Thursday, December 17, 2015

shorts SHORT Review: Super Santa, Episode 03 - Naughty

Super Santa
Episode 03 - Naughty

Created by Mike Bell
Directed by Mike Bell
Written by Mike Bell
Santa was voiced by Mike Bell

Originally aired on Oh Yeah! Cartoons
Series created by Fred Seibert
Production Companies:
Nationally Distributed by Paramount Domestic Television
Internationally Distributed by Nelvana Limited

This might be the most suggestive title for the four shorts, though at the same time this is the first thought I think of when someone hints to the Jolly Red Man. By title alone it sounds like the cat suit that Mrs. Claus is now appropriate for this short, since Emma would be Santa's Catwoman to his Batman. Though I feel that a lot of the choices for her design and actor is because of the Avengers film and series. Not many know about the Avengers, oh I'm not talking about Steven and his friendly followers, I'm talking about the UK series of two spies a man with a bowler and umbrella with his conspirator a beautiful high kicking woman in a leather clade outfit. Again this Santa is more like a Dwarf from D&D or Middle-Earth, an adventurer in body and soul.

In the next two episodes Miles Thompson will be designing the backgrounds, he does a great job at designing the mansion and the various locations of the world. The theme music has changed to something more gritty, less of it's holiday cheer, more like a tune from the many Batman movies. The song is currently Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, a wonderful tune, though with it's dramatic take it makes me wonder about the content of this short.

We join Santa's workshop, seeing all the elves are colored green it makes me worry about the state of affairs for Santa's little workers. Santa seems fine, checking his list, keeping his mind occupied. The Children of the world seem to be misbehaving, Santa is feeling all the naughty children… again it's weird to hear this, though again it's usually applied to Santa when people are talking about misbehaving kids. Mrs. Claus comes to Santa's aid as he falls to the ground in pain. Emma asks him if he's picking up anything that could be making the world become more hateful and naughty. This is weird, since Santa would only be able to know what the naughty and nice children are doing, not adults or animals or minerals or vegetables (He's not a modern Major-General). There's an overpowering Naughty nature in the world and this isn't sitting well in Santa's lap.

Our Heroes pose once more, Gom taking center stage in his Avenging Elf outfit
Tea Steeping in her Master Reindeer Champion onesie and her uncle Professor Steeping as Super Santa

We meet our villain for the episode, it's the Son of Ebenezer Scrooge, it's a cute nod to the famous story, though Bill Murray will be my favorite Scrooge. He's the richest person in the world (or in the episode), there hasn't been much expansion in the world of Super Santa, it's one City and the North Pole. Still I'm glad we did get to see more from the Workshop, but the scope of where all the villains are produced are outside of Santa's Workshop, still it's a short so time restraints and all. Plan is simple, though it's hard to make sense, he bought all the "Bad Chemicals" and threw "Bad Gas" on only the children, though it shows that the distribution of the gas was everywhere, like this should be a scene out of a dystopian suburb ruins, not kids in an alley being mean to a cat. And when you think about it, poisoning a City, then convincing the civilians of the world to be bad or he'll do the same to their City, would have been a better choice. Or putting the "Bad Chemical" in school food, since only the kids were the targets and some teachers would be effected.

We pop back to Santa's Coal mine where all the elves are hard at work getting coal ready instead of toys for the good little boys and girls. Santa looks a mess, it seems the Jolly Red Man wasn't ready for the horrors of the world to come, where an Earth of only the worst live and breath. Emma showing her amazing talent as the tech wizard she is, the most intelligent person on the planet, based off of the last two episodes (spoiler the fourth episode she's  better than a genetic scientist in his own field). Also for the most part their relationship is platonic, a few kisses here and there, but it seems that Santa is more interested in his work than his wife. Yes, the show is centered around action, but hugging or good natured ribbing with his spouse, his best friend in the world, the person he'd be lost without, and the show shows nothing of the two being intimate in any romantic sort.

I think I found the inspiration of the "Bad Gas" and this episode, it's a good passing joke, though a long build up.

Emma has found the cause and Santa jumps to action, ready to help the world once more. After another "Bad Gas" joke and the backstory to why the villain is attacking Santa, we're joined in a fray between a giant coal powered robot and the Claus'. Then Emma flies into battle as Santa's knocked out. She lunges into the bout, ready to take the gigantic metal Cyclops down, when she's stopped by it's hard steel skin and goo~ed to a wall. Again this doesn't help that the title of this short is Naughty. Her struggle arouses Santa and he attacks the giant coal powered robot. The inner workings of the machine are two butlers, who come to their senses and stop Scrooge, also they quit. With all the "Bad Gas" gone, life went back to normal, it seems that money doesn't have the same effect in this world, since Scrooge is in jail, though this is a world where Santa exists and maybe magic. We end with Santa going over his list as the world drifts off into the hopeful starry sky.

This is their peak, this is the top of the mountain, this is where everything starts to crumble and show that this was the best idea in the series, though not the best execution. Again a lot of this is based on time, each short has an allotted amount of time for them to tell a story within. Still I felt that somethings could have been cut or changed to make the episode more full. In short, this is the marker that shows how this could have been a series, or annual special, but they were fishing for plots at this point. If you liked the first two episodes, then I'd suggest you keep following to this point, it would totally be worth the trip deeper into the Super Santa Lore.

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Keep well and Stay well.

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