Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Prep and Landing (2009) review


ABC Family usually puts out some pretty crappy stuff, especially for Christmas, but this one isn't half bad.

PLOT:Everybody knows the story of Santa and how he gets to other kids' houses on Christmas Eve, but what we don't know is how he knows exactly whether it's  safe or not. This is the job of Santa's prep and landing crew. They test the waters and give the stats of the child's house the big guy's about to visit and put out the landing gear for him to hit each house. The lead elf of this division is Wayne (Dave Foley), who has been working it for over 200 years. When his partner gets a promotion instead of him and a new partner (Derek Richardson) gets placed in his midst, he falls into carelessness because he didn't get promoted. Because of him, the fate of everybody's happy Chistmas might be at stake. It is a very unique and modernized twist on Santa's flight story executed rather well.

VOICES:The voices chosen are very cartoonish and fit each personality perfectly. David Foley plays a pretty good leading role as Wayne, and Derek Richardson plays off of him rather well as Lanny. The other shiners would be Sarah Chalke as Magee and William Morgan Shepherd as the Big Guy.

SCORE:The score is mainly made up of random Christmas songs from the likes of Nat King Cole and others, with some dramatic score. It wasn't too important, but still pretty good.

ANIMATION:Since this is an ABC Family Christmas special, I expected the animation to be lazily done, but the animation was actual pretty intricate and detailed in a cartoonish way. The characters by themselves are no big deal, but the facial expressions made by the characters and their actions both expressed their emotions in a quite whimsical way. Then again, John Lasseter was in charge of some of it.

OTHER CONTENT:This is just a TV special, but it's really not half bad. Aside from the animation, it holds up a great Christmas spirit and some clever twists. The conflict that comes up in the middle puts an unexpected feeling of Christmas spirit and nostalgic feeling of childhood memories. The holiday humor in here is also pretty clever and funny, especially the holiday lingo used among the elves. Phrases such as "Totally Tinsel" and "Figgy Pudding" all make those aware of the references smile. However, this does have a few cons, as it is just a TV special. It's way too short, I believe. Clocking in at only 22 minutes, everything feels rushed and the attempted character development almost fails. Thanks to proper storytelling, everything is safe. I've noticed in rewatching this however, that it's quite cheesy with its dialogue as it is clever. It was purely for entertainment, but it did hold a supple amount of emotion, I'd say.

OVERALL,a good Christmas special with a unique plot, cartoonish voices, good holiday soundtrack, detailed animation, nostlagic Christmas feeling, and clever holiday humor, but it is just a really short TV special with rushed character development and a bit of cheese.

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