Only time will tell if this ends up being a Christmas classic, but Christmas Is Here Again does succeed at telling a decent Christmas story. When Santa’s magic sack is stolen, the world goes years without Christmas, but one little girl plans to bring it back…and melt a few hearts along the way.
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I admit to being a bit skeptical about this one going in. The movie was produced in 2007 by the same guys who made Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi and it’s done in the same flash-style animation. Also, something about Jay Leno and Norm MacDonald being involved worried me for some reason. On the other hand, you had Andy Griffith and Ed Asner, no stranger to both voice action and Christmas specials. However, I thought all the celebrities–including Kathy Bates, Shirley Jones, and Brad Garrett–did very well. While I sometimes balk at the use of celebrities over professional voice actors, they did a good job and I have to give them credit.
Tougher is finding good child voice actors and they did so here with Madison Davenport as Sophianna (that’s a nice name) and Colin Ford as Dart the reindeer. Even the kids in the orphanage did a good job.
Naturally, I like how they tied in Jesus, with the reason Santa uses a sack made from the baby’s swaddling clothes (used back then to ensure the baby’s limbs would grow straight–it’s a practice that’s all but ignored nowadays) although I have to ask how a baby’s had enough cloth to make a huge sack and I don’t think they’d be any more magical than any of the other mythical “artifacts of Christ”; you know, the Holy Grail or the Shroud of Turin, or the wood from the cross He was crucified on. They’ve all been given magical properties by storytellers, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.
The movie itself is available on DVD or on Hulu (which you just saw) and it’s one I can recommend. It doesn’t try to be a sequel like the ones for Rudolph and the Miser Brothers NOT done by Rankin/Bass but tell its own story and I rather enjoyed it. It’s a decent Christmas special.
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