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STUDIO: Genius Products
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 189 min
Interview with Author Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett gets British kids to believe in The Hogfather.
Marc Warren, Ian Richardson, Michelle Dockery, Joss Ackland and David Warner
I want an entire movie about Energy Turtle and his Elephant buddies.
The Hogfather takes place on Discworld. This parallel Earth has a special kind of Santa Claus. His name is The Hogfather and he drives a hog-powered sled to drop off Hogwatch presents for kids. The problem is that a plot is afoot to assassinate the Hogfather. This attracts the attention of Death and the Tooth Fairy.
Meet Piggy Blurface.
Terry Pratchett has a good thing going with Discworld. Sure, there’s some freaky shit like the space turtle and the elephants, but I’ll let one of the fantasy nerds explain that one to me. What I did take from it and what keeps the film from being a complete loss is the central message conveyed by the show’s second part. We need belief to keep us human.
The Hogfather celebrates the belief of the absurd, the holy and the profane. Being willing to accept the little lies will prepare humanity for the bigger ones to come. I love what this suggests and it’s so subversive for a kids’ show. Basically, Pratchett is using Santa Claus to teach children about the absurdity of believing there’s something past what they see. But, by accepting the illusions and fantasy of their flat little world, something better will be obtained. They’ll become self-aware.
Seven months, two days and twenty one hours, people.
The film looks great, especially for a British television production. CG works looks crisp with very little faulty imagery. Throw in a couple of quality British television and B-List actors and you’ve got an event. It’s a shame that we can’t get fantasy adaptations of this caliber. Hell, I’d just kill for something above Sci-Fi Channel original standards. That’s not asking a lot.
The film demands a certain knowledge of Pratchett’s work. Upon finishing the film, I was left with a ton of questions. The film takes no time to explain away certain things such as why the Earth is flat and how could Death have a granddaughter. It’s a big jumble and one that leaves you wondering where to start. But, it’s a fun journey.
Only in a fantasy movie can this guy be considered a badass.
The Hogfather comes to DVD with a decent release. You get the show encoded on one disc with an interview and theatrical trailer as the only special features. Considering the long run-time of the show, that’s pretty impressive. I wish that they could’ve sprung for a second disc and thrown a couple of more special features on there. But, then I realized that I wasn’t that crazy over the film.
The A/V Quality is pretty impressive. You get a transfer with virtually no digital noise. Toss on an amazing Dolby Digital 5. 1 surround track and you’re set. I don’t know how you could really improve upon that. Well, there’s always room for better special features.
In the end, The Hogfather is an acquired taste. Long-time fans of Pratchett will be thrilled to see this adaptation of his beloved books. I was a little put off by the oddness of Discworld, but I attribute that to this being my first time with Pratchett’s material. Still, it’s an entertaining rental for kids in between Harry Potter fixes. God bless the British for keeping the tykes entertained for the past decade.
So….who’s up for a bump?