The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

HE best Christ­mas films aren’t al­ways films about Christ­mas. I must have been nine when I saw Jun­gle Book ( Wed­nes­day, 11.40pm, ABC1) at Syd­ney’s State The­atre dur­ing the Christ­mas hol­i­days and was en­chanted by its op­u­lence and mys­tery. This was Zoltan Korda’s 1942 live­ac­tion ver­sion of Rud­yard Ki­pling’s story and its Tech­ni­color scenery, ex­pres­sive an­i­mal faces and Sabu’s mag­i­cal per­for­mance as Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves, were a rev­e­la­tion to me. Those want­ing cer­ti­fied Christ­mas fare should see The Santa Clause ( Satur­day, 8.30pm, Seven), a proven Dis­ney favourite. While not quite in the heart- warm­ing class of It’s a Won­der­ful Life or Mir­a­cle on 34th Street , it strikes a deft bal­ance be­tween fan­tasy and re­al­ism. A di­vorced dad ( Tim Allen) has to take over Santa’s du­ties at short no­tice and finds him­self con­trac­tu­ally bound to the job af­ter ac­ti­vat­ing a so-called Santa clause when he

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