- Directors: Dave Unwin
- Producers: John Coates
- Format: PAL
- Subtitles: None
- Dubbed: None
- Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: None
- Audio Description: None
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: U
- Studio: Universal Pictures UK
- DVD Release Date: 3 Nov. 2008
- Run Time: 26 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B001G55AG2
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,275 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Father Christmas [DVD]
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An enduringly popular animated Christmas tale from the children's author Raymond Briggs. Father Christmas (voiced by Mel Smith) is a rather grumpy old soul who just wants a quiet holiday away from it all. Unfortunately, everywhere he goes he is recognized by a small child. When the holiday is over, it's back to the grindstone, and he's off on his whirlwind Christmas delivery tour.
This is a story of what it is really like to be Father Christmas. Raymond Briggs' grumpy but lovable Father Christmas, hero of two highly popular books, is now the star of an hilarious animated film. After his blooming marvellous holiday, Father Christmas and his reindeer are up and away on their whirlwind Christmas delivery tour. The voice of Father Christmas is provided by actor and comedian Mel Smith.
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Top customer reviews
The story is based on two children's books by Raymond Briggs: "Father Christmas" (first published in 1973, hence the 40th Anniversary sticker from the 2013 DVD re-release of the 1991 animation) and its sequel,"Father Christmas Goes On Holiday". The film adaptation reverses the order of the books to tell the story of a good-hearted but under-appreciated Father Christmas who wants the world to know just how difficult life really is being him. To wit, he introduces the story of what happened when he tried to take a well-earned, relaxing holiday. After we've been shown how it really didn't go to plan, we then see Father Christmas launch into what we all know him for: the delivery of presents around the world on Christmas Eve. Again, our beleaguered hero (which I feel he can be so called), encounters all kinds of difficulties on the way.
It must be said that there is a fair bit of what some might consider to be rather grown-up content and cynicism in the script. Scenes depict gambling and excessive alcohol consumption and there is prolific use of the mild oath 'blooming' by Father Christmas himself, all of which might be considered inappropriate for some children. I've grown up watching this my whole life, since before I can remember, and I never had trouble with it. No two children are the same and it should be considered as a matter of discretion by parents and guardians.
In the film's defence, Father Christmas (FC henceforth) is clearly portrayed as being good, even if he's flawed and grumpy. Whenever FC indulges to excess, the negative consequences are shown and clearly enough that my 3-year-old Monday could tell he'd been a bit naughty without any prompting from my parents. Despite his flaws, the film shows (in its second half) just how far FC is prepared to go to ensure the happiness of every child on Christmas Day, battling time, weather, obstacles, age and mistakes to make people happy. The film doesn't present magic as a convenient remedy to all problems, either; the flying reindeer are simply a matter of fact and it's hard work and perseverance that win the day. What's more, it's a largely thankless task, but he does it anyway, every year, without fail. If that isn't a good Christmas message, I don't know what is.
This is not the story of the right jolly old elf Santa Claus. This is the story of a very British old man who, despite everything, wants to make everyone happy. Yes, there are elements of the story some might find objectionable but I love it and won't hesitate to share it with my children, if/when I have them, right from the start of their lives. In fact, I'd share it with all the children everywhere, in the whole, wide, blooming world!
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Most recent customer reviews
I loved it as a child . It was my favourite Christmas classic . Much more fun than the placid snowman .Read more