Based on Terry Pratchett's worldwide best selling fantasy
book, Hogfather is set on the semi-medieval but strangely
familiar Discworld. And the Hogfather (you know, the jolly
fat man) who delivers presents to the kiddies at Christmas
at the midwinter festival of Hogswatch has gone missing. But
it's vital that all the presents are delivered, otherwise
the sun won't rise tomorrow. However, there is another supernatural
entity who can be everywhere at once and, most importantly,
knows where everybody lives. He is Death, but with a false
beard and a few cushions that he reckons might just work...
I am not the world's greatest lover of Terry Pratchett. I've
never managed to get the whole way through one of his Discworld
books and I've never understood what all the fuss was about.
In my eyes he is another one trick pony - like Douglas Adams
- who has managed to keep his head down and, effectively,
write the same book over and over again for years hoping that
no one will notice.
when Hogfather landed in my in-tray I didn't know what
to think. I decided that I'd pretend it wasn't based on a
Pratchett book and see what happened. In all honesty I have
to admit that this is one of the best pieces of festive family
entertainment I've seen in a long time. This is a classic
waiting to be.
has one of the best lines I've heard in a family show, when
Death despairs at humans, saying: "In a universe full
of wonders they have managed to invent boredom." It also
has a very grown-up conclusion too - with the reason why mankind
needs to believe in the Hogfather being put under the spotlight.
are some wonderful performances by some well respected actors
and it was interesting to hear, in one of the featurettes
in this collection, that David Jason relished the chance to
sit back and play second fiddle to another actor (Marnix Van
Den Broeke playing Death) reacting to his performance instead
of wading in there and demanding centre stage. While some
will argue that any tall guy could have played Death, I beg
to differ. If you watch the extras you'll discover just how
subtle a performance the actor gives. There are scenes here
that are genuinely touching and I can't help but think how
a different actor could have easily messed it up. Of course
it helps having the voice of Ian Richardson too.
only character I was slightly unsure of was Marc Warren's
Teatime. I suppose that as a kids film he plays it at the
right level. But there was just a little too much of Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang's Child Catcher in there.
sure this DVD is best viewed over the Christmas period (empty
Easter Egg wrappers still litter my desk as I write this review),
but then I'm sure fans will welcome watching this all year
are pretty impressive too. These include 12 Days of Hogswatch
(12 4-minute featurettes looking at different characters and
themes from Hogfather); The Whole Hog (46 mins
making of featurette that is split into three segments); three
deleted scenes; galleries and trailers for other releases.
Pratchett fans will love this, and it may just attract a lot
of new fans that have previously turned their backs on Pratchett.
I know that I'll be trying once again to get in tune with