It’s Christmas time and for some of you there are certain movies that you may watch as a family. Some of you have the intestinal fortitude to be able to watch Ralphie and his quest for the elusive Red Ryder BB gun. Some may sit down and watch the classic Christmas cartoons of their youth and have that hidden tear appear as Linus tells Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about, or how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day.
Or you run with Jimmy Stewart down the snow-covered streets of Bedford Falls yelling Merry Christmas to everyone even old man Potter. Maybe you sit down with some hot chocolate and watch the Bingle as he sings about a white Christmas in the Holiday Inn.
Well let me introduce you to my guilty little pleasure come Christmas time. Hogfather. I know, it sounds like something right up there with some sorority house being terrified by a guy in a Santa suit but you would be wrong.
Come meet Discworld a fantasy universe created by Terry Pratchett where the world is a disk that lies upon the back of four elephants that stand on the shell of the Great A’Tuin a turtle that swims through the cosmic sea. And there during the winter time is a similar holiday called Hogswatch where the Hogfather comes in his sleigh drawn by four boars. The Hogfather then gives gifts to good little boys and girls. Which is the problem it seems as Auditors, beings of smoke clad in gray cloaks, can’t stand children believing in the Hogfather so they contract with the guild of assassins to have the Hogfather inhumed. The head of the assassins knows this is going to take a special kind of man so he calls for Jonathan Teatime (pronounced “Teh-ah-time-eh,”). Teatime is in touch with his inner child, that scary one that no one would play with and pulled the wings off of flies, and he know how to kill the Hogfather.
This gets Death involved and Death’s granddaughter Susan, who has left all this supernatural stuff behind and wants to have a normal life, but can’t because she’s Death’s granddaughter. To save the Hogfather children must believe in the Hogfather so Death must dress up as the Hogfather to help the children believe which has some comical results. After all how does one hang that beard with wires for your ears on a skull?
Will the Hogfather be saved? What about Mr. Teatime? For that matter what about Susan will she ever be reconciled to how strange her family is, especially around Hogswatch? You’ll have to watch and find out.
This is a fun film especially if you are a fan of the Terry Pratchett books. Plus there are things in it especially the talks that Death has with Susan that can lend to interesting discussion with your children of teenage years.
Speaking of words there is some swearing in the film, not a lot and some scatological humor. Really young children maybe scared by Mr. Teatime as his appearance is a little offsetting but then again that is the point isn’t it?
I give this film four stars out of five. Give it a try.