Prep & Landing (a J!-ENT Children’s DVD Review)
November 17, 2011 by Dennis Amith
The award-winning Holiday TV special “Prep & Landing” finally arrives on DVD! Featuring wonderful CG animation and an entertaining Christmas story, for parents looking for a safe and fun holiday special for their children, will definitely want to check out “Prep & Landing”!
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DVD TITLE: Prep & Landing
TV AIR DATE: 2009
DURATION: 22 Minutes
DVD INFORMATION: Widescreen 1:78:1 – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions, English and French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
COMPANY: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
RATED: G (All Ages Admitted)
RELEASE DATE: November 22, 2011
Written and Directed by Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers
Story by Chris Williams
Additional Story Material by Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson and Reid Harrison
Executive Producer: John Lasseter and Chris Williams
Produced by Dorothy Kim
Associate Producer: Jenni Magee-Cook
Music by Michael Giacchino
Edited by William J. Caparella
Casting by Jamie Sparer Roberts
Production by Billy George
Art Direction by Andrew Edward Harkness
Featuring the voices of:
Betty White as Mrs. Claus
Dave Foley as Wayne
Sarah Chalke as Magee
Mason Vale Cotton as Timmy Terwelp
David DeLuise as Dancer
Peter Jacobsen as Waterkotte
Lino DiSalvo as Gristletoe Joe
Derek Richardson as Lanny
William Morgan Sheppard as The Big Guy
Nathan Greno as Dasher
Prep & Landing is an adorable holiday story about a high-tech team of elves who ensure homes around the world are properly prepared for their visit from Santa. After working for a tireless 227 years, an elf named Wayne (voiced by Dave Foley) is upset when he doesn’t receive an expected promotion. Instead he is partnered with an idealistic rookie elf named Lanny (voiced by Derek Richardson) to execute a special Christmas Eve mission. While on their journey, Wayne and Lanny encounter unexpected challenges that push them to their limits and ultimately threaten Christmas for children around the world. But in the end, these two elves work together to guide Santa through a raging snowstorm in order to save Christmas.
When “Glago’s Guest” writer Chris Williams had an idea of an elf Christmas story and pitched to Walt Disney Animation studios shorts program, Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter felt the idea would make a great half-hour TV special for ABC.
As the idea which would later become “Prep & Landing” was greenlighted by the network, Chris Williams was then working and co-directing the animated film “Bolt” and so “Brother Bear” writer Kevin Deters and “Brother Bear”, “Tarzan” writer Stevie Wermers were brought in to co-write and direct the 22-minute Christmas special which aired in Dec. 2009.
The special which was budgeted for $14 million would go on to to be nominated for five Emmy Awards (winning four for “Outstanding Animated Program”, “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation” for Art Director, Storyboard Artist and Background Key design) and nine Annie Awards (winning “Best Animated Television Production”, “Character Design in a Television Production and “Production Design in a Television Production”).
The TV special revolves around a Christmas elf named Wayne. Wayne is a member of “Prep & Landing”, a job in which these specially trained elves prepare homes for Santa Claus’ visit on Christmas day.
But having worked for 227 years as a Christmas elf, Wayne believes that he will be promoted for a major job and can’t wait to leave his current job. So, as Wayne says is confident that he has gotten the job, unfortunately he is told that the job has went to his partner that he trained.
Wayne is then introduced to his new partner, a rookie named Lanny who has looked up to Wayne’s work when he was younger and is excited to be teamed up with his idol. But Wayne is quite bitter for not getting the promotion and he’s not so interested in giving 100% to his job this year.
So, while visiting a home, Wayne makes Lanny do all the work but unfortunately, it ends up in disaster and the boy Timmy living at the house is awaken and finds the two elves. And because Wayne has broke protocol and did not prepare the home for Santa, Wayne has to cancel Santa’s visit. Lanny is upset that Wayne has become so bitter but now he may have prevented the innocent Timmy from receiving a present from Santa.
When Wayne hears Timmy talking in his sleep and thanking him for his Christmas present, Wayne is now determined to make sure Santa is re-routed and that he gets his toy delivery in time for Christmas.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Prep & Landing” is presented in widescreen (1:78:1 – enhanced for 16×9 televisions), English and French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 and subtitles in English SDH French and Spanish.
The CG animation for this TV special is fantastic! In fact, the overall look of the film is what makes me enjoy this TV special so much is because there was a lot of production value put into it. I’m not just talking about characters but also objects, scenery. The CG for this special is absolutely wonderful!
Dialogue and music is clear and too bad this special won’t be released on blu-ray (for now at least) because this is one special which would look even more wonderful in HD!
“Prep & Landing” comes with the following special feature:
- Operation Secret Santa – (6:53) Mrs. Claus hires Wayne and Lanny to find a mystery box in Santa’s office.
- Tiny’s Big Adventure – (1:09) Tiny needs to make coffee but the coffee can is too high.
- Kringle Academy Training Videos: – Featuring three animated training videos: Welcome to Kringle Academy (1:27) , Equipment Training (1:50), Do’s and Dont’s (1:33).
- North Pole News – (1:28) Newsreel with big stories for the tiniest elf!
- North Pole Commercials – (1:40) 3 Hilarious Ads Straight from the North Pole
Wonderful CG animation, enjoyable holiday story…The award-winning Disney/ABC TV special “Prep & Landing” finally gets its release on DVD!
In Dec. 2009, “Prep & Landing” aired on television and I was blown away by the CG animation but also how entertaining the TV special and literally, me and my young son wanted more! And while I was waiting for it to be released on DVD in 2010, it never was released. But with the characters of “Prep & Landing” returning for a new TV special titled “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice” for Dec. 2011, the first Christmas special “Prep & Landing” has been released on DVD!
And I can only hope that “Prep & Landing” will be a recurring holiday special because the animation for this film really distinguishes itself among other holiday 3D animated specials. And for the most part, the stories are so easy to follow, are very fun to watch and for this special, it’s one holiday family film that will attract viewers of all ages.
In fact, for adults, there are a lot of in-jokes in this holiday special. Magee has a Christmas Tree ala “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” is shown on Timmy’s TV set at their house and also little Disney additions that fans may pick up on!
I know it’s hard to recommend a holiday DVD if the episode is only 22-minutes long but fortunately, Walt Disney Home Entertainment includes two more “Prep & Landing” shorts, “Operation Santa Claus” (which features Betty White as the voice of Mrs. Claus) and “Tiny’s Big Adventure”. In addition, there are other animated special features included on this DVD as well!
Overall, “Prep & Landing” is an enjoyable holiday special on DVD and if you are looking for an enjoyable holiday special for the children, that is safe, fun and very entertaining… I can easily recommend “Prep & Landing”!
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