Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Christmas Countdown: Film #10 - Father Christmas & Film #11 - Muppet Christmas Carol

I've fallen a little behind in my Christmas film write-ups. We've actually managed to watch almost ten Christmas films since the weekend, so while we're well on track to get finished before Christmas, I'm needing to pull my socks up if I'm going to get a little review posted for each film!

Following on from the last films we watched, during one of our marathon sessions where we watched about three in quick succession, we saw Father Christmas. Now I know that I'd seen this one before, I could remember it very clearly, but I couldn't say exactly when it was that I saw it. I've definitely not watched it in the last ten years or so.
Our copy is very conveniently a double set with both Father Christmas and The Snowman on the one disc. I think of the two, I kind of like Father Christmas slightly more. It seems to be a little more for the parents than for the children.

I like the idea of Father Christmas living in a little suburban terraced house with his reindeer, dog and cat, deciding to take a bit of time to himself and have a holiday. And what a holiday! Overeating in France, gambling in Las Vegas and, my personal favourite, spending some time in rainy Scotland.
I prefer the animation in Father Christmas to that in The Snowman. It's more modern and somehow cleaner. As much as I love The Snowman, the animation has a flickering quality to it, Father Christmas is smoother and easier to watch.

I do also love the little nod to The Snowman, at the Snowmen's party, it ties the two together very nicely. It's been a long time since I've had anyone small enough to share the two books with, but I'm thinking it's time I got hold of a couple of copies for the future.

The second film that we watched on Saturday - yes, it's taken me that long to get around to writing these up - was my personal favourite Christmas film; The Muppet Christmas Carol. I've managed to watch this film pretty much every Christmas for as long as I can remember, pretty impressive considering that I didn't own a copy of it until it came out on DVD.
Over the years I've bought about three different versions of the DVD, each time hoping that they will have replaced the missing song which can be seen in most televised versions of the film and which is present on the video. When Love Is Gone is one of my favourite songs in the whole film and the scene where is missing really feels incomplete without it.

But aside from that, it's a wonderful film and despite all the other versions of the tale that we've watched so far this year, it's still my favourite version. I'm a huge fan of the Muppets anyway, but I love the way that they are fairly seamlessly integrated into Dickensian London for the story.

Perhaps because I've seen it so many times, but for me, Michael Caine is Scrooge. Whenever I read A Christmas Carol it's Michael Caine that I'm picturing. I think he does a fantastic job acting alongside the Muppets and from the deleted scenes on the DVD it looks as though he enjoyed himself making the film.

Normally I would watch it about once a week in the run up to Christmas but this year it looks as though I'll just be seeing it once because we've not got the time to watch each film multiple times. But at least I've got a copy of the soundtrack now, so we can keep replaying that for the rest of the year!

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Let me know what you think. :-)