When you're tallying your favorite Christmas TV specials, be sure to mark Prep & Landing
near the top of the list. I hear you scoffing, because, no doubt, you have the same reservations I did: How could a 21st Century, CGI-created cartoon have nearly the charm, humor and Christmas spirit as an old favorite like It's Christmas, Charlie Brown
? Prep & Landing
accomplishes this holiday marvel with a clever plot, true exploration of feelings, a superb cast and lots of good humor.
Prep & Landing reveals the never-before-told tale of an elite unit of Elves known as, well, Prep and Landing. Every Christmas Eve this high-tech organization ensures that homes around the world are properly prepared for the yearly visit from The Big Guy, their code name for Santa Claus. The story is about an elf named Wayne, who is upset when he doesn't receive an expected promotion to be the Director of Naughty List Intelligence. Instead, Magee, the North Pole Christmas Eve Command Center Coordinator (NPCECCC for short), partners Wayne with Lanny, an idealistic rookie who has an undying enthusiasm for Christmas. During their Christmas Eve mission, Wayne and Lanny encounter unexpected challenges, including a raging snowstorm and a kid who wakes up.
Mash-Up of Old and New
Prep and Landing ScanDisney
Though the characters involved have been stars of Christmas stories for ages, the story itself is most certainly updated with high-tech runways, modern communication systems and gadgets galore. The Elves even use Christmas phrases as codes and terminology, such as "a creature stirring" is the kid who wakes up.
Prep & Landing had me laughing during the whole show, with some thoughtful moments thrown in. The characters are varied and fully fleshed, the story is tight and the action and humor are balanced perfectly. The situations and plot are terribly creative and fresh. My kids wanted to rewind and watch it again as soon as the credits rolled. Frankly, so did I.
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