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  Short British Films &  TV Specials  


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Santa's First

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 producers: Siriol Productions for EVA / S4C
2D animation
      run time:
24 mins


"Back 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 in 1995.


   First facts

   » Here's an interesting contradiction for you. In this film we're told that
       it's Santa who knits Romuald's famous blue woolly jumper. But in
       Romuald's spin-off series, Romuald's Mum appears to be its creator...
» Santa 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!...'

» Grandpa 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!

» Holly refers to Santa's first Christmas Eve flight as "the 11.30 flight to
 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...

» The 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...     


     See also

     Romuald the Reindeer

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      Broadcast info

      "Santa's First Christmas" premiered on BBC1 on Christmas Day,
       25th December 1992, at 8.24am.


     Santa's First Christmas on DVD

 Santa's Stories:
Santa's First Christmas + Santa and the Tooth Fairies
                 Region 1 / BMG / October 2000


     a Siriol Production with Cologne Cartoon
     for Eva Animation, in assoc. with S4C and Filmstiftung NRW

     written and created by Robin Lyons and Andrew Offiler

    producer:            Robin Lyons
    exec-producer:    Steve Walsh
    co-producer:       Jurgen Egenolf

    director:              Les Orton

    prod executive:   Christopher Grace for S4C
    music:                composed by Randy Miller
                              performed by Tim Heintz
                              produced by Randy Peterson

                                      Les Orton, Chris Fenner
    title song:           Robin Lyons, Andrew Offiler,
                              Randy Peterson, James McDonnell
    storyboard:         Wayne Thomas
    assistant:           Chris Glynn
    layouts:              Wayne Thomas, Chris Glynn, Lloyd Sutton
    backgrounds:      Mike Wall, Bryan Jones, Mike Hill, Graham Howells
    charac design:    Emmy Donaldson, Chros Glynn
    animators:         Lloyd Sutton, Bjorn Jensen, Jose Solis,
                             Nicola Malborough, Roger Phillips, Dietmar Kremer,
                             Rik Villeneuve, Pat Savage, Les orton, Charlie MacRae
    inbetweeners:    Andrew Wright, Gerd Stauber, Mike Coles,
                             Tom Pettith, Luis Jauregui, Valerie Solis,
                             Pierson Lippard, Sue Rowe, Simon Bradbury
    studio man:        Lynne Stockford
    prod manager:   Jurgen Frohn
    prod sec:           Jane Morgan
    prod asistant:     Adrian Jenkins
    bookkeeper:       Jackie Price
    paint & trace:     supervised by Lydia Hoffnungsthal
                             Cologne Cartoon Ink & Paint Co.
                             checked by Almut Lubkol, Anatole Livera
                             Xerox by Dean Roach, Rhys Davies
    camera:             Michael Kohlgruber
                             Rostrum Camera Ltd
                             Mick Cookson, Jens Faber
    line test:            Meirion Owen
    editors:             Claudia Herrendorf, Trevor Keates, Madoc Roberts
    sound fx:           Norbert Schlawin
    voices:              David Ellison (Old Santa)
                            Nigel Planer (Romuald)
                            Kenneth Waller (Grandpa Ivy)
                            Emma Wray (Holly)
                            Will Brenton (Mistletoe)
                            Julie Higginson (Santa's Mother)
                            Susan Sheridan (Young Santa)


      On the web

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