A fine Christmas Day we have. I’m writing this Christmas Eve while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”, but it’ll go up Christmas Day. Might be a stretch, but what 19 year old do you know that actually watches that movie? Who am I kidding, I shouldn’t lump my generation into one group.
Anyway, this time I’ll be writing a quick rant about The Christmas Elves, a 1995 Christmas movie made by Golden Films based on the tale of the Shoemaker and the Elves. I watched it a few weeks ago on Tubi, the streaming land of both popular movies and sad obscure ones that either never got to see the light or were too bad to grasp it.
The Story: In the a distant kingdom, the King does everything he can to get the finest shoes. Unfortunately, that means raising taxes, getting into debt, and then later selling a bunch of land. Meanwhile, a man named Hans takes in a thieving boy as his apprentice and later finds out shoes are being made in his sleep. Despite never making shoes before, people believe the beautiful shoes are his, and so they pay him for them. Hans becomes a famous shoemaker around his parts, even better than the King’s shoemaker.
However, his wife becomes suspicious that he’s just able to make shoes in his sleep and convinces him to stay up on look out. As it turns out, a couple of elves, training to be apart of Santa’s crew, have been making the shoes. He confronts them, however, just as they leave, they accidently transport him back to their base.
He finds a elf training base not in the North Pole, as only elves that work with Santa get to live in the North Pole. The elves that make his shoes are a bit of misfits with no real chance of being with Santa. The head elf puts Hans to sleep just as Santa arrives, fearful of him seeing a human finding out about the base, and later sends him back home.
Hans wakes up and remembers the whole thing, due to one of the elf’s cloth being in his pocket, and makes new cloths for the elves. The elves come back, but they are unsure if they should help him now that Hans knows. However, they want to give their gratitude and end up giving Hans magic to continue making shoes. And so they leave.
Some time later, the dumb King, after promising a ham to a maid and to be a royal, sends for guards to Hans in order for him to make the finest shoes by Christmas…unless he wants to be imprisoned. Unfortunately, Hans wanted to make shoes for his apprentice. He stays up all night, until he wakes up realizing he didn’t make the shoes. The guards come and take him from his wife to rot forever.
However, the elves came back and made the shoes, sending it to the king and releasing him. The King puts on the shoes, but they take control of him and make him a nicer person against his will. The elves that help Hans become Santa’s elves, as they realize that them giving Hans the magic he needs despite it being against the rules is the true meaning of Christmas. The movie ends with them being on the back of Santa’s sleigh as they ride out the night.
I was coming into this film thinking it was either gonna be bad or okay enough to like it. Afterwards, I came up with the latter. The film’s charm and wit made for a good Christmas film. I’m not sure if its true, but the animation is exactly like the animation from “Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer.” The voice actors and actresses did a pretty good job, even if the movie didn’t credit them. That’s why the IMBD is pretty barren.
The story is fine, but the wit and performances made for a fun sit-on-the-couch Christmas film to watch with my family. It tells of the heart of doing something for others, from Hans helping his apprentice to the elves helping him with shoes, and the evil of greed. Seriously, the king got his kingdom in debt for shoes. Good lookin shoes but still! It’s like some classmates I used to know would seriously spend so much on dang shoes.
Other than that, there isn’t much else to say about the film. It’s short, about 48 minutes, and I can’t much say about the original tale since I never read it. However, I did enjoy it, and I think it did its job as a solid Christmas movie. If you have a Roku, Tubi, and some time on this Christmas Day, I say take a chance and give the movie a shot. It might become a new holiday tradition for you.
Well, after all that, I leave you with a Merry Christmas. The end of the world might be around us, but I think this Christmas can be a time to remind us of the holly and jolly that we can share together…of course at a distance. It might be wishful thinking, but someone’s gotta dream a little. Anyway, happy holidays and pray for a White Christmas wherever you are.