Father Christmas (1991 film)

Father Christmas (1991 film)

"Father Christmas" is a 1991 animated short based on two books written by Raymond Briggs: "Father Christmas" and "Father Christmas Goes on Holiday", published in 1973 and 1975 respectively. It was first aired in 1991 by the BBC, nine years after "The Snowman", another animated Briggs adaptation. It is suggested by a scene in the movie that the two films take place in the same universe. It also is possible this movie takes place a year after The Snowman because the boy can be seen wearing the scarf Father Christmas gave him.

Father Christmas is voiced by comedian Mel Smith, and portrayed as the stereotypical vision of Santa Claus, albeit rather more grumpy than one would perhaps expect. This movie was dedicated to the late actor John McGuire.


"Father Christmas" centres around the prospect of what Santa does with himself "the other 364 days of the year", along with his annual delivery of presents to children around the world. The film starts with Father Christmas coming back from his annual Christmas Eve run, and relaxing in his home with his cat and dog. He then breaks the fourth wall, explaining that his unwinding is well deserved, contrary to popular belief. He cites the care of his reindeer, his garden, and shopping among others as activities that take up his time. Because of his strenuous lifestyle, he explains that in the past year he decided to take a vacation.

In a flashback, it is shown that after bringing home brochures, and audibly considering Italy, Greece, Ireland, Holland, Canada, Germany, Tunisia, Switzerland, he finally settled on France. However, when he imagines all of the things he'll be able to do there (most notably camping in a rainstorm), he decides on the need for a camper van. He converts his sled into one, which takes a considerable amount of time, leading to the neglect of his cat and dog. While he is working, he also has secondary language tapes playing in French.

After packing and putting his pets in a boarding kennel, he flies off to France. After doing some shopping, he realizes that he looks too much like a tourist and buys some new clothes, although this does not help much. He then goes to a restaurant, and orders some of everything. This leads to a series of severe bowel movements all through the night. In the morning, he realizes that his reindeer are attracting some attention, even leading to speculation that he's Father Christmas. He decides that it's time to move on. After pondering, he decides on Scotland because of the water.

Unfazed by the rain, he goes to a bar. The following morning, he finds the weather considerably better, and he takes a swim in the nearby lake. The water is very cold, as well as shark infested. "Time to move on" again, and he picks Las Vegas as his next stop because it is well-known to be warm and dry, two things that were untrue during his stay Scotland.

He stays at Nero's Palace, a spoof of Caesars Palace. He stays there for over a month, enjoying the casino, pool, room service, entertainment, golf courses, and cuisine extensively. After a kid suspects that he is Father Christmas, he packs up and goes home, but not before paying the large hotel bill.

He comes back to an overgrown garden, and after he picks up his dog and cat, he finds a pile of letters inside his door that for a short time bars his entrance. He starts sifting through them, commenting on all of the different names that children call him. Shortly thereafter, a postman delivers more bags of post. There is more looking at letters amongst daily activities, and then a truck comes and dumps an entire load of post on the ground. After he's finished with the post, he picks up his suit from the dry cleaners and goes to sleep. After dreaming of relaxing in a pool surrounded by women back in Vegas, his alarm goes off and he gets ready to go out.

He then makes his rounds delivering presents, with a snack break in the middle. There is a thunderstorm, fog, and of course heavy snow that he has to deal with. He stumbles in on a party, and he also delivers presents to an igloo (he goes in the front).

After he's finished, he goes to the annual snowman's party. When he's there he sees the young boy and his snowman from The Snowman, and invites them to go and see his reindeer that are being kept in a stable. However, they quickly find out that he has forgotten to deliver some presents, no less than Her Majesty the Queen's. He quickly flies off again, and barely makes it to the palace in time, arriving at 6:00 AM.

He then flies back home, coming out of the flashback. After putting a turkey in the oven, taking a bath, and giving his pets presents, he opens up presents from his relatives. Then he climbs into bed, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. The camera then zooms out to the immediate area where children can be heard opening presents on Christmas morning.

External links

*imdb title|title=Father Christmas|id=0180691
* [http://www.toonhound.com/briggsfather.htm Father Christmas on Toonhound.com]

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