Movie Review: Saving Santa (2013)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the animated Christmas movie starring Tim Curry and Ashley Tisdale.

Synopsis: Bernard, a low-ranking stable elf, strives to be one of Santa's inventor elves. However, when his latest invention causes a power outage, revealing the location of the North Pole, an unscrupulous heir to a delivery company takes Santa Claus hostage and demands to know how he is able to deliver presents around the world in just one day. Bernard, hoping to save Santa, uses the sleigh to travel back in time in an effort to prevent the North Pole from being discovered.

Who's In It?

The animated film uses voices from Tim Curry, Ashley Tisdale, Martin Freeman, Tim Conway and Joan Collins.


I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit before we take our kids to see Santa Clause tomorrow and do some final Christmas shopping. So, since my wife had to work tonight, I decided to make a paper holiday chain with my daughters and watch a Christmas movie. 

I came across "Saving Santa" a few days ago on Netflix and, even though I didn't know that much about it, I thought it looked like something my kids might like to watch and added it to my list. We ended up picking this film tonight and it turned out to be an enjoyable holiday movie.

One of my biggest concerns about this film is it would turn out to be predictable, like so many others we've seen. That, however, was not the case. The film had a surprising number of twists and turns, with new details being revealed whenever Bernard (Freeman) traveled back in time (he does twice). And, as those details were revealed and there were, at one point, three Bernards running around, the story became much more interesting simply because I didn't have a clue what was going to happen next. In fact, even the ending was somewhat unexpected.

Another concern I had was the time travel. While it was an interesting premise, time travel movies have the potential to become confusing. As a result, I did wonder if a movie about a time traveling elf would be too hard for my youngest daughter to keep up with. However, the film actually does a pretty good job of keeping the story from becoming too complicated. There were various hints that a lot of the events happened solely because Bernard decided to travel back in time but, they were kept somewhat subtle and, because of that, even my 6-year-old daughter was able to keep up.

My only real complaint about this movie was the musical interruptions. This wasn't really so much about the frequency of the songs in the film as much as it was the fact none of the songs were particularly memorable. I think part of the reason for that was the songs fell into a generic "believe in yourself" category that didn't fully capture the movie's Christmas spirit. Fortunately, the movie was decent enough for me to feel comfortable giving it a free pass on the song choices.

Final Opinion

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this film but it was a fun holiday movie my daughters and I enjoyed watching. I would highly recommend it if you're looking for a Christmas movie to watch this season.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 12/11/2015, StevenHelmer
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