If cheery singing elves and a talking reindeer can’t get you in the Christmas spirit, then nothing will. Saving Santa combines cheesy songs with a simple storyline, all wrapped up with Christmas cheer making for a truly festive family film.
Bernard (voiced by Martin Freeman) is a round-stomached, rosy-cheeked elf who spends his days bumbling around the reindeer stables. But this small elf dreams big; Bernard is also a talented inventor whose track record of gadgets have been unsuccessful to say the least. When Bernard presents his latest crazy creation to the Chief Elf Inventor he manages to cause a power cut, leading to the shield which disguises Santa’s workshop to stop working, making its whereabouts identifiable to Santa’s enemy, Nevil Baddington (Tim Curry). When Nevil kidnaps Santa (Tim Conway) it’s up to Bernard to prove that not all his gadgets cause total carnage. Can he save Santa in time for Christmas?
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) couldn’t have suited the role as Bernard more; his chirpy voice brings charisma and personality to Bernard’s loveable character. It has to be said, Freeman doesn’t strike you as someone who can sing, which makes hearing his tuneful voice even more of a surprise in Saving Santa. Sadly the songs do not make the most of his voice; with a catchy tune and some memorable lyrics, Freeman could have shown us what he’s got. Perhaps the songs are just not as polished as the well-loved, sugar-coated Disney tunes we are so familiar with in animated films.
Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) seems to have perfected the art of portraying evil super villains; a wicked cackle combined with cold-hearted quips make for a very menacing nemesis. Curry’s recognisable nasal-heavy voice perfectly suits his character Nevil Baddington; a winging, whiny villain who does his best to impress his boss – who also happens to be his mother.
The festive atmosphere is very much apparent in the graphic effects of Saving Santa. The elf village looks exactly as you would expect if such a place existed; snow-topped houses, a starry sky and the sound of jingle bells ringing in the air. Anything different just wouldn’t seem right.
If you’re looking for a fun, festive film which will make you smile and get you in the Christmas spirit, then Saving Santa is for you. With its simple storyline, loveable characters and Lapland-inspired backdrop, Saving Santa is an hour of light relief – exactly what you might need during the chaotic Christmas period.
Saving Santa is out on DVD