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Santa Who? debuted last year on TV during the holiday season and was produced by Disney. Directed by William Dear, the film stars: Leslie Nielsen (Santa Claus), Steven Eckholdt (Peter Albright), Robyn Lively (Claire), Max Morrow (Zach), and Tommy Davidson (Max).
As an orphan, Peter Albright had his belief in Santa crushed when his letter to Santa was burned before him. Now 25 years later, Peter is a TV news reporter who hates Christmas. His relationship with his girlfriend, Claire, is coasting along, as he can't commit to her because of her son Zach. When Santa lands on his car and suffers amnesia, Peter has but one thought: an award winning news story. However, Zach believes the man is Santa, whereas Peter wants to exploit him for ratings. With only 48 hours before Christmas, Zach is determined to prove he is Santa, while Santa tries to make Peter's last Christmas wish come true.
With Leslie Nielsen at the helm, I expected Santa Who? to mainly be a comedy, ala The Santa Clause. However, while the film has a few laughs, it is really more of a family drama. I found it to be rather slow and predictable. The acting was average all around, with Nielsen mostly coasting through the role. I'm sure the film will appeal to kids more than adults, however.
Santa Who? is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. For a movie only a year old, I really expected better. The transfer has a fair amount of specks and marks that appear throughout. Grain is also present, though it is mostly confined to the special effects shots. Edge enhancement is visible, though it's limited to a few scenes. Colors throughout are vibrant with accurate flesh tones and deep blacks.
Santa Who? is presented in Dolby 2.0 Surround. For the exception of the film's score, surround use is fairly limited throughout the picture. Dialogue is basically 2.0 Mono, though it remains crisp and clean throughout, with no distortion. Optional subtitles are also available in English, Spanish, and French.
The main extra on the disc is The Art of Skiing, the classic 1941 animated short starring Goofy. Narrated by George Johnson, the short takes the viewer through some rudimentary skiing lessons, and as expected, Goofy amuses by getting all of them wrong. The short runs for eight minutes.
Also included are trailers/promo spots for Cinderella II, Whispers: An Elephant's Tale, Recess Christmas, Mickey's Magical Christmas, and the upcoming Treasures line from Disney. These play before the film or can be selected from the menu.
Santa Who? is a film that will certainly appeal to children more than adults; however, with the high MSRP and average presentation, the movie is more suited to a rental than a purchase. Rent it.
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