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"Santa Vs. The Snowman" Is Interesting To Say The Least
You can tell just from looking at a movie poster or a DVD cover how sugar coated a kids movie is going to be. "Santa Vs. The Snowman" is certainly kids fare, but it sometimes is not sure what kind of story it's trying to tell.
It's only 33 minutes long, but it's pretty predictable. Once you see the snowman, and see how Santa is adored by the masses, you pretty much know how the story is going to go. They're going to fight, and they're going to make peace for the sake of Christmas. Nothing really new there.
Actually, it almost felt like Steve Oedekirk, who produced this film and created the characters, made a shorter, animated, kid-friendly Christmas version of "The King of Comedy" (1983). The snowman had the delusion that kidnapping Santa and taking his place would give him the love he thought he deserved, similar to Rupert Pupkin's delusion that getting on Jerry Langford's TV show would give him everything he ever wanted.
Of course, the snowman seems too sweet to be corrupted. I liked how it showed him playing the flute all alone in the Arctic tundra, and how the sky looked with all the stars. When the snowman gets it in his head to overthrow Santa, he starts to look strangely demonic, which is a little scary and weird.
However, I actually like the battle that ensued between the elves and the snowman clones. I laughed when I saw the elves using hot chocolate guns and hot gingerbread men to melt the other snowmen. I also thought the subtle allusions to the famous, four-legged AT-AT walkers from "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) were a nice touch.
Otherwise, the short film is just okay. The 3D effects were actually ahead of their time, considering how 3D would come back in a big way roughly six years after this film's release. The character design could have been better, and the narration by the late Don "Movie Trailer 'In A World' Guy" LaFontaine seemed unnecessary at times.
It would make an adequate animated short before a feature film. When compared to most predecessors like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", all it can do is melt.
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