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A Fairy Tale Christmas (2005)

Once upon a time there was a happy kingdom at the crest of a broad river, at the edge of nearly endless forest. The kingdom was ruled by a fair and just King who had but one daughter, who ... See full summary »

Director:

Tim Tyler

Writer:

Jeff Martel
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Cast

Cast overview:
Lara Gilchrist ... Angela (voice)
Michael Dobson ... Ronen / Berk / Smith (voice)
Jan Rabson ... Crofton / Farmer (voice)
Chiara Zanni ... Dart (voice)
Matt Hill ... Dash / Bandit (voice)
Pam Hyatt Pam Hyatt ... Lucretia / Baker (voice)
Tegan Moss ... Gruzinda / Young Girl (voice)
Doug Abrahams ... Guard (voice)
Alexis Korchinski Alexis Korchinski ... Angela (singing voice)
Brianna George Brianna George ... Young Angela (singing voice)
Jay Semko ... Ronen / Crofton (singing voice)
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Storyline

Once upon a time there was a happy kingdom at the crest of a broad river, at the edge of nearly endless forest. The kingdom was ruled by a fair and just King who had but one daughter, who was the apple of his eye: Princess Angela. She thought of herself as the happiest girl in the whole world because she played all day and danced for her father, the King, at night. But one day all happiness in the kingdom came to an end. Princess Angela was kidnapped by the King's Viceroy. The Viceroy left Angela with his brother, a selfish and mean-hearted woodsman, who lived deep in the heart of the nearly endless forest. Years passed and the kingdom became a very unhappy place, for the King spent all his time looking searching from one end of his vast kingdom to the other looking for his daughter, Princess Angela. And while he was searching for his daughter he left his kingdom in the hands of the Viceroy. The Viceroy, being an evil man, turned the kingdom into an image of himself: miserable and ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

christmas | See All (1) »

Taglines:

A story adventure and song for princesses of all ages.


Certificate:

TV-Y | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 2005 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Braver See more »

Filming Locations:

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Company Credits

Production Co:

Waterfront Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Repackaged as 'Braver' in the United Kingdom in an attempt to leach off the success of Disney's Brave (2012). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Neither a Christmas cracker or a bah humbug
25 September 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Being a huge fan of animation and as somebody who considers Christmas her favourite time of year, 'A Fairy Tale Christmas' appealed to me seeing as there are examples of animation and Christmas combining brilliantly together.

Was not expecting fine art, and 'A Fairy Tale Christmas' is not that, but it turned out to be a not so awful way of spending 50 minutes or so. Is it great? No, a long way from it. Is it inoffensively watchable? Yes, and deserves a better distinction than being the animation falsely repackaged as 'Braver' (misleading anybody to think it was a mockbuster of Pixar's 'Brave' when in reality it not only has nothing to do with that film it was also released nearly a decade before it). Although it does have its fair share of drawbacks, 'A Fairy Tale Christmas' does have some heart and charm to it and didn't come over as too much of a half-hearted attempt.

There are good things with 'A Fairy Tale Christmas'. The best asset is the songs, or shall we say most of them. The best one is Angela's I Want song of where she dreams of wanting to be a princess, a beautiful song and heart-warming. The king's song also tugs at the heart-strings and the lullaby-like one (despite appearing as an over-familiar plot device at an all too convenient time in the film) fares similarly. The incidental score is magical and whimsical, very 90s fantasy animated show in quality but that is not a bad thing and it suits the tone (with that being said it doesn't always feel dynamic with what's going on).

A few of the characters work. Angela is a very likable protagonist and her older version especially wins the heart of the viewer quickly with her sweet loving nature, her generosity and spirit always evident. The king is a moving and dignified character and gives the story a good deal of its heart, seeing the two characters together (especially when recounting to her his reasons for his current state) brought even more poignancy. The bird character is suitably feisty and cute, without going over-the-top in either, and proves useful to the story.

Lara Gilchrist and particularly Michael Dobson do a lovely job with the voice acting. Dobson's for Ronen along with the wonderful singing provided for Angela by Alexis Korchinski are the standout character performances. Wisely, the storybook narration is kept at minimum and lets the action move forward rather than distracting from it.

Not everything fares well though. The animation is really not great, or even good. There is often a flat, static look and the character designs are scrappy and stiff, with disconcertingly wide eyes for Angela and a particularly ugly and stereotypical design for Crofton. Crofton to me was a failure of a villain, he couldn't be taken seriously as a threat because everything about him from his gestures, his overripe dialogue and Jan Rabson's very hammy voice acting screamed over the top, while his design and whole plan throughout the story been done to death already by this point and infinitely better.

Despite liking the songs on the whole, there is one misfire which is that for Crofton regarding money and power. Instantly forgettable is being too kind summing up a song that couldn't have been more clichéd, over-explanatory (telling us next to nothing new other than what has already been shown and told to us). The reindeer is annoying, and the rest of the characters seemed just there for the sake of it with little to them.

Although the story for 'A Fairy Tale Christmas' does have heart and charm in the scenes between Angela and the king (also like the charming, friendly interaction between Angela and the animals) and has an uplifting positive atmosphere, there just wasn't enough of it to sustain the nearly 50 minute running time. Narratively it does feel very thin and more suited to a 25 minute short film/special at the most, and some of it is very predictable. Despite liking the songs a lot mostly, most of them were padding it felt like. Some of the dialogue is truly banal, particularly with Crofton, there is only one character where it properly resonates and that is for the king.

In summary, didn't sparkle for me like a star on top of a Christmas tree and not a Christmas cracker. At the same time, it is not bad enough for one to think Scrooge's iconic line or to be a lump of coal at the bottom of a stocking-worthy. 4/10 Bethany Cox


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