11/30/07

RVOD011 A Visit to Santa

(1960s/1970s-ish, Children-Holiday/Short, color)

Riffers:


Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy

Is unceasing tedium a variety of Christmas spirit?

Rating: **

In a nutshell:

Two kids visit Santa and have boring adventures at the North Pole.

Summary:

Mike looks a little too happy in this picture, especially considering Bill's the one who's about to score with the hot elf twins.Ann has written a letter to Santa, asking if she and her brother Dick can visit the North Pole this year. Santa decides to grant their wish and sends an elf to pick them up in his magic helicopter. One short flight later (consisting of a sound effect traveling across a drawing), the children arrive in Santa’s suburban home-style throne room, and the tour begins. Shopping mall animatronics are up first, heavily implied to be Santa’s robotic work force. Then we’re off to stare at model trains until it’s time to go home. Santa ends the visit with a little speech about the true meaning of Christmas, which the sound editor inexplicably cuts off mid-word.

Thoughts:


The first thing you’ll notice is that this short was made by someone with less resources and film experience than you. (Yes, you. All of you. Even if you’re an eleven-year-old Pakistani child with a horrible speech impediment.) The reception room scenes were filmed in someone’s living room, the traveling scenes at the local Christmas parade, the factory scenes at a mall, the train scenes in someone’s basement, and the helicopter scene in a drawing by someone’s five-year-old. The sound’s bad, but no matter; the diction is horrible anyway. Your average elementary school play has better acting, and every single parent-made video recording of it has higher production values. The short’s only redeeming feature is its twelve minute running time.

Mike, Bill, and Kevin do their usual funny thing to relieve the monotony. After a minute or two of garbled dialogue, Bill says, “I swear it’s like some Carpathian dialect.” As the narrator pops in an out of stilted verse, Kevin says, “The rhyme scheme just took a lunch break.” As the short finally stumbles to a close, Mike continues Santa’s unfinished speech with, “Have a very creepy Christmas!” and then laughs maniacally. They manage to get us through it, but the short isn’t really entertaining enough to holds up its end.