I am a bit of a Christmas purist. Over time I have adjusted to seeing cartoon characters dressed up as Santa on ornaments, sweaters, and wrapping paper, and I admit I walk through the Beverly Center to ogle the Hunky Santas on Friday nights this time of year. But for the same reason, when the ABC Family original Snow first premiered, I wouldn't even consider watching a movie in which Santa was not some elderly fat man with a long white beard and bifocals. In fact, it wasn't until just last year that I finally buckled down, grew up a bit, and pushed aside the "historical inaccuracies" to give Tom Cavanagh in the Santa role a chance. And he (and the movie in general) actually won me over!
Snow is a bit convoluted as far as holiday movies go. It has a lot going on, and for once, "learning the true meaning of Christmas" is not one of them. Instead, one of Santa's new reindeer ends up in a zoo after a hunting enthusiast (Patrick Fabian!) manages to capture it in the wild, where it is just trying to learn to fly. Santa has to come down from the North Pole (and rebrand himself Nick Snowden) to try to get the reindeer safely returned in time for Christmas. In order to get close enough to the reindeer, he befriends one of the zoo workers (Ashley Williams) but finds himself attracted to her and distracted from his true mission. Meanwhile, the reindeer is developing its special powers and the hunting enthusiast is beginning to get suspicious.
Now Snow of course spawned a sequel, in which Santa gets amnesia and it is up to Williams to remind him of who he really is. So needless to say, in the first version, he doesn't manage to do the best job of keeping his true identity a secret. You would think after hundreds and hundreds of years, Santa would have more of a handle on that!