“Gotta Catch Santa Claus” DVD Review

One of the PR companies for the creators of a new CGI_Animated Holiday Movie, “Gotta Catch Santa Claus” sent me the DVD, which features William Shatner as the voice of Santa, to preview and review. In a nutshell, the storyline is about Trevor, a 12 year old tween who recruits his two nerdy science geek friends to prove Santa does exist to this cute little girl he is crushing on but who doesn’t believe in Santa. They eventually succeed in doing just that, catching Santa, smack in the middle of Santa’s Christmas eve romp. Using a laser device Trevor’s wacky astronomer/scientist parents conveniently left hanging around unattended, Trevor & pals intercept a plan by a 100 year old goofball ice monster LeFreeze and his snowmen henchmen who were also trying to take out Santa for good themselves. Apparently, LeFreeze, from a new Ice Planet Trev’s parents discovered and who was awakened after 100 years, has a grudge with Santa and tries every 100 years to finally put Santa to bed, permanently. [Insert evil laugh here]
My challenge: Review the movie with a range of children, my kids
Cast of challengers: Me & My kids A.k.A. The Mischiefmakers
The Reviewers: Me eager working mom, blogger, wife
Cboy aka “the Tween” (7 ): cynical and snarky kid who is into video games, computers, tech gadgets & is too smart for his own good sometimes and other than an occasional Spongebob or classic Tom & Jerry, has moved on to kids shows with real people in them like iCarly (which I think is a bit too old for him, but that’s another post for another day)
Jboy aka the “Middle boy” (4) : classic angst-filled middle kid who has a wonderful imagination, is curious, energetic & loves movies and has the patience to sit through a movie 1 hour long or more
GG aka the “Toddler” (22 months): typical toddler who is easily entertained by moving sound, objects and music. She’s along for the ride.

With the toddler balanced on one knee gnawing on my rubber cell phone cover and the middle child barely staying on my other knee, we start the movie after I call up a dozen times for snarky 7 year old who thinks he’s too cool for a Santa movie to come up from the basement and review the movie with us. Reluctantly, Cboy watches the movie in true “teenage protest style” while sitting on the steps and peering into the room where we’re watching.

It starts with Trevor introducing the show and how it’s different than other movies….screeeech…before we get there, I must mention that the movie had 4 previews/trailers of other upcoming features which my 4-year old especially DID NOT APPRECIATE. He kept asking, “when is the movie going to start mom?” I eventually forwarded past the scenes, but it was a bit irksome to have to do that especially when there was an option to see the trailers in the menu screen. They would be better left there so that parents can “opt in” to see them rather having to “opt out”.

Anyway, it was a fun movie to watch (in my adult mind) because it was cute and I really enjoyed the voices of the characters singing the original songs in the movie, especially the character Veronica, the little hottie Trevor’s trying to convince Santa really exists. If there was a big lesson about anything in there that children were supposed to come away with, I missed it, but the CGI technology gave it a 3-D effect that I could appreciate, and so could the kids because the extra dimensions were eye catching.

The toddler loved the songs and bopped her head along. There were enough moving characters, actions and sequences to keep her attention for 35 out of the 66 minutes the movie ran. Not bad.

The Tween couldn’t help be snarky throughout the movie. “They’re trying to catch Santa,” I announce at the beginning of the movie. “I know, I just read that a second ago on the screen.” he retorts back. When did this kid turn into a full out teenager, I’m thinking at this point. Also, 10 minutes into the film after disappearing with the DVD box into his corner stair watching point, he comes back, sticks the DVD box in my face and says”see here, the entire plot is explained, can I go now? I get it.” Sheesh. “No!” I tell him. He returns after each song sequence to point out that this is one of 6 songs that is in the movie cause “he read it on the box” (then would proceed to point out the notation on the box indicating that there are “6 Jolly Jammin’ Songs!”)

Well, good thing I made him sit through it, eventually he did get into a couple of the scenes especially the action packed ones when the boys actually shoot Santa from the sky and the snow ball fight between LeFreeze and his snowmen and Trevor, Veronica and kids. So in the end, it did appeal to the Tween but only after being strong-armed to.

The movie was best suited for 4-year old Middle Boy. He sat still through all 66 minutes, bopped his head and hummed at the songs and followed all of the action, activity and dialogue from beginning to end. The perfect demographic for the DVD. Overall, it was a cute story, had fun characters and catchy pop tunes to keep young children entertained.

Oh and I did get a kick out of how young, svelt and sexy Mrs. Claus was and wondered if William Shatner had any say in insisting he get a hottie wife if he were going to play a fat Santa! ha!

Good DVD! I give it a Bellyitch Bump up!

check out the Trailer below!

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