languages.
Our Demons Are Different: The Wind Demons. We only see one (the Commander), but he looks like a cross between a bat and a mosquito, tends to cause bursts of wind before he speaks, and while not malicious, is the most vocal detractor toward Claus being made immortal.
Reused Character Design: While most of the characters in the Rankin-Bass special have unique designs, some of the children look like they've been re-used from previous Christmas specials.
Single Tear: Happens whenever a character cries. Justified in that it's difficult to portray tears well in a stop-motion show.
Stop Motion: Rankin-Bass' last stop-motion Christmas special
Suddenly Voiced: Inverted. Shiegra the Lioness had lines in the book but only growls and roars in the Rankin-Bass version, which is unusual given her Ascended Extra status in the special. Likewise, the reindeer had lines in the book but are silent in the movie.
Time Abyss: The Immortals, as explained in "Ora e Sempre (Today and Forever)."
Window Pain: In the Rankin-Bass special, the Awgwas' harassment of Claus begins with a threatening note tied to a rock and hurled through a window.