Hooves of Fire (1999 TV Short)
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Anyway, onto the actual film, it's wonderful. The story concerns Robbie (voiced by Irish comedian extraordinare Ardal O'Hanlon), the son of another famous reindeer (whose name is never uttered) who wants to be on Santa's sleigh team. Trouble is, he's lazy. In the end he gets up off his butt, defeats the evil Blitzen ("Around the World in 80 Days" star Steve Coogan) and finds love. The writing, performances, animation and everything are superb. You will find yourself laughing out loud at these reindeer and the silly things they do. But make sure you see the UK edition, because on CBS here in the States they've rerecorded the dialogue with Ben Stiller, Britney Spears, Hugh Grant and Brad Garrett and removed charming Britishisms like, "You're chucked" rather than "I'm breaking up with you."
There is an important point here. Americans are obtuse about other cultures. We are so convinced that ours is the best nation out there despite never EVER having set foot off her shores. Anything foreign, we remake and redo and Americanize. This is the logic behind American versions of British comedies, Kevin Costner as Robin Hood and the decision that American primetime TV audiences wouldn't like an Irish reindeer so let's make him Derrick Zoolander instead.
See the British version, I beg you. And its sequel, "Legend of the Lost Tribe."
I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much in 30 minutes. A romp from go to whoa this film (incidentally named Robbie the Reindeer in Australia) follows the trials and tribulations of Robbie, son of Rudolph, trying to get a guernsey on the team leading the sleigh for Christmas. Robbie's secret weapon is, curiously enough, his nose, but not for the same reason his father was famous. Robbie can pin-point an exact location anywhere on the globe with his nose!! Double entrends, take-offs and a very, very slick script make this a highly enjoyable film. You'll like this film even more if you are a fan of "claymation" (think Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit et al).
The original English version is very amusing. Entertaining for just about everyone, with slightly dirty jokes for the wee ones, jokes that make sense for older children and jokes that adults will get and find amusing!
Robbie, Rudolph's son (with a lovely Irish accent), is going to be getting ready for his first sleigh pull while his father is away elsewhere. Unfortunately, he is not very well exercised and is pretty gullible with Blizten - who seems suspicious... He is also head over heels with love for Vixen, ignoring Donner, who wants his affection more. Clearly he's in a wee bit of a pickle...
Enjoy "Robbie The Reindeer: Hooves On Fire"! :-)
As others have noted, the addition of a US voice cast is appalling!! Having seen the former release with ONLY Hooves of Fire on it, the default US voiced version which came on the new Hooves / Lost Tribe double disk was a shock! This does not mean that I don't like the voice actors, in fact I quite like several of them, but the UK cast is FAR superior. The problem is that this is a British comedy which has British dialog (as previously noted, the English re-writes don't work), and I kind-of expect the British accents (OK, I should say UK-ish accents since Robbie is voiced by an Irishman). I don't think you should boycott it, though, just make sure that EVERY time you play it for anybody you first go to AUDIO OPTIONS and switch to UK VOICES!! Trust me, you'll thank me for that...
According to the narrator, the film is set in "Coldchester," which is Norther than North, where good old Santa (Father Christmas, Saint Nicolous) lives. Robbie, son of Rudolph, ("Don't EVER... say that name.") has turned up to take a position on the sleigh. At first, there is some mistaken identity ("It's a... It's a... It's a thing!"), which is soon settled ("It must be the last of some poor, endangered animal."), then re-opened ("Cool! Let's kill it!"), and then settled once more ("Call me Robbie, 'cus, I am.") And those jokes are nothing compared to some of the films other lines.
This film will captivate audiences all over the world at any time of the year. A FULLY recommended Christmas comedy with a gift. Maybe you could sit down and watch it late on Christmas Eve, early on Christmas morning, after Christmas lunch, or late at night before bed. Whenever you watch it, be it Christmas, Christmas Eve, or April, you will love it.
The story involves Robbie the Reindeer--the son of Rudolph. Sadly, however, unlike his famous father, Robbie lacks ambition or confidence. He also is a bit lazy and doesn't see a need to keep in shape like the other reindeer who hope to pull Santa's sleigh. This mindset is made worse by Blitzen, who turns out to be a jealous jerk who hates Rudolph and by default also wants to see Robbie fail. He encourages Robbie to give up and for the first half of the film, Robbie is a loser. He doesn't recognize how sweet and stuck on him Donner is and he thinks it's impossible to be chosen so he just gives up. However, being a bit formulaic, you know that he eventually gets out of his rut, goes into training with Old Jingle (who is batty, to say the least) and ends up winning the day by the end of the film.
Overall, this is a very nice kids show that adults can enjoy as well due to some decent writing and voice talents. Don't expect something of the same high quality as an Aardman production (the famous British company that also makes stop-motion shows--but of a considerably higher quality) but it still is good fun.
If you liked this, two years later, a sequel, LEGENDS OF THE LOST TRIBE was made and is quite fun.
It just so happened, or, better said, I just so made it happen, that I saw this short animated movie. The story is about a reindeer who has to fight his way(metaphorically speaking) out of his father's shadow, the greatest reindeer of all times, which I suppose is Rudolf. It's a somewhat funny production, but it lacks a certain rythm in the way the reindeers move and the story itself is simply a nice story for children. Still, it's got some parts which raise above average and above what you'd expect from this thing, so I think I can be pleased with it all. I mainly wanted to see this for the first few seconds in which Robbie Williams is the narrator, in a kind of attempt to prepare myself for his future productions, in which he "lends" his voice. 7/10
xx maverick xx
But that's not nesscessarly what they were thinking. By the looks of it, they were trying to do a remake of "Rudolph" with certain twist. Nevertheless, "Hooves of Fire", the first Robbie film, tells the story about Robbie the Reindeer, the son of Rudolph. Robbie wants to become a reindeer on Santa's sleigh, just like dear ol' dad. But, of course, there is a conflict. Rather than slicing Rudolph's notorious red-glowing nose, Robbie has a huge honker that he could bounce with. Robbie and his good friend, Donner, throughout most of the 20-minutes of the story, practice for the Reindeer Games, an Olympic-type event held in the North Pole. Robbie wants to impress this other female reindeer, Vixen, who's going with Blitzen, a clithe-jock that you see in practically every 80's teen flick. Robbie trains with an insane reindeer, Old Jingle and he eventually makes it to the games, but trouble (I'm not gonna say) occurs and stalls Robbie. But could he make it? Is that really important?
The voices of the characters are most likely celebrities in England, because I have never heard of them (besides Robbie Williams, who narrates the story.) Recently about a week ago, CBS showed the "Americanized" version of the special, that featured the voices of Ben Stiller as Robbie, Britney Spears as Donner and Jerry Stiller as Old Jingle. All and all, the Americanized version was pretty bizarre. Like I said, those crazy Brits! However, they also showed the follow up story to "Hooves of Fire", with a even weirder "Robbie the Reindeer and the Lost Vikings", whom Stiller and Spears both did, along with "Everybody Loves Raymond"'s Brad Garrett, James Woods and Jeff Goldblum.
Most of "Robbie" is not only bizarre, but also kind of adult subject matter. Donner, along we already know is a girl, has boobs! Reindeer boobs??? In a way, that's kind of Tongue-in-cheek, spite that Britney Spears plays her in the American version! There is also some violence and sexual innuendo. But it's still a fun movie to watch. I hope Amazon.com sells the American version (no offense to the British). Very funny.
I've seen this twice but the first time I saw it I assumed that I'd hate it as it appeared to be the BBC trying to catch a lift on the coattails of animation such as Chicken Run etc. I was right in that the humour and the animation is the same, but happily this wasn't a cheap rip off, in fact it almost matches the Nick park stuff in terms of how good it is.
The plot is good but the characters and the side jokes make it worth watching at least once a year! Robbie himself is OK and O'Hanlon is a reasonable casting for the lead. Horrocks is a little dry but Coogan and Quentin are perfectly cast and really go to work with their characters. People like Enfield, Whitehouse, Ifans and Tomlinson just go to back up the calibre of the cast and add to the depth.
Williams is perfect as the narrator as he sets the cheeky tone really well. However far and away my favourite characters are the sports commentators for Robbie's race. UK viewers will know that Des Yeti and Alan Snowman are total spoofs on the BBC's old Match of the Day team. Everytime they were onscreen I was in hoots of laughter McGowan always does them well in his own shows but here his voices combined with the images just make it even better.
Overall there is plenty for kids to love and they will be happy for the whole film, but adults will be laughing just as hard and will get a lot more of the jokes. Not quite as good as Nick Park's recent efforts but still well worth a look as it'll beat the pants off whatever else is on TV for kids this Christmas.