Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Hello, guys!
Christmas is over but before we can get ready for the new year I have one more X-Mas flick to talk about. Two days ago I did a review on the original Miracle of 34th Street film, so we cannot end this year without also tackling the 1994 remake!

The Plot (as found on Rotten Tomatoes):

Six-year-old Susan Walker (Mara Wilson) is skeptical of the Christmas myth surrounding Santa Claus, a trait she perhaps learned from her mother, Dorey (Elizabeth Perkins). When tasked with hiring the Santa who will pose with kids at Macy’s, Dorey enlists a man with the curious name of Kris Kringle (Richard Attenborough) who claims to be Santa himself. His assertions are met with scoffs and threats of institutionalization, but a young lawyer, along with Susan and Dorey, comes to his defense.

The Rating:

After watching the first Miracle on 34th Street film, I naturally had to go and see the second one as well. Is this a sequel that anybody needed? Is it well made? I am always wary in the face of remakes, but this one actually turned out to be fairly decent! Granted, and didn’t like it quite as much as the original, but I don’t really have much to complain about either!

For quite a large part of the film, they stick fairly close to the original storyline with only a few little tweaks. One that is actually rather small but stood out to me concerns Mara Wilson’s character’s father. In the original movie, it is made pretty clear from the beginning that he is out of the picture because of a divorce (which was surprising to me considering the movie is from the 40s). In this remake, however, for a while, they phrase it as if he simply died. I mean, they don’t say that outright, but it is heavily implied. It isn’t until quite far into the film that it is mentioned that they are merely divorced. Somehow it struck me as odd that it is the more recent movie where the lines are written like that. As I said, I completely irrelevant little detail, but that’s what my brain picks up on. I’m sorry guys. 😅

I’m not sure what to think about 90s Dylan McDermott but I’m fairly certain I prefer him now. Mara Wilson, however, is absolutely adorable in every regard. I have to say I definitely appreciate both her and Natalie Wood in this role. Richard Attenborough is great as Santa, but his teeth are giving me nightmares.

The biggest change probably concerns the trial towards the end of the movie. While the desired outcome is the same, they did a 180 on how to get there. I’m not sure what I was expecting, whether I had anticipated them to just go with the same explanation. It actually made me wonder if there had been a change in the laws so that the original reasoning would not have worked anymore? (I mean, it was already a bit far-fetched from the get-go, but it still made sense). The new explanation is definitely also a leap of faith which did intrigue me, but I think I just like the older version better.

Oh, furthermore, while in the original movie the rivaling department stores are Macy’s and Gimbles. But apparently, Macy’s didn’t want to be involved in the remake and Gimbles had gone out of business at that point, so we get to fictitious stores. That was just another interesting detail to me, but again, I know nobody else cares. 😅

Overall, I didn’t mind most of the changes made and found especially the one concerning the trial rather intriguing. This is a really good remake, even though I think I still prefer the original. It was just a tad more charming.

Did you watch the film? Let me know in the comments!

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One thought on “Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

  1. Pingback: Wrapping it up for December | The Punk Theory

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