|THE ONLINE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE THE ELF (abc, 1997)|
|Why was it such a
Ozzie the Elf was the character used on Santa's official home page. The gents at ABC decided to give him his own Christmas special, and hired Portland's Will Vinton Studios to handle the clay. The Internet was a new-fangled thing, and Ozzie was well-versed in it. He arrived a young intern at the North Pole with ambitious plans to take the whole factory into the late late 20th century. "Man, this place is so Version 1.0! Can we say upgrade?"
Ozzie quickly clashes heads with the older elves, as well as with Clover, his production supervisor. Stuck with putting together parts to a lame stuffed bear named "Beary Sweet," Ozzie rips the stuffing out and retools the bear into a raging, burping, ugly Rat Fink riding a monster truck. Clover is horrified, but Santa is amused, and wants to know what other ideas Ozzie's got in that blue noggin of his.
Soon "Elfworks, Inc" is transformed into "ElfTech" and the Claus's sleigh is souped up with afterburners and a set of "Smart-Present Delivery System" cannons. The more geriatric elves find no place in this new modern world, and neither do the reindeer, who leave once they see the new sleigh. Ozzie has to track them down to save Christmas....and that "Gambling Addiction" sign is no joke; they really did that with one of the reindeer, throughout the special.
One of the more interesting takes on the Santa myth, to be sure.
Why didn't it fit in?
Sad post-script: Will Vinton Studios is now owned by Nike president Phil Knight and has been renamed Laika Enterprises. Why? ......They fired Vinton.