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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Fantasy > Holiday > Christmas > Magic > Children > Dogs > The Search For Santa Paws (2010/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD)

The Search For Santa Paws (2010/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD)


Picture: C+/C     Sound: B-/C+     Extras: C-     Feature: C-



Sometimes a release comes along that is so bizarre, you cannot believe it was ever made.  This particularly tends to happen to two kinds of productions: children’s entertainment and Christmas/Holiday productions.  Think Santa Claus Versus The Martians.  Usually, these bizarre duds come from smaller companies, but the new Disney straight-to-home-video production The Search For Santa Paws (2010) is one of the oddest things the studio has ever, ever made.


Derivative of anything the writers can throw in, Santa and company find out the Spirit of Christmas is fading (I wonder why; the script never tells us why) among children, so he goes to New York City (OK) and brings his dog Paws (not to be confused with Jaws) with him to see what they can do about the situation.  Then when the man in red arrives, he gets amnesia!  Yes, he loses his memory (like you are expected to while watching), so only the dog can fix things.  He can talk and a group of other talking dogs and talking children (orphans that seem like Annie-lite) join him.  And then a toy stuffed dog is turned into a real one by some strange turn of magic, but to say anything else would ruin the shock… I mean surprise this effort offers.


Director Robert Vince co-wrote this throw in everything and the kitchen sink mess that is an odd, desperate extension of the talking dogs cycle Disney launched many years ago, but this one belongs on Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Though rated G, I wondered if some of this was appropriate for a young audience, to awkward to be child-friendly or safe as Disney releases are usually expected to be.  I honestly would urge parental caution on this one, which is one talking dog release too many.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is soft, has a harsh look at times, has more motion blur than it should and color is not always great.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD is even worse, softer, poorer and more difficult to watch.  What were they thinking?  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 48/24 lossless 5.1 mix on the Blu-ray is weak overall with a limited soundfield and the recording (especially dialogue) is not as good as it always could be.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD is weaker still.


Extras include BD Live interactive functions on the Blu-ray, while both format versions add a Music Video (hmmmm), Deleted Scenes, Sing-A-Long Mode and an electronic pop-up book called The Hucklebuckle Hero.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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