The '90s version of "Miracle on 34th Street" is actually pretty heavy stuff
Before we get started let me make something perfectly clear: we are strictly talking about the 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street, not the 1947 original because this is the version I grew up with and frankly, it’s just not as dark as the first one.
Although yes, the remake is dark. And really sad. And man, you know when we talk about “feels” in a strange Tumblr sense of the word? Well, we’re about to have them right now. Here’s what I discovered upon revisiting this old tale of Christmas woe again.
1. Miracle on 34th Street is HEARTBREAKING
This movies is HEARTBREAKING, you guys. It’s about a little girl who believes in Santa, but then Santa is PUT ON TRIAL IN A JUDICIAL COURT OF LAW. What?! Why!? Because he says he’s Santa? Do you know how many guys in any major metropolitan downtown core probably think they’re the real Santa? (A lot, probably.) At the VERY LEAST this is about society’s inability to accept anybody who doesn’t 100% follow the status quo. (And/or may believe themselves to be somebody else.) At the VERY MOST, it is about the worst adults in the world. But Mara Wilson totally rules, duh.
2. The man who plays Santa is also the millionaire/doctor genius in Jurassic Park
And this is important because even when delivering toys to kids on Christmas eve, HE SPARES NO EXPENSE. *choirs of singing brachiosaurus applaud this joke by singing*
3. Christmas is a state of mind (I think)
So growing up, I watched this and I watched Susan demand certain things from Santa to prove that he’s real, and I thought, “YEAH, SUSAN! Show ’em!” And now I am an adult thinking, wow you guys Susan was pretty spoiled. Like, no offense Susan, but as said by the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want.” Do you know what would’ve happened if I tried what she did when I sat on Mall Santa’s knee? “Yeah, sorry, kid…your parents are juuuuuust putting food on the table.” Why was she raised to ask for so much? I mean, I get that her parents are rich, but dial down the privilege, you know? Susan needs a Christmas where she gets nothing on her list but a note from Santa saying, “Girl, get your head in the game.”
4. Forcing children to believe in something is a mistake
Some kids don’t believe in Santa. Isn’t that CRAZY? No. Not at all, actually. Some kids just don’t buy it. Some do! Some have never heard of Santa, ever. Others literally have about 25925825 things on their minds. Either way, if you come across a kid who isn’t into the spirit of the season, you’ve got to respect it. Maybe Susan could’ve just continued not believing in Santa. Would that REALLY have been so bad? (Yes, because we wouldn’t have had this movie.) But say we DIDN’T have this movie. Provided Susan didn’t live her life to ruin Santa for other kids, then who cares if she believed or not? Would it have ruined anybody’s life? Nope! Not even close.
5. It’s just not healthy for anybody to be this invested in department store Santas
And I say this as someone who LOVES a department store/mall Santa. (I worked at the mall for four years and the Santa at my mall was always the nicest — shout out, dude, if you’re reading this.) But nobody — and I mean nobody — should be as invested in Santa as the people in this movie. Not a single soul. How invested are they? Well, one department store sets up this one Santa to be arrested and charged with assault so the other department store doesn’t make as many sales. THESE ARE PEOPLE’S LIVES. Guys, the real miracle on 34th street is that nobody said, “This is ridiculous, look at our lives.” Then, agreed to just to cool off with a delicious street pretzel instead of getting anyone arrested.
6. This movie will make you doubt everything you thought you knew
Remember Inception? It has nothing on movie, which makes you question everything you thought you believed in. Don’t believe in Santa? This little girl will change your mind. She takes a $1 bill, points to the fact that it says “‘In God we trust,'” and challenges anyone to prove that God is real. By that same logic, Santa is (or isn’t) real too. Got it? PHILOSOPHY. Honestly if Susan and Kevin McAllister didn’t grow up, date, and then go on to celebrate the most intense Christmases ever, then we all need to sit down and go to bed. Children who are smarter than us: the nineties Christmas movie story.
7. Miracle on 34th Street might be the most intense psychological drama ever
And I say this because first: we get into philosophy about the existence of God and/or Santa. Two, a six-year-old is forced to prove the existence of a man. Three, just when we realize that Santa is actually real, he goes “OVERSEAS” at the end of the movie. What?! Where overseas?! Is he still there? How old is he? What about Susan? Why didn’t they have a proper goodbye? Does she know where he is now? Does she care? This is some seriously dark, gristly material, people. You don’t just expose Santa Claus as Santa Claus and walk away living a normal life. Assume that every detective named Susan that you meet in real life or on television is this one, just grown up.
CSI: Christmas. The greatest CSI of them all.