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6 Degrees Entertainment

Terry Pratchett's The Color of Magic & Hogfather
(Michelle Dockery, Sean Astin, Tim Curry, Jeremy Irons, Sir David Jason, et al / 2-Disc Blu-ray + Digital HD / NR / 2020 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: In 'The Color of Magic,' a cowardly wizard is roped into a life of adventure. In 'Hogfather,' it's Hogswatch (equivalent to Christmas) on the Discworld and the Hogfather has gone missing, requiring Death to take his place while his granddaughter Susan endeavors to find out what has happened.

Blu ray Verdict: Set on Discworld, Terry Pratchett's 'Hogfather' novel is brought to life here in 2006. Deranged Assassin Mr Teatime (with a bunch of thieves and a failed apprentice wizard) wants to "inhumme" the Hogfather (Discworld's equivalent of Santa Claus) by destroying children's belief in him.

By kidnapping and holding hostage the tooth fairy in order to use children's teeth to control their belief, the only being that can take his place? Death, a depressant anthropomorphic personification too caught up with humanity for his own good, of course!

Assisted by his foul servant Albert and his half-human (because some talents, like walking through walls or freezing time, are inherited "in the bone" rather than genetically), and adoptive granddaughter Susan, 'The Hogfather' is a rather fantastic mash up of magic, monsters and fantasy!

Vadim Jean's second adaptation of Terry Pratchett's long running Discworld series of comedic fantasy novels cannot compare to the first, though it is not really his fault.

The series adapts Pratchtt's first two novels, 'The Color of Magic' and The Light Fantastic, which together form a loose single narrative here.

Set on a typical fantasy realm, replete with trolls, dwarfs and demons, they are, effectively, a parody of the hero's quest, in that the hero, an untalented wizard named Rincewind, has no intention either of being heroic or of going on a quest, but ends up fighting monsters, riding dragons and trying to save the world anyway!

He is assisted by his "sidekick" Twoflower, who seems only simply aware that he isn't on a package holiday. And that, without mentioning specifics, is the entire plot.

However, along the way, several fantasy (or perhaps D&D) conventions, such as talking swords, scantily-clad, heavy metal-style warrior women, and raging loin-clothed barbarians, are duly referenced and equally, and lovingly lambasted! These are both Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) and enhanced for 16x9 TVs.