Christmas Crisis was a live-action Christmas short film, produced by Ted Phillips with Cracked Egg Studios. The character of Santa Claus was Clare Phillips' first major speaking role in one of Ted's productions. It was recorded on VHS-C format media on the old camera in November 2000, but was not edited or released to the public until December 26, 2009.



Synopsis

Santa Claus intends to deliver gifts to the infant Jesus on the first Christmas. His journey is retarded by a series of unfortunate encounters, including an army of barbarians, a bear, an abominable snowman, and the police.

History

Christmas Crisis was based on the short story both of the same name and of the name Christmastime Crisis, written by Ted Phillips and Marc Skehan in December 1996 for a fourth-grade assignment. One of Ted's goals during the writing process was to make it even funnier than the 1996 work Santa Was Late This Year by Phillip Como, from which he borrowed some story elements.

If it was to be believable and consistent with the short story, Christmas Crisis needed to take place in a variety of exterior locations. Unfortunately, the battery for the Old Camera had not worked in years, so Ted was forced to shoot every scene indoors. To prevent it from randomly turning off and rewinding during shooting, the tripod was mounted atop a 2-foot base of cushions to absorb any shockwaves that it might have received from the actors and crew walking on the studio floor.

In early 2001, Nick Phillips adapted Christmas Crisis as a graphic novel.

Controversy

The scene in which Santa kills a tiger is heavily plagiarized from a conversation involving some other students' assignment that Ted Phillips had overheard at the time of his contribution to Christmastime Crisis. The level of plagiarism is highly debated, and it is unknown whether the plagiarism was consistent across both the short story and the film, as the complete short story is no longer extant.

Cultural References

  • The opening scene, in which Santa, saying "Ho-ho-ho," drives his sleigh while conversing with the narrator, is similar to the opening scene of The Night Before Christmas.
  • The archers use Bowen Arrows.
  • When one of the archers gets hit in the face with a pie, he exclaims: "Right in the schnoz!" Just like Marv in the 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, when he pretends to get hit by the paint-can stair trap.
  • The toys in Santa's sleigh include a stuffed Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.
  • When Santa's sleigh crashes, the narrator hums the final few notes of the tune "monster" from Microsoft 3D Movie Maker.
  • The abominable snowman searches for Rudolph, demanding to know: "Where's the reindeer? Where? Where is the?" This moment bears a suspicious resemblance to two scenes from Men in Black:
    1. In his truck, Edgar realizes he stole diamonds instead of the Galaxy, he demands to know: "Where is it?"
    2. Edgar interrogates a street vendor, demanding to know: "Where do you keep your dead? Where?"
  • Rudolph agrees to be Santa's reindeer in Clarespeak.
  • The name of the jail where Santa is incarcerated, "Buzumbura Jail" is a parody of the jail from the 1997 film George of the Jungle where Max and Thor are incarcerated, "Bujumbura Jail."
  • The police "shave" Santa as an homage to The Night Before Christmas, when the bad guy punches Santa's beard right off his face.
  • The song "We Are Making Presents" is a parody of the song "What's Mine Is Yours" from the 1989 animated film All Dogs Go to Heaven.
  • The toys the elves make include a naked baby<span class="special_footnote">[vague]</span>, Laa-Laa from the 1997 series Teletubbies, a Teddy bear<span class="special_footnote">[vague]</span>, Ernie from Sesame Street, Blossom from the 1998 animated series The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Elf #4 is a stuffed Ernie from Sesame Street.<span class="special_footnote">[vague]</span>

Credits

CharacterActor
WomanKathy Phillips
Little GirlClare Phillips
Santa ClausClare Phillips
NarratorTed Phillips
Archer #1Nick Phillips
Voice #1 of Archer #1Ted Phillips
Archer #2Ted Phillips
Voice #2 of Archer #1Nick Phillips
Elf #1Nick Phillips
Voice of BearTed Phillips
Abominable SnowmanNick Phillips
Voice #1 of RudolphTed Phillips
Police OfficerTed Phillips
Voice #2 of RudolphNick Phillips
Elf #2Nick Phillips
Elf #3Ted Phillips
Voice of Elf #4Nick Phillips
Baby JesusNick Phillips
Categories: Christmas Old Camera 2000

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