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Hogfather

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This movie was originally made for TV on BBC, but is one of the most well-made television movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s three hours long, so expect a long (but entertaining) sit.

If you aren’t a fan of the Discworld novels from Terry Pratchett, then this movie is probably not going to be to your liking. You never know, though.

It’s loosely Christmas-based. The satirical comparisons to our own Western stereotypes and rituals are hilarious and insightful, as are most of Pratchett’s satire-laden fantasy novels in this series. The Discworld itself is a flat, dish-shaped planet that rides on the back of four elephants who in turn ride on the back of a giant sea turtle who swims through space. That’s where things just get started.

Pratchett is endlessly humorous and full of surprises and funny comparisons. If he hadn’t gone into novel writing, he would likely have given George Carlin and Mitch Headberg a run for their money on the standup circuit.

The story is basic, but full of little themes and great cinema from both the camera and the acting perspectives. The Hogfather (like Santa Clause) is a Yule deity that distributes presents on Hogswatch Night. He rides a sleigh pulled by a group of flying boars and wears red and white.

Well, the Assassins Guild of the city of Ank-Morporkh are commissioned to murder the Hogfather and employ their most efficient (and lunatic) assassin to do the job: Mr. Teatime, who’ll quickly correct you with the pronunciation of his name as “Tay-a-tim-ey.”

Death (appropriately named Mort) finds out about this and attempts to stop it, with the reluctant help of his niece. Most of the movie involves Death (you know, skull, bones, black garb, a scythe) masquerading as the Hogfather and Teatime’s brilliant plan to go after the Tooth Fairy as an in-road to the Hogfather.

The movie must be seen to be fully appreciated. I highly recommend it and it’s definitely family-friendly and fun for all.

Here’s the first three minutes of the film, which pretty much lays out the humor therein:

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