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Saving Santa (3D)


Stars: Voices: Martin Freeman, Tim Curry, Joan Collins, Tim Conway, Pam Ferris, Noel Clarke, Ashley Tisdale

Director: Leon Goosen, Aaron Seelman

A Christmas cartoon caper aimed squarely at pre-schoolers, although 90 per cent of the tots will surely be baffled by its plot.

Bernard D Elf (Freeman) is an unlucky inventor at Santa Claus's North Pole HQ; Bernard's brainchildren, however, would probably be wondrous inventions if it weren't for the intervention of bumbling members of the Board. So poor Bernard has been reduced to scooping the poop of Santa's reindeer (cue for a few under-five giggles and nose-holding).

But, when Santa's hologram-concealed realm is invaded by Neville Baddington (Curry), head of the Quickest Delivery Service - whose scheming mother (Collins) is out to steal the secrets of Santa's sleigh and how it delivers all Christmas presents in one night - and Claus himself is captured, it's up to Bernard, who has seen Santa's secret time-travel globe, to come to the rescue.

From here on in, things get bewilderingly complicated, ending with three different versions of Bernard D Elf running round in three different time zones at the same time - or something approaching that - before two of his 'failed' inventions save the day.

There are a few rubbish songs here and there, gamely sung above and beyond the call by Freeman, and a passing attempt at a female interest which doesn't amount to much. The 3D is superfluous in bringing a colourful North Pole to life, but, without really understanding it, very small children will be tolerably entertained.

David Quinlan

India/USA/UK 2013. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope. Colour (unspecified).
81 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Nov 2013