Hot chocolate squirt guns, an army of snowmen and mistletoe missiles are probably not the first things that come to mind when one thinks of a heart-warming Christmas tale. And yet, Santa vs. the Snowman manages to transcend the traditional cute family film genre by incorporating more mature, entertaining material and radiant imagery.
Santa vs. the Snowman opens with the lonely snowman, unable to speak and friendless, playing a sad tune on his flute. While returning to the North Pole, Santa races along through the sky over the poor snowman, disturbing him and causing his flute to shatter. The snowman decides to follow Santa's trail, ultimately discovering the massive village of toys and loyal servants. Attempting to take a new flute for himself, he sets off the alarm system, which triggers a legion of elves designed to hunt down the perpetrator. Infuriated, jealous and without flute, the snowman decides to wage war on Santa with "Project Blizzard."
"Project Blizzard" is perhaps the most hilarious part of Santa vs. the Snowman. The snowman creates snowman minions formed out of ice cubes, constituting an entire army of snowmen ready to wage war against Santa. In turn, Santa fires back with his band of elves and all-out war ensues.
Younger children won't be scared by the mild violence and the exciting fight scene that recalls Star Wars will amuse older audience members. Adults can also look forward to sly jokes (discussing women, one elf says to another, "Why buy the igloo when you're getting the ice for free") that are sure to pass over little ones' heads. Everyone will enjoy the visuals and jolly ambiance found in the film.
The only disappointments are its short running time and the narrow release of its 3D format. At barely forty minutes, Santa vs. the Snowman does not overstay its welcome like a lot of other films, but instead it leaves one yearning for more. Also, the dazzling 3D visuals are not available in Calgary, only in larger cities. With the aid of 3D goggles, Santa vs. the Snowman would have been a true spectacle to observe.
Santa vs. the Snowman succeeds in being an unorthodox holiday film whose charm stands out above the many other themed films out there.