Actually I did find Santa's Little Yelpers one of The Asylum's more tolerable movies
I found myself pleasantly surprised by Santa's Little Yelpers(or Golden Winter, I'll be honest though and say that Santa's Little Yelpers is a much more fitting title). I hate most of The Asylum's movies with a passion, but seeing as it was something different for them I was wondering could it possibly be a someway decent film? After seeing it, I have to say yes it was. It was a long way from great, and it is miles away from almost anything else The Asylum has done.
There are certainly some good things about Santa's Little Yelpers. Surprisingly for The Asylum, it looks good, one of their better-looking movies actually and that is saying a lot(with most of them they make it far too obvious that their budget is low). The scenery is colourful without ever feeling too gaudy and the editing is an improvement on the choppy editing usually found. The soundtrack is sweet and catchy with some moments of unforced whimsy and recognisable themes, while the dogs(the stars of the film as you will) look really cute and give some heartfelt charm to the proceedings. The acting especially from Shannon Elizabeth is better than average, again a huge improvement over most Asylum productions.
Santa's Little Yelpers is besieged with a lot of problems though. The chief culprit is the story, which is very tired and generic especially in the third act. The middle and the end are more action-packed but at the same time I found little to be excited or thrilled about, while the more comedic and emotional moments feel forced. The script is not much different from most family films that follow Santa's Little Yelpers' concept, in short it is well-intentioned but often verging on cheesy or mawkish. The characters are more likable than most Asylum movies' characters, but there is much emphasis on the dogs and consequently the human characters feel bland. Some of the voice work is also a bit too over-eager and eventually on the annoying side, and sadly the lip-synching is awful.
All in all, a decent if unexceptional family film, and of The Asylum's notorious output one of their more tolerable efforts. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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