Christmas comes early this year…
This film in part fact, part fiction tells how a kindly bishop became known as St. Nicholas and the legend of Father Christmas began.
The Legend of Santa | Official Trailer | Animated Short Film [4K Ultra HD], AMCA Productions Limited
The award-winning and nominated British director and producer, Andrew De Burgh contacted me and asked me to review his short film, The Legend of Santa (2021). This is an animated film for all the family. For this film, he was supported by a talented team of a composer, a children’s author and a team of animators.
It is the latest film production from the multi-talented De Burgh who is also an actor and screenwriter. Andrew De Burgh has also worked in film since 2009 with his live-action movie, The Suicide. He later wrote and directed the highly acclaimed Sci-fi drama and romance film, The Bestowal (2018). De Burgh is also an actor and screenwriter. His acting roles include Steve in Just One Drink (2015) and this has the coveted 100% in Rotten Tomatoes.
Marc Timon who wrote the music has also worked on The Bestowal and television series including Agent Carter (2015). He was nominated for an award for his score for In Absentia (2017). The plot was inspired by the children’s book, A Magical Christmas Adventure by Daniel Colyer. I noticed that another of Colyer’s Christmas themed stories, Christmas Time has also recently been adapted into a film and is now in the pre-production phase. This cartoon was created by a talented crew of animators from Tree Fort Animations.
This film is De Burgh’s debut in directing and producing animation. It was screened at a screening at the 10th annual McMinnville Short Film Festival, earlier this year. De Burgh tells how this film was praised by the Emmy nominated director Cady McClain, who called it a “charming and heart-warming short”.
This sweet Christmas themed cartoon was written without words. The Legend of Santa story starts in 330 AD, in the country now known as Turkey. A generous and kindly bishop (now known as St Nicholas) notices a small child crying alone. This sight makes him sad, and he gives this child a toy doll.
As her smile and happiness return, he’s touched by this scene. He then makes wooden toys for more children and leaves them out for them on windowsills. This as he travels through the town, as the children sleep. He asks their parents, to be quiet so as the children will wake to those heartwarming gifts and keep his identity a secret.
This bishop then sets forth to other countries far and wide, in his horse-driven cart filled with the sack of his handmade toys. The rest of this beautifully told story tells how other familiar elements of this Christmas tale were added to this and in creating this legend. These include his sleigh, his helpers, the North Pole and flying reindeer.
The Legend of Santa is beautifully and imaginatively told in this silent film. Despite no words being spoken, the story in this animation is perfectly conveyed throughout this creative cartoon. Instead, you are able to easily understand the on-screen happenings through the pleasing animation with beautifully painted scenery. The film would appeal to children and adults of all ages.
The use of the characters non-verbal reactions and visual elements tell the story. Time in this cartoon is conveyed through devices such as sand timers, the weather and clocks. Different countries are seen in the use of snowy scenes, different forms of transport and maps showing this man’s journey. All these components are added together to tell this story at a level that would be understood by children and adults with different languages.
The delightful instrumental music accompanying this cartoon complements this story beautifully. This gentle and soothing music was composed by Marc Timon. This film score invites you into this story and it lulls you into watching this transfixing and beautifully drawn animation. The animation and its scenery are coloured in pastel shades that become more colourful as the story continues. Likewise, the accompanying music becomes increasingly more Christmassy in nature as the story progresses.
Although this only a short movie, this story is told effectively. The strong impact from the message for this film lasts long after you’ve watched it, and so just perfect at this length. In the case of less is more, the messages of generosity to others, love and sharing are conveyed beautifully. The length of this story makes be the perfect animation for kids and adults of any age and any concentration level anywhere.
This film would easily add its presence to a TV schedule or school curriculum for those who celebrate Christmas. It’s a real Christmas treat or discussion tool, for anyone from any time or place, to learn in a short and sweet way about the origins of the man, the myth and legend. And this film both comfort and joy, for all those who believe in Father Christmas.
A disclaimer and personal thank you to Andrew De Burgh for asking me to write this post. Financial compensation was not received for this post. However, I received a copy of this film in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed here are my own. I would also like to add that Andrew De Burgh kindly provided these stills and this trailer and personally agreed to me using these in my blog. If you are involved in the entertainment industry and would like to be featured or promoted here, please drop a line to me via my Contact Me Page.