Christmas Is Here Again
|Christmas Is Here Again|
|Directed by||Robert Zappia|
|Produced by||Robert Zappia
|Written by||Robert Zappia
|Narrated by||Jay Leno|
|Music by||John Van Tongeren|
|Distributed by||Screen Media Ventures
Mill Creek Entertainment (2012)
|Running time||74 minutes|
Christmas Is Here Again is a 2007 animated Christmas film released on DVD by Screen Media Films. The first feature production from the Renegade Animation studio, it was co-written, co-produced and directed by Robert Zappia. Narrated by Jay Leno, the film features the voices of Edward Asner, Kathy Bates, Madison Davenport, Colin Ford, Brad Garrett, Andy Griffith, Shirley Jones, Norm Macdonald, and Daniel Roebuck, and marked Asner's second role in a Christmas-themed film after the 2003 film Elf.
Sophianna, a crippled orphan girl, sets out to find Santa's toy sack, (which is a magical source of toys since it was made from the baby Jesus' swaddling clothes) which is stolen by Krad who wants revenge after Santa stopped handing out coal to naughty children. She is helped in her quest by Paul Rocco, one of Santa's elves, Dart, a reindeer calf, Buster the fox, and his friend, Charlie the polar bear.
- Madison Davenport as Sophianna
- Andy Griffith as Santa Claus
- Shirley Jones as Mrs. Claus
- Daniel Roebuck as Paul Rocco / Jacque
- Brad Garrett as Charlie
- Norm Macdonald as Buster
- Colin Ford as Dart
- Ed Asner as Krad
- Kathy Bates as Miss Dowdy
- Jay Leno as the Narrator
Renegade Animation, an animation company located in Glendale, California and known for the TV series Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi and The Mr. Men Show, teamed up with Easy to Dream Entertainment to create Christmas Is Here Again. A small crew spent nine months on the principal animation, which was completed in mid-2006.
One of the songs in the film's soundtrack (as well as the film's working title) was "Who Stole Santa's Sack?"
Awards and release
Christmas Is Here Again premiered on October 20, 2007, as an official selection at the Heartland Film Festival. The following year, it received an Annie Award nomination for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production (Madison Davenport as Sophianna). Additionally, in 2009, Christmas is Here Again was nominated for the Annie Award for Best Animated Home Entertainment Production. Colin Ford, the voice of Dart, was also nominated for a Young Artist Award in 2009 for Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role - Young Actor.
The film was originally slated for a theatrical release in November 2007, but ultimately received its DVD debut in the U.S. on November 4, 2008. The disc contains a behind-the-scenes featurette, cast interviews and "Name the Reindeer", as extras.
Richard Propes of The Independent Critic website gave it an A and 3.5 stars, calling it "an ideal choice for families, children and for Scrooges like myself who, somewhere deep inside, still want to believe".
Live Stage Show
A magical new musical opens the Pacific Conservatory Theatre's 51st Season - the world premiere production of Renegade Animation's Christmas Is Here Again. This frolicsome adventure for the entire family is a new stage musical by Brad Carroll and Jeremy Mann based on the film of the same name written and directed by Robert Zappia. Christmas is Here Again plays in the Marian Theatre November 13 - December 24, 2014.
Sophiana (Charlette Rawls) is an orphan girl who lives in a time when there is no Christmas. She learns that a magic sack that belonged to Santa was stolen 30 years ago by the sinister Krad (Billy Breed). She is joined on her journey to retrieve the magic sack by an unlikely band of adventurers - Santa's former head elf, Paul Rocco (Jonathan Hoover), a young reindeer, Dart (Chad Patterson), a shifty fox, Buster (George Walker), and a polar bear, Charlee (Erik Stein*). Their Ozian journey takes them from snowy mountain peaks, into a cave of jewels, and to an underground lava flow. Enhancing the scenic elements is the incorporation of projected animation artwork that was created by Oscar winner Mike Giaimo (Frozen). Projection Designer is Adam Flemming.
The musical also features Resident Actors Andrew Philpot* as Nick, Kitty Balay* as Miss Dowdy, and Elizabeth Stuart* as Miss Victoria. The Design team includes Choreographer Michael Jenkinson, Musical Director Callum Morris, Scenic Designer DeAnne Kennedy, Costume Designer Marcy Froehlich, Lighting Designer Jennifer 'Z' Zornow, Sound Designer Elisabeth Rebel, and Production Stage Manager Jahana Azodi*.
Director Roger DeLaurier said that the heart of the story is about hope and needing to believe, even when you don't know what the answer is. Our hero, Sophiana, represents the leaders among us, the person who takes the lead and says "follow me!" "It usually takes a leader to start moving toward this thing that's important," DeLaurier said. Though they may not know how or why, but are willing to say, "I'm going to figure out how to make it happen."
Christmas Is Here Again is a brand new stage adaptation of the 2007 animated feature film of the same name produced by Renegade Animation. Written and directed by Robert Zappia, he recalls the Christmastime stories his father would tell his sister and himself when they were children. The story would grow year after year as Zappia's father made up the adventure on the spot. Over the years it became a family tradition singing songs and telling "the" story. When Robert decided to produce it as an animated feature he secured some of the industry's top stars for the voice actors: Ed Asner, Andy Griffith, Kathy Bates, Jay Leno, and Shirley Jones, among others.
A year after its release, Renegade Animation's co-founder Ashley Postlewaite (former PCPA Development Director) approached Brad Carroll to adapt the feature for the stage. Work began in earnest four years ago and included a series of workshops with the goal to maintain the spirit of the animation's story, but to expand and elevate it to a fully realized musical theatre production.
PCPA is proud and excited to present this world premiere for the holidays - Christmas Is Here Again!
Children 4 years old may attend any of the matinee performances. All other performances, children must be at least 5 years old.
- "Heartland Film Festival information for Christmas Is Here Again". Truly Moving Pictures. 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- "Renegade Animation Completes "Christmas is Here Again"". Digital Publisher Magazine. Digital Media Online. 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- Propes, Richard (2008). "Review of Christmas Is Here Again". The Independent Critic. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
- "List of awards and nominations". 35th Annie Awards. The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood. 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Yip, Roger (2008-09-09). "Christmas Is Here Again on DVD". DVDTOWN.com. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- "Christmas Is Here Again". Screen Media Films. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- "Christmas is Here Again - PCPA". Retrieved 27 October 2014.