Looking for some fun this Christmas that will also make a great gift for animated film fans? Then by all means pick up the PREP & LANDING series that arrives in time for Christmas. It features both the original PREP & LANDING and the new short NAUGHTY VS. NICE. The package features both standard DVD and Blu-ray and includes a number of extra features that are as entertaining as the specials themselves. Included are several other short shorts that involve the elves including SECRET SANTA and TINY'S BIG ADVENTURE, a training film for prospective elves, a North Pole newsreel, hilarious commercials for the North Pole viewers (like Elf-Date.com and The Fruitcake Factory), a behind the scenes look at Grace Potter as she makes a song for the toons and does one of the voices and a behind the scenes look at how the programs are made.
PREP & LANDING/NAUGHTY BUT NICE
Every year a new crop of holiday specials makes it to television, sometimes trying to capture the magic of Christmas but more often than not trying to make some sort of statement instead. The best/worst example of this is the Frosty sequel more concerned with climate change than a Christmas tale. But now and again a new show arrives that has the potential of being a great new holiday treat. The Prep & Landing shows are just that.
The first one, PREP & LANDING, works for both children and adults. The prep & landing teams are elves that make sure things are set for Santa's arrival. They make certain kids are asleep, areas are ready for toys and the landing strip on the roof is cleared and marked for Santa's sleigh. The best elf to handle this is Wayne who thinks he's being promoted this year. Instead he's kept at the job and given a trainee named Lanny.
Disappointed, Wayne doesn't exactly take to the job as well. When Lanny makes a few mistakes, everything from messing up the Christmas tree to losing part of the landing strip, Wayne must find his Christmas spirit once again and come to the rescue.
The show plays out like Mission Impossible with elves replacing Tom Cruise and his elite team. Gags revolve around the gadgets and techniques used to insure everything goes right. Christmas phrases are inserted for code words and the spirit of Christmas joy finds its way directly into the story.
Christmas is compacted into a 30 program that will offer laughs galore for kids and adults alike. A smile is sure to cross your face while watching this. As in the best of classic cartoons, this computer animated short film offers jokes that the kids will laugh at but that adults will find more subtle humor in to offer a chuckle. It is a rare treat, a new holiday special that delivers the goods.
PREP & LANDING: NAUGHTY VS. NICE
When a naughty child tries to gain access to the equipment used by the North Pole for the naughty list using a stolen device, Wayne and Lanny are assigned to put a stop to it and get it back. Accompanying them is an expert in naughty, a coal elf named Noel, Wayne's little brother.
Noel is much loved and admired by all, a loud and obnoxious sort who seems fun to almost everyone who knows him. Of course this leads to a massive case of sibling rivalry. While Wayne is the older brother, Noel always seems to show him up.
The team takes off, arrives and sets out to save Christmas by retrieving the device. Once there they discover another case of sibling rivalry, one that is about to destroy Christmas itself. In saving this disaster from ruining the holiday, Wayne and Noel learn what being brothers is all about.
This time around not only are the Christmas themes present again but a tale that might help children deal with jealousy at Christmas time unfolds as well. I know, I said earlier that stories that deal with issues ruin Christmas specials. Fortunately here the issue is one that involves Christmas rather than uses it as a backdrop. Best of all the story entertains and offers laughs for both children and adults once more.
I love Christmas. I love Christmas specials having grown up with the classics of the past, from RUDOLPH to the TV series shows that featured Christmas episodes like The Beverly Hillbillies. So to find a new special for the holidays that meets the criteria that I have for one (must be true to the spirit, must be about the holiday and not some political agenda, must entertain, must touch me in some way) makes me feel an incredible amount of joy. I've just added this DVD to my list of must watch movies for the Christmas season. I would suggest that you pick up a copy for your shelf as well.
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