Does Santa meet FAA regulations? Shouldn't we break up his viscous monopoly on Christmas? These are questions being asked by the creators of the new satirical animated Christmas movie, Uncle SAMta, which hopes to provide a comedic, yet truthful look at the economy -- offering something to all ages as an aspiring Christmas classic for years to come.
With a tentative release date of November 2015, co-creator AJ Viviani said the script is almost finished and they are working full-time to get the project into full production.“We've already communicated with a few celebrities interested in doing voices in the film and are making headway with private investors who -- since our Kickstarter campaign -- have reached out to be a part of the project,” Viviani said in an interview for IVN.
Viviani and his co-producer Sean Springer, both of whom are Full Sail University instructors, came up with the idea one night while knocking back a few cold ones and listening to TV talking heads discuss economic policy -- particularly Bernake's second quantitative easing.
“We'd often commentate on the commentators; we're actually kind of interested in what makes all this economics stuff work,” Viviani remarked.
After the laughter subsided -- and after playing with the idea of actually going into politics themselves -- they decided to instead mesh together their passions for storytelling with their interest in economics to create a family-friendly, satirical comedy.
Already having a background in film making and animation under their belts, along with their own in-house production studio (Playblast Productions), the duo began brainstorming.
“As we explored various topics, we thought Christmas, and particularly Santa, would be a fun protagonist we could all get behind when government has run amok,” said Viviani.
“Does Santa meet FAA regulations? Shouldn't we break up his viscous Monopoly on Christmas? A true-to-life Uncle Sam emerges and suggests just that, providing a state-sanctioned, red-white-and-blue alternative holiday known as 'Fairness Day.'”
Viviani said the film will be rated PG, released theatrically, and along with making people laugh, will hopefully educate kids about the political system in a way that isn't done through proper schooling.“Common Core -- and things like that -- don’t really teach the basic details of economics. The way they learn about the economy is by doing it themselves,” Viviani told
Beyond delivering a compelling, comedic, action-packed story, Viviani said he would like people to take away the same elements found within classics like Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes To Washington or Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol.
“Both of those are political allegories that don't so much preach to the audience, but 'show' rather than 'tell,'” said Viviani, who also provided Disney's Legend of Sleepy Hollow featurette as an example of what they are aiming for. “That story had a beautiful high-brow narrative for parents and fun action for kids.”
The first Uncle SAMta promo video released back in July, and the five-minute clip alone is sure to elicit a few laughs and provide a better picture of what's in store for viewers. The quality of production on the promo copy alone -- which involved 15 different artists from Disney, WB, Dreamworks, and Sony -- is top-notch.