Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy Hogswatch!

Well the Christmas DVD viewing began yesterday afternoon with an unexpected feature. While browsing at Borders yesterday morning I was surprised and pleased to find a US version of the DVD of last year's UK production Hogfather. For those of you unfamiliar with Hogfather, he's the Santa Claus analog in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. He brings presents to kids on Hogswatchnight.(The 32nd of Dec.) Think Santa with nasty tempered hogs pulling his sleigh instead of Reindeer and you've basically got it.
Anyway, the plot is about the insidious plans of the Auditors, a group of mystical accountants who are in charge of running reality, to get rid of Hogfather. The auditors don't like mythical creatures. (Or really much of anyone or anything, come to think of it.) They employ an assassins guild to do away with the fat man. The assassin sent for the job is the psychotic Mr. Teatime, (pronounced Tee-a-ti-meh) who starts out by attacking the stronghold of the tooth fairy. Why? That would be telling.
Anyway, Death gets involved, trying to save his fellow anthropomorphic personification by impersonating him in order to encourage belief in Hogfather. The sight of the grim reaper, dressed in Father Christmas robes and flying about delivering toys has to be seen. Meanwhile Death's granddaughter, Susan, gets involved and sets out to find out what has become of Hogfather. It's rather complicated.
I have to admit, I wondered how the makers of the show would get in all the back story necessary for the uninitiated to understand Discworld. They basically didn't worry about it. They just tell the story and you have to keep up.
One thing I didn't realize was that the show was 189 minutes long and broken up into two parts. I guess it originally aired that way in the UK. I ended up only watching half of it yesterday and will probably watch the other half tonight. Made for a nice Christmas surprise, as I had wanted to see the movie since hearing about it last year.

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