This year I am already firmly in the Christmas spirit, and it isn't even Halloween yet. I am checking my store for the first arrivals of the crack cocaine of the Yuletide, Egg Nog.
I have dug out all my favorite holiday films: "The Ref", "The Bishop's Wife," "Bad Santa" and 'Scrooged" are queued up in a neat stack awaiting a day I can pretend there's real weather in Los Angeles, and be at one with my fireplace and chaise, and hopefully a glass of the Nog.
It was only a matter of time before some bright bulb at a studio mined the voice over gold talent of William Shatner, who has a mellifluous and sly delivery honed to perfection on the missed, "Boston Legal." Well Lionsgate did just that and on October 13, they have released "Gotta Catch Santa Claus," a new animated movie that will air on ABC Family's 25 days of Christmas.
Now, Shatner plays a perfect a world-weary Santa, as a teenage boy (Trevor) schemes big and hopes to catch him (with the help of his nerdy friends) to impress a girl (Veronica) who just doesn't believe. There's a lovely bad guy thrown in the mix, like the classic Oogie Boogie or the Abominable Snowman, we have the blue-hued thorn in the side of good ol' Christmas: LeFreeze, who has an ax to grind with our Santa. LeFreeze's breakout moment in song is "List of My Own."
This is not Burl Ives' Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph, but it is cute, and short (66 minutes) and has some really nice touches from writer Steven de Souza (Die Hard, Die Hard 2, and Beverly Hills Cop III). de Souza apparently has a soft spot for ol' St Nick, and lasers.
The animation is about standard for TV, simple backgrounds, not too busy or certainly warm and familiar like an old Looney Tune; very modern, and a 5.1 soundtrack.
The DVD bonus features a collection of deleted scenes. Mostly storyboards with placeholder voices. Originally, Trevor, not Veronica, was the non-believer in the tale, which obviously was retooled.
Gotta Catch Santa Claus is great for kiddies, blessedly short for the grown ups.
Special Features include:
Santa Behind-the-Scenes Footage
2 Sing-Along Songs
DVD Tech Specs:
Street Date: October 13, 2009
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Holiday, Family, CGI Animated
Closed Captioned: English Closed Captioned
Subtitles: English and Spanish
Feature Running Time: 66 Minutes
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital