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  Short British Films &  TV Specials

  Postman Pat's Magic Christmas   

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Postman Pat's
  Magic Christmas

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producers:  Cosgrove Hall Films
                      for Entertainment Rights
   animation:  stop-motion animation
      run time:  25mins

 "I'm trying to get to Greendale. I've got some
     business to attend to there

    It's Christmas Eve and Postman Pat's rather excited. He's going to surprise the
    folks at tonight's Christmas party by dressing up as Santa Claus. But - Ssh! - it's
    all a big secret right now. Pat takes his big secret to work with him, whilst
    his family speculates about tonight's "surprise guest". Sarah gets in a
    muddle with her baking, Jess gets his paws in the flour and Julian writes
    a letter to Santa asking for some Christmas snow.

    "Oh, I wish it would snow.
     Then Christmas would be perfect!"

    En route from the Post Office, with his van stuffed with Christmas parcels
    and cards, Pat bumps in to a jolly bearded visitor, who appears like magic,
    in the middle of a lane. The chap hides his Christmas hat and accepts
    Pat's offer of a lift to Greendale. That is, if he doesn't mind going on Pat's
    rounds with him first?

    And so it is that Pat and his Mysterious Visitor tour Greendale together.
    Back home, Pat's wife Sarah continues to bake her party cake (with a few
    interruptions from Jess). And Julian plays with his school friends. In the
    absence of any snow, he goes sledding on grass, thanks to his pal Bill
    who puts skateboard wheels on his sledge. And the gang proceed to
    build a snowman scarecrow.

    As for Pat and his pal, they meet Ted and Mr Pringle putting lights up on
    the hall, and they drive around the village delivering mail. In spite of numerous 
    hints from his guest, and even a sprinkling of Yuletide magic to speed up
    the deliveries, Pat's still none the wiser about his identity. The chap stays
    long enough to help get his Van out of a rather muddy patch before he
    disappears again. Oh, but there's no time to ponder, because the
    sun's going down and Pat's going to be late for the party...
    Come the evening, everyone's delighted when the surprise guest reveals
    himself. It's Santa Claus, and he's got presents and laughter for everyone!
    Everyone, that is, except for Pat who bursts in rather late and under
    dressed, just as Santa departs. He's so sorry for the delay. But no one
    believes him. They think it's a ruse. But if that man wasn't Pat, it must
    be... It couldn't be...?

    Of course it is!

    This Christmas Special is thin on plotting, but it's packed with charm. And
    as you'd expect, there's lots of lovely Greendale detail to enjoy. Pat's house
    has pictures on every wall. The Clifton's fridge has drawings of Mr Pringle,
    Jess and Pat's red van, Blu-taked on the door. And if you squint you
    can even see Julian's school report pinned to the kitchen noticeboard.
    This house feels so cosy and lived in. The set dressing is remarkable.
    Mind you, that same detail leaves the film makers open to scrutiny,
    as those Greendale Glitches will attest!

    As with the previous special, we might have hoped for a little more
    magic with the presentation. Why couldn't we have a filmic theme
    instead of those generic opening credits? But really, this is just
    nitpicking for nitpicking's sake. Pat has a magic day, and there's a
    lovely end scene where Santa shows up in his very own home, and he
    leaves some Christmas snow for Julian - to make his Christmas
    just perfect...


    Santa Claus!

Santa who?

     Pat's a clever Postman, and as his son Julian points out, he seems
     to know everything. But it seems he wouldn't know Santa if he poked
     him in the eye. How many clues does he need?

» A jolly, white-beared stranger appears in the middle of a country
         lane, on Christmas Eve.

» Pat offers him a lift, if he doesn't mind coming on his rounds?
        "It'll be nice to see how it's usually done!" says the stranger.

» Does the stranger get out here often? - "No" he says, "only once
       a year"

» Hmm, our stranger has known Ted Glen and Jeff Pringle since
         they were little boys.

» Oh look, our stranger has magically sorted the parcels and letters
         in Pat's red van. And what's this? He's delivering them magically, too!

» Poor Pat's van gets stuck in the mud. He's not a good driver, but
         neither is our stranger, who says he once slid off a roof!

» Now the stranger lets him borrow some familar fur-topped boots,
         just before he disappears again. But Pat still can't make the



     Simon Woodgate furnishes the film with a jolly jingling score. And he
     presents us with the titular song "Magic Christmas", which plays
     over a moivie montage, mid-way through, as Pat and You-Know-Who
     get all the letters and packages sorted and delivered...

"It's a magical Christmas (Christmas delivery),
It's a Magical Christmas (In Greendale)..."
        - Magical Christmas by Simon Woodgate


    Greendale Glitches

» Greendale still has it's share of problem clocks. At the start of the
        film, Pat enters the kitchen and tells his wife that he'd better get on,
        he's got lots of extra parcels and letters to deliver in time for Christmas.
        Behind him, his wall clock says it's already 11 o'clock. But when he
        finally gets to the Post Office, the clock there says it's only 7.30.

» When the boys discover Jess' floury pawprints in Julian's bedroom,
        we see
a pink-haired gonk in a green box, sitting to the left of his desk.
        The next moment, as they sneak around the bed, the same gonk in
        the same box is sitting to the right of a wardrobe - spooky, eh?

» Pat and his new pal stop by the school to give some letters to
       Ted and Jeff Pringle. Then we enter the "Magical Christmas" montage,
       during which we see Pat's pal magically sorting the van. And in the
       midst of the muddle is a letter, clearly addressed to Ted Glen - Oops!

    Broadcast info

    "Postman Pat's Magic Christmas" made its home video premiere prior
     to any tv broadcast. In the UK, the film launched on DVD/VHS as a
     double-bill with "Postman Pat and the Greendale Rocket"
     on 10th November 2003.

     The film subsequently premiered on BBC2, on Christmas Eve 2004.


     See also

    Postman Pat (Ivor Wood)
    Postman Pat (Cosgrove Hall)
      Postman Patand the Greendale Rocket
     Postman Pat and the Pirate Treasure

     Postman Pat Clowns Around


     Postman Pat's Magic Christmas on DVD

     UK DVD Postman Pat: Magic Christmas
                Region 2 double-bill / Ent. Rights / November 2003


    based on the original series written by John Cunliffe

    based upon the original television series
    designed and produced by Ivor Wood

     exec prods:
      title music: 
      art dir:
      script editor:          animators:                               
      puppet maint: 
      set illus:       
      set dressing:
      senior costume
      costume makers:  
      studio dir:
      lighting cam:
      asst cam:
      cam assts:
      asst prod:
      voice rec:
      vid post-prod:
      audio post-prod:
      computer graphics:
      data management:
      tech support:
      prod man:
      prod asst:
      prod acct:
      stills co-ord:
      prod co-ord:
Theresa Plummer-Andrews (for the BBC)
Jane Smith, Oliver Ellis (for Ent. Rights)
Chris Taylor
Chris Bowden
Brian Daly
Simon Woodgate at Echobass Studios
Rachel Dawson
Bridget Appleby
Brian Demoskoff
Annika Bluhm
Tim Collings, Brian Demoskoff, Lucy Gell,
Lisa Goddard, Lisa-Jane Gray, Monica McCartney, 
Matt Palmer, Bob Scott, Chris Tootell
Mackinnon & Saunders
Noel Baker, Colin Batty, Anne Hall,
Joe Holman, Clare Jones, Caroline Wallace,
Robbie Manning, Nick Roberson, Emma Trimble,
Kristine Keogh, Georgina Haynes, Richard Pickersgill,
Michelle Scattergood, Stuart Sutcliffe
Patricia Brennan
The As & When Men
Jeff Spain, Rick Kent, Richard Sykes,
Alan Henry, Robin Jackson
Mark Stacey
Dom Lee
John Ashton, Diane Holness, Angela Kiely

Clare Elliott
Nigel Cornford, Joan Jones, Andrea Lord,
Stewart Selkirk
Sue Pugh
Martin Kelly
Justin Noe
Jo Richards, Simon Lacey
Owen Ballhatchet
The Sound House, Hullabaloo studios
Flix Facilities
Hullabaloo Studios
Jonathan Turner
Pete Kidd
Phil Atack, Matthew Horsefield
Karen Dudley
Lucy Atkinson
Sarah Ulyatt
Gwyn Roberts
Victoria Marks
(for Ent. Rights)
Ken Barrie  
Carol Boyd
Kulvinder Ghir
Janet James
Archie Panjabi
Melissa Sinden


      On the web

      Postman Pat
      The big and bright official site...

      Mackinnon & Saunders
      Pat's puppet makers...

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© Woodland Animations Ltd - a division of Enertainment Rights / F2006