The 1964 film is a timeless Christmas classic, something that the whole family can watch again and again and find something new every time. Beautiful to look at, with lovely music, a terrific voice cast and an engaging story and characters, it enthralled with me ever since I was little(I am 17 now)and I still love it now. I did think the 1998 movie was sweet and above average, but it isn't as good as the 1964 version. However, this movie perceived as a sequel to the 1964 film is a bit of a mess. It has its heart in the right place and has an interesting premise, but in terms of execution it was ultimately disappointing.
Let's start with the few pros this movie had. It does mean well, and not completely heartless. It could very well be a decent movie for kids, if not for adults. I admit it, I liked this movie as a kid, but things have changed since. I really liked the idea of the story, about a Toy Taker taking toys and trying to spoil Christmas, and Rudolph trying to save the day. The incidental music was decent, if not particularly memorable.
Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to like this movie, everything else ranged to poor to absolutely horrible. While I liked the idea of the story, it was executed horribly. It took a long time to get going, and there are parts in the middle half where next to nothing happens. Need I say that there are a lot of disconnected scenes that are seemingly irrelevant to the plot? Also there doesn't seem to be any connection to the 1964 movie other than the characters' names. The dialogue wasn't any better, a vast majority of it was most uninspiring and entirely forgettable. And there are more clichés in the script alone than you can count.
Another con was the animation. I just want to say that I don't think the computer animation is quite as bad as it was in Doogal, which for me is an absolute disgrace of an animated film anyway, despite the exceptional cast. However, that isn't saying much. The character movement is very robotic, the camera work is disappointingly slow and the actual colours are extremely flat and dull. But I am in complete agreement with anybody who says the worst part was the songs. Almost all of them were absolutely horrible. Some truly plodding and unmemorable melodies and truly crass lyrics. The only song I came close to liking was the Toy Taker's song; then again I tend to root for the villain's songs in movies.
And what have I forgotten? Ah, yes the voice cast. Seriously there are some truly talented actors here, however they just couldn't do anything with the material they were given. I like Richard Dreyfuss, but his snowman narrator, in comparison to the brilliant Burl Ives who voiced him so wonderfully in the 1964 film, was boring and not benevolent enough. Kathaleen Barr as Rudolph... she is a talented voice actress, and acquitted herself well as the voice of Rudolph in the 1998 movie. But I felt as though it wasn't Kathaleen Barr here, her voice was I don't know... too bolshy here. And while I found Rudolph caring and genuinely cute in the 1964 and 1998 films, I am really sorry but I didn't care for him here. Jamie Lee Curtis; now she deserved better. Bad material and a close-to-embarrassing accent just doesn't cut it Jamie Lee. Garry Chalk does his best, but his Santa wasn't merry or cheery enough, John Goodman voiced him marvellously in the 1998 film. And then Rick Moranis, talk about disappointment. The Toy Taker was merely an okay villain, and great to look at. But vocally Moranis couldn't do anything at all with the character, and there wasn't enough of the character to fully develop properly.
All in all, despite some redeeming qualities, this was really disappointing, with a very predictable ending might I add? See the 1964 cartoon instead, and you may like the 1998 film. By all means, see this movie if you like it, but I think those who didn't like this movie are fans of the 1964 cartoon and was expecting something new. Sadly that didn't happen. 4/10 Bethany Cox