Written and Directed by Michael Bannon
Starring the Voices of Chris Parnell, Horatio Sanz, Darrell Hammond
- Making-of Featurette
- Trivia Game
Released by: MGM Kids
Rating: NR (suitable for all ages)
Anamorphic: Nope; full frame only.
My Advice: Skip it.
As we all know, from time to time, Christmas falls under the sights of some dastardly madman who is hell-bent on either taking over or destroying the holiday forever. This time, it’s up to a down-on-his-luck ice cream man named Freezerburn (Parnell) to save the holiday. He’s on his usual route when he stumbles upon a plot by evil toymaker Saulc Atnas (Hammond) to distribute a “heavy gravity” formula that will keep the famous reindeer grounded this year on Santa’s big day. It’s up to Freezerburn to save Christmas!
I can’t tell whether or not the creators of this animation were in earnest when they created this. At times it seems like they are really trying to create an honest Christmas show and other times it seems as though they are putting together a parody of the Rankin Bass holiday classics. The melodrama and over-the-top moments coupled with the parts where (I think) we’re supposed to take the whole thing seriously just don’t mix very well. Not to mention the fact that our lead characters are voiced by a couple of SNL vets who sound as bored as most kids would be as they watched this film.
Something nice is that technically, the thing looks excellent. The stop motion animation is some of the best that has been seen in a long time. Their combination of stop-motion and computer animation really works well. The use of light and shadow is outstanding.
The DVD itself is better than you would expect. You get a making of featurette that talks about the approach to stop-motion animation that the creators use when putting together something like this. It’s pretty good: the interviews with the animators stay on topic and are very informative. The only other “major” special feature is a trivia game that asks you questions about the story. It’s pretty simple, but there’s no real payoff at the end for having gotten the questions right. The only other features are some trailers for some other DVDs.
So, if you are looking for a good Christmas special to watch with your family, I would suggest the classics. This just doesn’t measure up.