Yes, Virginia tells the story of 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon, a young girl growing up in late 1800s New York City who always loved Christmas, until the playground bully, Charlotte tells her and the other children that Santa Claus doesn't exist.
Not sure what to believe, Virginia and her friend, Ollie, venture into the streets of New York City to uncover the truth. Along the way, they encounter a Scraggly Santa who is trying to raise money for the less fortunate (he admits he's not the real deal, but someone who sort of works for Santa Claus), an over-eager librarian with a shelf full of Christmas books, and interesting advice from Virginia's quirky scientist father and understanding mother.
Unable to find the answer, Virginia decides to write a letter to the New York Sun newspaper, knowing that their reputation for reporting the facts is cemented by their motto "If you see it in The Sun, it's so!" Virginia's letter makes its way to the curmudgeonly editor, Francis Church, who feels he has better things to do than respond to a little girl's question. But, with Virginia's determination, and a little help from Scraggly Santa, Mr. Church is persuaded to write the answer that became the most famous newspaper editorial of all time: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!"
The CGI animation is beautiful to look at in stills, with dark shadows and colors (no doubt to put us in mind of the depressing 19th Century) but the characters speech and movements are stilted.
This story is based on the real letter that the real 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote to editor Francis Pharcellus Church in 1897. Yes, Virginia was originally broadcast on CBS on December 11, 2009. Yes, Virginia was created and produced by Macy's and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia. Yes, Virginia was written by Chris Plehal and directed by Peter Circuitt.
The Macy's department store played a big part in bringing this animated Christmas special to TV, being the largest sponsor. The brand name was all over the trailers, commercials and the special itself. Virginia appeared as a giant balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2010.
Virginia also appeared with Harry Smith on CBS on December 17, 2010, in order to raise awareness about the Macy's and Make a Wish Foundation's Believe Campaign.
Virginia's timeless query and Church's eloquent response, have inspired other storytellers. Another animated version of this story titled Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus premiered on December 6, 1974 on ABC. That cartoon was produced by Bill Melendez, who also produced some of the Peanuts specials.
Yes, Virginia features a very talented cast.
- Beatrice Miller (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) as Virginia
- Kieran Patrick Campbell as Ollie
- Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas) as her father
- Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer, ) as her mother
- Alfred Molina (Abduction, Frida) as Francis Church
- Michael Buscemi (Nurse Jackie) as Scraggly Santa
- Julian Franco as Charlotte