Review: Mumfie’s White Christmas / Cert: U / Director: John Laurence Collins / Screenplay: Britt Allcroft, John Kane / Starring: Patrick Breen, Emily Dinidger, Steve Ross, Peter Yawitz, Rory Dodd / Release Date: Out Now
Let me start by confessing, when I sat down to watch Mumfie’s White Christmas, my head was preparing a sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek review knocking this elephant-shaped festive fun. Rather confusingly for my brain, I found myself actually enjoying the show. I’m not sure whether it’s because ‘it’s the most beautiful time of the year,’ I’m a sucker for all things Christmas and snowy (see: Batman Returns, The Empire Strikes Back, 30 Days of Night), or I just love the charm of a well-animated feature.
Mumfie’s White Christmas centres around Britt Allcroft’s Mumfie character; a happy-go-lucky elephant. Along with his friends Scarecrow and Pinky the flying elephant, Mumfie is on a mission to find Santa and make sure that we all get a white, snowy Christmas. On his quest, he comes across friends like Whale, the mysteriously magical Black Cat, and new faces in the form of a singing bird and a dejected reindeer.
With Allcroft having also been the brains behind classics such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Shining Time Station, this Mumfie Christmas special has the charm and quirks that you’d be expecting. With the main feature clocking in at just over 21 minutes, the festive frolics are easily accessible and make the perfect accompaniment to last-minute wrapping of presents. Offering beautiful animation, surprisingly (and annoyingly) catchy songs, and a cuteness factor that could bring a smile to even the most hardened of Starburst readers, Mumfie’s White Christmas is great as a traditional, well-designed treat to keep the kids entertained or equally so as a guilty pleasure for the big kids out there.
Still, the far too logical adult in me does have certain issues with this short film and its characters. I mean, how can a small, seemingly pre-teen elephant afford to own such a nice little cottage? I guess maybe he rents? Has it been handed down to him after his parents’ deaths? Then that poses the question of where he gets his income from, and just how does the fellow make ends meet when he seemingly never works? And just what is the ‘happy ending’ that we hear Mumfie constantly harking about in song form?
But bah humbug to that far too serious and logic-seeking adult. It’s Christmas; a time to be entertained, a time to take off those heavy-eyed, grown-up glasses. Mumfie’s White Christmas will melt even the hardest of hearts. As somebody that once spent Christmas Day watching the soul-destroying Eden Lake, I can say that Mumfie’s White Christmas is a festive treat for all.
Extras: Three bonus Mumfie episodes