Hogfather is the two-part film adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel of the same name. It’s available on DVD in both region 1/NTSC and region 2/PAL.
Assassin-in-training Mr Teatime (Marc Warren) is assigned the job of inhuming the Discworld’s Father Christmas, the Hogfather. Teamtime, as thorough and experimental as he is crazy, takes the round-about path to finding a way of destroying a mythical figure: destroy belief as a whole. Thankfully, the grim reaper, Death, is there to step in as Hogfather and keep belief alive, even as Teatime ransacks the Tooth Fairy’s castle, looking for discarded teeth. Suspicious as to why her grandfather is parading around in a false beard and pillow tucked under his coat, Death’s granddaughter Susan sets out to investigate the goings-on at the Tooth Fairy’s castle where Teatime’s inner child meets Susan’s inner babysitter.
Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) was a fantasy novelist and humorous satirist most well known for his Discworld book series. He also wrote books for young adults and children. He co-wrote Good Omens with Neil Gaimain. @terryandrob
On one hand, the moral of the story dictated to us by Death in the end is beautiful: That we must believe the little lies in order to believe the big ones–like justice–and make them become reality. On the other hand, the end of a straightforward narrative unravels in the final act of this three-hour film, and we find ourselves either back in time or in a timeless space where we witness the birth of the Hogfather. It’s metaphorical, but it’s also real at the same time, and it’s all a little blurry. Luckily, you have jokes, primarily by Sir David Jason playing Albert, to keep you somewhat on the ground…or in the sleigh.
The pacing, as is true with all the two-part Discworld movies, is very slow. They could have done the book in two hours or less, but they milk it for viewing figures, as they split it over two nights on Sky. It moves the pace a book moves, but if you’re into that, it’s not so bad. You get all the jokes and sideplots that you get in the book, which usually get taken out for films. It’s really for the fans.
For being a TV movie, and therefore fairly low-budget, the film does look good. It has the Victorian look to the clothing, and makeshift appeal to technology, like the complicatedly analogue computer machine Hex.