Monday, December 26, 2011

Magical Movie Monday: Hogfather

"Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom."  -Death, from Hogfather

Well, we all made it through the holidays. I must admit that sometimes I can't watch A Christmas Story one more time, if you feel like that too, this magical movie, originally a two-part TV special was a much appreciated fantasy escape from the usual holiday movies out there.

Hogfather (2006 directed by Vadim Jean) was a darksomely delightful surprise, Netflix kept on recommending it to me, but I hadn't watched it yet. Then Facebook friend Lisa Glen recommended it too, and I like a human recommendation better than a Netflix generated one, so during the holidays I decided to give it a try.  I'm glad she suggested it, it was a really fun movie!  It takes place in "Discworld" which is not some strange computer realm like Tron.  Discworld is a place born from the mind of popular Sci-Fi Fantasy author Terry Pratchett, it's a flat world floating in space resting on the backs of four elephants that stand on the shell of a giant tortoise, very cool place to begin.  As soon as I heard the fairytale that the governess Susan was reading the kids, I was hooked!

"And then Jack chopped down what was the world's last beanstalk, adding murder and ecological terrorism to the theft, enticement and trespass charges already mentioned, and all the giant's children didn't have a daddy any more. But he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no-one asks inconvenient questions."
Bet this wasn't on your holiday cards!  Concept art for Hogfather
Hogswatch is a midwinter festival very similar to Christmas on earth, but they don't have Santa.  They have The Hogfather, (Shend) is a porcine version of the jolly old elf complete with red suit, jolly laugh, tusks and pig nose above his snowy beard and a flying sleigh pulled by four flying boars.  Now this all seems fine and good, but it turns out The Assassins Guild has been contacted to take out the Hogfather for good, and the villainous Teatime has been given the assignment.  He enlists help and as the plot unfolds they have taken over the Toothfairys castle in an attempt to use children's teeth in a sympathetic magic spell to take away the belief in Hogfather thus rendering him back to his form of a sacrificial animal to ensure the sun rises again.  If The Hogfather is destroyed, the rest of the mythical anthopomorhic characters will soon follow, thus zapping the creativity right out of humanity.  As an artist, I'm against that.  Death, (Ian Richardson) having realized that something is wrong and the Hogfather missing has taken it upon himself with his Albert his butlers assistance, to fill Hogfathers shoes (and suit) to try to keep the belief alive. 
Death, posing as The Hogfather
Susan (Michelle Dockery) is Deaths granddaughter, and also the bravest monster fighting governess ever.  She's not happy to be a part of the magical world, but the kids that she cares for seem happy to have her on their side.  She reluctantly comes to the assistance of those trying to stop Teatime from completing his plan.
Susan, Deaths granddaughter
I may not care to admit it, but I haven't read the book yet, although I enjoyed the characters, humor and intelligent wit so much, I think I'll have to remedy that soon.  There were some very amusing scenes in this movie, one of my favorites is when Death posing as The Hogfather shows up to do an in-store appearance and negotiates with a young girl for her good behavior in trade for gifts bestowed.  Death was a riot, I could have watched him forever! 
The God of Hangovers, of course!
Other unforgettable characters are Bilious, the God of Hangovers, the Toothfairy, the original Boogyman, and a magical thinking machine called Hex. 
Author Terry Pratchett as the Toymaker!
Also delighted to learn the Terry Pratchett made a cameo appearance as the toymaker.  There were times when the plot seemed a little slow, and sociopath Teatime's (Marc Warren) manor of speech although creepy was a little too reminiscent of Johnny Depps child-like Willy Wonka, but overall, I loved this movie and will surely keep it on my yearly holiday movie roster!
Assassin, Mr. Teatime, he prefers it to be pronounced "Teh-ah-time-eh"

Albert trying to teach Death the proper Hogfather laugh, "No, no, no! You've got put a bit more life in it, sir... Er, no offence intended. You've got to do a big fat laugh, sir. You've got to sound like you're pissing brandy and you're crapping plum pudding, sir... if you'll pardon my Klatchian."


Monday Movie Featured Item:

Winter Solstice at Dawn Wall Sconce, welcome the return of the sun with this beautiful piece available in our Etsy shop!
The Hogfather had to be saved so that the sun would rise on the winter solstice, we just raise a glass to the sun to welcome it's return!  This piece of art called Winter Solstice at Dawn is a celebration of the return of the sun after to longest night of the year.  We've made it into this cool iron and ceramic wall sconce so you can burn a candle through the long solstice night!

Winter Blessings!


  1. I watched the Hogfather last night with my husband. It is my new favorite holiday movie. :^) Glad you liked it.

  2. This is my all time favorite holiday movie. I own in on dvd so i watch it a lot. So glad that you took listened to your friend and watched it. There is so much truth in this delightful movie.

  3. I think I may have to pick up the DVD as well, really enjoyed it, Tristan has watched it over and over!

  4. I've never seen or heard of Hogfather. It looks great... I will have to keep my eyes open for this one!


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