It's funny how I can still see and understand how people could not like this movie but yet I myself was absolutely taken by it and pretty much enjoyed every minute of it.

Perhaps I'm simply glad to see the direction animated movies continue to take. They are not only improving technically and visually but they also continue to take its audiences seriously. They manage to come up with creative stuff over and over again but more importantly, they successfully cater their movies toward all age groups and demographics. I like it that more and more animated movies can be enjoyed just as much by adults as kids and the movies are not longer as childish, by featuring all types of cuddly characters and safe jokes and humor.

And this movie also definitely features some special, non-fluffy, characters. It features all kinds of well known holiday related characters and turns them into sort of action heroes, with each their own powers and specialties. It's an interesting and original take on the holiday related type of movies, that always get released around this time of the year. It still features the same sort of holiday spirit and messages in it but it gets delivered in a far more original- and therefore also more effective, kind of way.

Also the comedy definitely feels more 'adult' and is mostly visually orientated. The movie besides isn't afraid to become a bit of a dark one at times, which perhaps still was the biggest surprise of this movie.

I do believe though that because of its storytelling, some people are just not going to like this movie all that much. It's incredibly fast paced and doesn't waste any time on anything. The movie never really slows down and things get explained as the movie goes along. It took a while to get accustomed to but perhaps it's just something you have to surrender yourself to and just go along with the ride. If you are looking for more detailed storytelling or an animated movie with different plot lines, this is simply not the movie for you to watch.

Thing you could also say though is that because of its storytelling, the movie features far less distractions in it. Perhaps the story feels simplistic to some but to others it might come across as simply a more focused one. I for one definitely liked it that the movie didn't featured any of formulaic distractions in it, such as a love-story or a funny sidekick.

Thing I also really liked was the musical score, that surprisingly enough got composed by Alexandre Desplat. Not really the kind of composer you would expect a good and uplifting action score from but with this movie he really delivers. It sounded more like a John Powell type of score, who normally is also the guy that always does the music for DreamWorks' animated movies but probably had no time or interest for this one.

A great looking and original, animated holiday movie, that I wouldn't mind seeing again.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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