Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Short Review of 'Prep & Landing'


Prep & Landing, a 30-minute animated short from Walt Disney Animation Studios, just premiered on ABC, and it was great. It follows the adventure of what happens to one elf when he gets himself, temporarily, on the naughty list.


While the story is a bit cliche with the "guy wants a promotion but ends up forgetting about it when he learns his lesson" theme, the overall special was wonderful. It took an exceptionally unique twist on the world of Santa and the elves with high tech gear cleverly connected with traditional Christmas keywords and names for things.


The reindeer were funny and all of the character designs were very quirky and cool. The animation was also unique and great. The whole Christmas special felt very "John Lasseter" to me with its formulaic plot and focus on character. The score by Michael Giacchino was also great--he managed to work multiple, recognizable Christmas tunes into a score that fit the action perfectly. Other tie-ins to Christmas, such as the classic Nat King Cole Chirstmas Song and a TV playing Mickey's A Christmas Carol made the special even better.


While not perfect, I'll certainly watch Prep & Landing again before Christmas. Even though the plot was lacking, the characters were unique, the animation was flawless, the score was wonderful, and its premise was very clever and interesting. You'll definitely want to check out the first 30-minute TV Christmas special to ever come out of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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