Candy Caned

Beginning with an animated skit by Raymond Briggs, ‘Candy Caned’ is centred on the Snowman’s stag do: he has finally moved to the North Pole to marry ‘The Snowman’s’ token female [Remember the one wearing the apron and crass flowered hat?]

With promises of “It is just for one night, my beautiful wife” ringing in the ears of the audience and Mrs Claus alike, Santa, his elves and Rudolph cross the icy North Pole to join a party of other Christmas favourites in Vegas. All involved intend to give the icicle-adorned bachelor a ruddy good send off.

As Santa takes his first draft of Eggnog, prepared by a mischievous little elf named Sozzle, suspicions arise that his trip abroad may not be as brief as planned. Highlights include the elves’ ill-fated excitement that ‘snow’ can be sold in half gram bags and Santa’s innocent encounter with strippers that are desperate to sit on his knee to ask for $20 in their stockings.

Shortly after an image of the Snowman’s ‘snowballs’ are broadcast in to space via the Luxor’s laser beam as he performs his ‘Las Vegas Strip’, the group are escorted to the hotel’s security department. This is why it could be considered a bad idea to invite Santa Claus to a stag do on the night before the night before Christmas.

However, incredulity suspended…and cue crass music: ‘Sisters are doing it for themselves!’
With the responsibility of Christmas on her shoulders and a team of Elves’ wives to assist her, Mrs Claus loads up Santa’s sleigh, dons the oversized red outfit and, with a predictable bump as she attempts to manoeuvre the sleigh from its parking space, delivers all of the presents with enough time left to brew some mulled wine and bake some mince pies ready for Santa’s return.

When Santa slopes home with a hangover “the size of Rudolph’s pats after he’s eaten all them carrots”, he crowns Mrs Claus “The Queen of Christmas” and promises that, from that point on, she will be featured alongside Santa on the front of every Christmas card.

I think I can hear Germaine Greer screaming from here.

The Verdict?

Incorporating elements of childish silliness, ‘bachelor blokishness’, non-confrontational female empowerment and good old fashioned slapstick comedy, ‘Candy Caned’ lurches dangerously from the sublime to the ridiculous, before stumbling drunkenly back to the sublime in a delightful New York New York rollercoaster ride of enjoyable larks and mishaps.

If Jack Nicholson was playing Santa, this film would be downright sleazy in parts. However, with CGI characters imposed on to a real background a la ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, the film protects the playful elements of Christmas whilst adding an innovative adult spin.

Whilst every fibre in your body will be screaming that you should grow a pair of baubles and treat this film with the high brow distain that it deserves, your cynicism will be smothered by a gloopy melting grin. Surely that, my festive friends, is in the true spirit of Christmas.

By Jules Pedersen

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