Christmas is Here Again

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Christmas is Here Again
Christmas is Here Again.jpg
Running Time: 74 minutes
Country: United States
Directed by: Robert Zappia
Written by: Robert Zappia
Marco Zappia
Distributed by: Screen Media Films
Starring: Edward Asner
Kathy Bates
Madison Davenport
Brad Garrett
Andy Griffith
Shirley Jones
Norm Macdonald
Jay Leno


Christmas is Here Again is a 2007 direct-to-DVD animated Christmas musical comedy, directed by Robert Zappia. It is the first feature production from Renegade Animation.

Plot

Sophiana, an orphan girl who carries a cane, sets out to find Santa's toy sack (which is a magical source of toys since it was made from the baby Jesus' swaddling clothes), which was stolen thirty years previously by Krad ("dark" spelled backwards) in revenge after Santa stopped handing out Krad's coal to naughty children. She is helped in her quest by Paul Rocco, one of Santa's elves, Dart, a reindeer calf, Buster the fox, and his friend, Charlee the polar bear.

Why It Sucks

  1. The film is noticeably cheap visually, as the characters all have limited movements and the backgrounds are very simplistic.
  2. The songs are absolutely dreadful, the lyrics are as generic as they can get and the melodies are in no way catchy.
  3. Sophiana is a cookie-cutter orphan protagonist, with a cruel matron and a heart locket with a picture of her lost parents.
  4. What makes Sophiana one of the weaker orphan protagonists is that she also requires a cane. That's nothing against handicapped people, but it seems more like a prop to gain sympathy votes, since she's able to walk for long distances, climb trees, and cook and serve delicious meals (that even proves that she can stand perfectly without her cane).
  5. Norm MacDonald gets a musical number, and his singing (if you can call it that) is atrocious.
  6. The film tries to blend the Santa story with the Nativity, which isn't a bad idea, but it's handled poorly. Christmas is put to a halt for 30 years because people didn't get any gifts from Santa, so people literally stopped celebrating Jesus' birth because they didn't get any presents.
  7. Absolutely abysmal jokes, especially from Charlee.
  8. Krad makes for a poor villain, his motivations for stealing Santa's sack are because Santa stopped punishing naughty kids with coal, so he comes off as a bit petty.
  9. Dart's dream to be able to fly is insanely predictable; from hearing him mention it for the first time, you just know he'll learn the ability when circumstances call for it.
  10. Most of the acting is horrendous, especially from Ed Asner and Norm MacDonald.
  11. Jay Leno doesn't fit as a narrator, his voice sounds too standard, and he never shuts up. He constantly explains what's going on and intrudes on the story to the point where you almost have no choice but to say "shut up, Leno."
  12. The film has a lot of wasted talent, but none more than Shirley Jones. Her great, operatic singing voice is put to use on maybe the worst song of the movie.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. As previously stated, the idea of mixing the Santa story with the Nativity isn't that bad, and it could work in another film.
  2. Madison Davenport and Shirley Jones (despite the misuse) are actually good singers and do a decent job in their acting roles.
  3. There are a couple of funny scenes.
  4. The idea of naughty children being turned into lifeless mining drones is honestly great, even if a bit poorly executed.