Hogfather (DVD Review)

Hogfather – a review by OD

It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa-Claus-with-Tusks is nowhere to be found.  Naturally, it’s up to the Grim Reaper to fill his big black boots by providing socioeconomically appropriate gifts for all the cynical little kiddies.  Meanwhile, a wizard, a locksmith, a pair of thieves, and an assassin break into the Tooth Fairy’s castle at the behest of four metaphysical accountants, and it’s up to a lone governess to pick up the old sword and cloak in order to stop their plot, all the while leaving you to struggle to wake up from this LSD-induced fever dream before- No, wait, this the actual plot of the movie.

Yes, world-renowned fantasy author Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather has been adapted into a movie!  As a slavering fan boy, this news made me positively cringe with glee.  One of the best books by my single favourite author is being turned into a movie!

… boiled down into a film that’s half as many minutes long as the book is pages…

Are you insane?  How could this be anything less than a tragic disappointment that will leave me huddled in a corner, sobbing gently into the book, cursing myself for falling for the allure of yet another book-turned-movie?

It was made for Sky One, that’s how!  Perhaps it’s just that I haven’t read the Hogfather book for two years, but, amazingly, the UK television channel seems to have continued its practice of producing faithful representations of its source material, even keeping much of the book’s original scripting.  Sure, there were bits left out, there had to be (of particular disappointment to me was the removal of the Beggars’ Guild subplot), but what remains is so lovingly reproduced that I have difficulty finding fault.  (Okay, there is the matter of Teatime’s voice.  And Nobby Nobbs.  But it’s still really very good.)

I’m told that the plot can be confusing for those who aren’t familiar with the mechanics of Discworld, particularly those concerning belief, but not enough so as to impede its being a thoroughly amusing holiday(-ish) tale of magic, metaphysics, and assassinations.

(Interested in the book? Come to the DeKalb Public Library and check it out!)