in the old days, December 25th
was just another day...."
Up in the frozen north of Lapland, Santa Claus recalls
how his work began, how
he first decided to bring toys and joys to kids
around the world, how he met his
helper elves, his errant flying reindeer, and embarked
on his very first night's
work delivering presents around the globe. Santa's
story is presented in a mock
documentary style as we cut backwards and forwards
between the past and
present and settle upon numerous witty asides and
irreverent comments from
the characters involved. Amongst the interviewees
is cheeky Romuald reindeer
who went on to star in his
very own series.
This is a frothy mockumentary from Siriol Productions,
the producers of SuperTed.
We see how Santa's very first 'gift' was a painted
stone doorstop, and how he
first met the elf Holly who was frozen in a small
lake. Holly took Santa back to
the elves' ice-house workshop, run by grumpy Grandpa
Ivy. At first, the elves
busied themselves making furniture, but Santa son
encouraged them to
produce toys. Santa later builds his first trial
sleigh, and he gets his simple
dog Rex to pull it - without much success. And that's
when Romuald crash
lands in to the story. The flying reindeer finds
himself seperated from his
migrating herd, but although he's grateful for Santa's
company, the gloomy
buck simply won't take the youthful pal seriously,
until Santa dons a snowy
white beard to make himself look older.
This was Romuald's second animated special, following
on from "Santa and
the Tooth Fairies". He was granted his own show
Here's an interesting contradiction for you. In this film we're
it's Santa who knits Romuald's
famous blue woolly jumper. But in
series, Romuald's Mum appears to be its creator...
announces his good intentions to bring gifts to the world with
a speech fashioned upon Martin
Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech:
'I have a dream. A dream that every
girl and boy all over the world
will wake up on Christmas morning
to find a stocking full of toys.
I have a dream of singing of sleigh
bells. I have a dream of hearts
warmed by the gift of giving and receiving.
I have a dream!...'
Ivy is another Romuald regular,
of course. Look closely when Santa
is creating his first toy
and you'll find he makes a Grandpa Ivy doll. Later,
Santa starts bouncing around
on a Grandpa Ivy-shaped Spacehopper!
refers to Santa's first Christmas Eve flight as "the
11.30 flight to
Everywhere". After a few
close shaves and mishaps, the elf called Mistletoe
calculates that they are 8,000
miles and 7.2hours behind schedule and
headed for Japan instead of Africa.
That calls for some nifty action from
Santa, involving a plunger, a steering wheel
and a wide-eyed Romuald...
scenic night's flight takes in Stonehenge, Easter Island, the Statue
of Liberty, The Tower of London,
the Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China,
the Arc de Triumph, the
Leaning Tower of Piza, and the Pyramids. It ends
at a tiny Mexican caza. Santa
is one present short. Until an idea strikes...
"Santa's First Christmas"
premiered on BBC1 on Christmas Day,
25th December 1992, at 8.24am.
Santa's First Christmas on DVD
First Christmas + Santa and the Tooth Fairies
1 / BMG / October 2000
Siriol Production with Cologne Cartoon
for Eva Animation, in assoc. with S4C
and Filmstiftung NRW
written and created by Robin Lyons and
prod executive: Christopher
Grace for S4C
by Randy Miller
by Tim Heintz
by Randy Peterson
Orton, Chris Fenner
Robin Lyons, Andrew Offiler,
Randy Peterson, James McDonnell
Wayne Thomas, Chris Glynn, Lloyd Sutton
Wall, Bryan Jones, Mike Hill, Graham Howells
charac design: Emmy
Donaldson, Chros Glynn
Sutton, Bjorn Jensen, Jose Solis,
Malborough, Roger Phillips, Dietmar Kremer,
Villeneuve, Pat Savage, Les orton, Charlie MacRae
Wright, Gerd Stauber, Mike Coles,
Tom Pettith, Luis Jauregui, Valerie Solis,
Pierson Lippard, Sue Rowe, Simon Bradbury
studio man: Lynne
prod manager: Jurgen Frohn
prod sec: Jane
paint & trace: supervised
by Lydia Hoffnungsthal
Cartoon Ink & Paint Co.
by Almut Lubkol, Anatole Livera
by Dean Roach, Rhys Davies
Cookson, Jens Faber
line test: Meirion
Herrendorf, Trevor Keates, Madoc Roberts
sound fx: Norbert
Ellison (Old Santa)
Waller (Grandpa Ivy)
Higginson (Santa's Mother)
Sheridan (Young Santa)