Thursday, December 10, 2009

Prep & Landing lands gracefully

    Disney launched a new Christmas special this week on ABC called Prep & Landing.  I don't want to overplay it, but I think it will become an oft-rerun show.  It stars Dave Foley's (News Radio) voice as Wayne, an elf who has been on Santa's prep and landing crew, the advance team to prepare homes for the big guy, for well over two hundred years and is ready for a promotion.  He assumes he will naturally get one, but when he is passed over in favor of his partner, whom he trained, he loses his Christmas spirit.  Assigned a new partner, Lanny (Derek Richardson, Men in Trees), Wayne slacks off and disaster strikes.  Though it was only twenty-two minutes, Wayne still found time to save the day and remember what his job is all about, of course.

     The animation was reminiscent of Toy Story, and the humor is as well.  It brings to mind when Disney made good cartoons, as have been lacking lately, unless the Pixar name is attached as well.  Perhaps the company had something to prove before their new movie, The Princess and the Frog, comes out this Christmas.  If so, it was a good move.

      This special was totally appropriate for the entire family, and even us older people will find plenty to smile about.  The characters are fun, the pacing is perfect, and the story has heart.  Rounding out the cast are Magee, the control center elf, voiced by Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), and the little boy in the house, Timmy (Mason Vale Cotton of Desperate Housewives).  All in all, I do recommend it, and give it about an A-.  Check it out!

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