DVD Review: Prep & Landing
Release Date: November 22, 2011
· IMDb: Prep & Landing
by R.J. Carter
Published: November 22, 2011
Ever wonder how Santa manages to deliver all those presents in a single night? Well, he doesn't work alone. He has elves working in advance on the houses, making certain no creatures are stirring, fireplaces are out, stockings are puffed open, and trees are trimmed to make room for presents of substantial size. These are the elves of team Prep and Landing, and there job isn't finished until they guide Santa's sleigh successfully onto the roof.
Wayne is the best at this stealthy job, and he's been at it a long, long time. So long, in fact, that he's due for a promotion. But when the promotion goes to his partner -- whom he trained -- Wayne's attitude goes from Holly Jolly to Grinchy. Now a disgruntled employee, Wayne doesn't give a candy cane about the house he's prepping, leaving the work up to his partner while he watches television and eats a cookie -- and gets spotted by the awakened child of the house! Things get worse, however, when Santa won't be able to make the landing in a snowstorm with the house being improperly prepped.
Realizing the error of his ways, and crushed that a little boy's Christmas is about to be ruined because of his selfishness, Wayne pulls out all the stops, improvising a plan on the fly to make sure Santa can make this stop. Along the way, he comes to realize he has the most tinsel job of all the elves.
Dave Foley voices Wayne, joined by Derek Richardson as his new, hyperactive partner, Lanny. Sarah Chalke lends her voice to the Prep and Landing director, Magee, and Morgan Sheppard is Santa Claus himself in this half-hour Disney instant classic.
This DVD release includes some bonus shorts featuring the "Prep & Landing" cast. In "Operation Secret Santa," Mrs. Claus (Betty White) enlists Wayne and Lanny in a mission to infiltrate Santa's personal workshop, busting past all kinds of Christmas security in order to retrieve a very special box. "Tiny's Big Adventure" features Magee sending her diminutive, silent assistant Tiny off for coffee, which is apparently harder to make than one might imagine -- particularly if you're shorter than the average elf.
"Kringle Academy" is a collection of animated clips done to spoof the old Coronet educational films, with each highlighting an aspect of what an elf learns to become part of the Prep & Landing team. Unfortunately, these clips -- in an effort to make them look aged -- instead only look blurry. They don't have the pops and jumps that a film reel would have, but rather an unstead focus, which made them annoying and I'd only watch them once.
"North Pole News" similarly had an old feel to it, but not to the degree of the "Kringle Academy" shorts. And wrapping things up are "North Pole Commercials" -- things elves see on television, for things like elf dating services.
Previews on this release include "Lady and the Tramp" Platinum Edition, "The Muppets," "Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas" Special Edition, "Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice," and "Treasure Buddies."