The Flight Before Christmas (2008)

The Flight Before Christmas 2008tt0885415.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Flight Before Christmas (2008)
  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 1,187 votes 
  • Genre: Animation | Adventure | Comedy | Drama | Family
  • Release Date: 10 October 2008 (Finland)
  • Runtime: 80 min
  • Filming Location: Finland
  • Budget: €6,100,000(estimated)
  • Stars: Olli Jantunen, Hannu-Pekka Björkman and Vuokko Hovatta
  • Original Music By: Stephen McKeon   
  • Soundtrack: Happy Christmas!
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Reindeer | Flying Squirrel | Santa Claus | Cartoon Reindeer | Avalanche

Writing Credits By:

  • Hannu Tuomainen (written by) and
  • Marteinn Thorisson (written by)
  • Mark Hodkinson (additional dialogue)

Known Trivia

  • This is the most expensive Finnish animated film.
  • This is the most widely distributed Finnish film. Its rights have been sold to over a 100 countries.
  • The film was animated to fit the English language, using a temporary voice track recorded by Irish actors. It was then dubbed to other languages.
  • This film was the first voice acting role for Finnish actor Hannu-Pekka Bj√∂rkman.
  • In earlier drafts, Niko was named Rusty. He was also called Pietu and/or Pyry.

Goofs: Revealing mistakes: When Niko and Saga warn the other reindeer that wolves are coming, Niko's grandpa comes in and asks "Are you sure they didn't follow you?" At that moment, his right horn can be seen passing through the leader's horn geometry.

Plot: A young reindeer who suffers from vertigo learns to overcome his fear, takes flying lessons from a clumsy flying squirrel and heads to the North pole to save a troubled Santa and his fleet of flying reindeer. Full summary »  »

Story: A reindeer boy named Niko dreams about flying like his father, whom he has never met. Despite constant mocking from others, he sneaks out of his home valley to take flying lessons from Julius, a flying squirrel.Written by jcsmarchesi  

{tab=Synopsis}

Synopsis: This is a movie about Niko, a reindeer boy in Lapland, who has heard that his father is one of the famous flying reindeers of Santa Claus. Niko dreams of being able to fly. His friend and mentor Julius, a squirrel, tries to keep an eye on the boy. One day Niko overhears how a pack of wolves plans to go to Santa’s place on Korva-fjell and eat all the reindeers there. Niko and Julius have a near escape from the dreadful pack and are joined by Vilma, the beautiful weasel. Chased by the wolves and their leader, the gruel Black Wolf, the three manage to get to the top of the mountain, where Santa resides. The Flying reindeer squad does not believe Nikos tale about the wolves nor that he is the son of one of them. But when the wolves finally arrive, Niko proves that he is fearless and therefore able to fly. Niko meets his proud father. The wolves are beaten and Santa leaves for his big ride on Christmas eve. He invites Niko into his troops of flying reindeers, but he refuses. Family and friends comes first.

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Jana Bohl known as line producer
  • Emely Christians known as co-producer
  • Ralph Christians known as co-producer
  • Moe Honan known as line producer
  • Jaana Hovinen known as producer: Finland
  • Viola Lütten known as line producer: Germany
  • Lise Ann Mangino known as line producer: Denmark
  • Anders Mastrup known as co-producer
  • Petteri Pasanen known as producer
  • Irene Sparre Hjorthøj known as line producer
  • Hannu Tuomainen known as producer
  • Kristel Tõldsepp known as producer: A. Film Eesti
  • Marc Gabizon known as executive producer (uncredited)

FullCast & Crew:

  • Olli Jantunen known as Niko (voice: Finnish version)
  • Hannu-Pekka Björkman known as Julius (voice: Finnish version)
  • Vuokko Hovatta known as Wilma (voice: Finnish version)
  • Vesa Vierikko known as Musta Susi (voice: Finnish version)
  • Jussi Lampi known as Räyskä (voice: Finnish version)
  • Risto Kaskilahti known as Rimppa / Uljas (voice: Finnish version)
  • Minttu Mustakallio known as Essie (voice: Finnish version)
  • Juha Veijonen known as Raavas (voice: Finnish version)
  • Puntti Valtonen known as Hirvas (voice: Finnish version)
  • Elina Knihtilä known as Oona (voice: Finnish version)
  • Juulia Rönkkö known as Saaga (voice: Finnish version)
  • Tommi Korpela known as Susilauman johtaja (voice: Finnish version)
  • Aarre Karén known as Isoisä (voice: Finnish version)
  • Arttu Hämäläinen known as Poropoika 1 (voice: Finnish version)
  • Ilmari Huhtala known as Poropoika 2 (voice: Finnish version)
  • Mika Ala-Panula known as Oinas / Laumasusi / Laumaporo (voice: Finnish version)
  • Kari Hietalahti known as Armas / Tervas / Puhelintonttu (voice: Finnish version)
  • Janus Hanski known as Rautias (voice: Finnish version)
  • Jussi Chydenius known as Viekas (voice: Finnish version)
  • Miia Nuutila known as Pukin asiakaspalvelu / Laumaporo (voice: Finnish version)
  • Markus Degerman known as Laumasusi (voice: Finnish version)
  • Werne Walla known as Laumaporo (voice: Finnish version)
  • Susa Saukko known as Laumaporo (voice: Finnish version)
  • Veikko Honkanen known as Joulupukki (voice: Finnish version)
  • Ingo Albrecht known as Schwarzer Wolf (voice: German version)
  • Sabine Arnhold known as Oona (voice: German version)
  • Carly Baker known as Saga (voice: English version)
  • Detlef Bierstedt known as Dasher (voice: German version)
  • Patrick Fitzsymons known as Grandpa (voice: English version)
  • Rainer Fritzsche known as Specs (voice: German version)
  • Peter Groeger known as Großvater (voice: German version)
  • Karlo Hackenberger known as Komet (voice: German version)
  • Gary Hetzler known as Elf Operator (voice: English version)
  • Hans Hohlbein known as Cupid (voice: German version)
  • Michael Iwannek known as Donner (voice: German version)
  • Morgan Jones known as Dasher (voice: English version)
  • Joachim Kaps known as Vixen (voice: German version)
  • Jürgen Kluckert known as Weihnachtsmann (voice: German version)
  • Norm MacDonald known as Julius (voice: English version)
  • Andrew McMahon known as Niko (voice: English version)
  • Tim Moeseritz known as Dancer (voice: German version)
  • Sasu Moilanen known as Narrator (voice)
  • Gavin Morgan known as Smiley (voice: English version)
  • Olaf Reichmann known as Julius (voice: German version)
  • Katharina Ritter known as Saga (voice: German version)
  • Emma Roberts known as Wilma (voice: English version)
  • Esko Roine known as Julius (voice)
  • Dennis Schmidt-Foß known as Prancer (voice: German version)
  • Tilo Schmitz known as Rentier-Anführer (voice: German version)
  • Barbara Schöneberger known as Wilma (voice: German version)
  • Susan Slott known as Oona (voice: English version)
  • Alan Stanford known as Black Wolf (voice: English version)
  • Pete Stefanov known as Niko (voice: German version)
  • Paul Tylak known as Specs / Prancer (voice: English version)
  • Irina von Bentheim known as Essie (voice: German version)
  • Bernhard Völger known as Blitz (voice: German version)
  • Thomas Wolff known as Smiley (voice: German version)
  • Susan Zelouf known as Essie (voice: English version)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Art Department:

  • Maria Björklund known as assistant character designer: Finland
  • Kristian Huitula known as assistant character designer: Finland
  • Maria Jäppinen known as production artist: Finland
  • Kalle Kotila known as assistant character designer: Finland
  • Christian Kuntz known as assistant character designer: Denmark
  • Anssi Rauhala known as production artist: Finland
  • Aiju Salminen known as assistant character designer: Finland

..{tab=Company}

Production Companies:

  • Cinemaker Oy
  • Anima Vitae
  • A. Film
  • Animaker
  • Europool (co-production)
  • Magma Films Ltd. (I)
  • TV2 Danmark (co-production)
  • Ulysses
  • Universum Film (UFA) (co-production)
  • Weinstein Company, The
  • Yleisradio (YLE) (in collaboration with)
  • ZDF Tivi (in collaboration with)

Other Companies:

  • A. Film Eesti  additional animation
  • CNSO Studios  recording studio
  • Film Finances  completion bond
  • Gummerus  book publisher
  • Hanseblick  making of
  • Heinonen & co  legal advice
  • Indigo Softworks  programming
  • Juridia  legal advice
  • Kulma  licencing
  • Logonet  merchandising
  • Longbeard Sound  music post-production
  • Matheson Ormsby Prentice  legal advice
  • Original Version Filmproduktion  trailer editing
  • Promatch  sponsoring agent
  • Prosponsoring Finland  sponsoring agent
  • Tilitsto Laskentasysteemi  accounting
  • Tuotantotalo Werne  dialogue recording
  • visual distractions  visual effects (3d SFX)

Distributors:

  • Bac Films (2008) (France) (theatrical)
  • Belga Films (2008) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Filmax (2008) (Spain) (theatrical)
  • Hollywood Classic Entertainment (2008) (Czech Republic) (theatrical)
  • Lizard Cinema Trade (2008) (Russia) (theatrical)
  • Nordisk Film Biografdistribution (2008) (Denmark) (theatrical)
  • RCV Film Distribution (2008) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Universum Film (UFA) (2009) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Belga Home Vidéo (2009) (Belgium) (DVD)
  • Bridge Entertainment Group (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Bridge Entertainment Group (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Genius Entertainment (2008) (USA) (DVD)
  • Jetix (2009) (Netherlands) (TV)
  • Kino Swiat (2009) (Poland) (all media)
  • MG Film (2008) (Croatia) (all media)
  • Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution (2008) (Finland) (all media)
  • Teleview International (2008) (Lebanon) (TV) (Middle East)
  • Valentim de Carvalho Multimédia (2011) (Portugal) (all media)
  • Weinstein Company, The (2008) (USA) (DVD)

..{tab=Other Stuff}

Special Effects:

  • Optical Art (colour grading)
  • Optical Art (film recording)

Visual Effects by:

  • Tomas Andreasson known as character blendshape artist: Denmark
  • Ralph Apfelbaum known as compositor: Germany
  • Tobias Becker known as simulation artist: Germany
  • Tobias Becker known as visual effects: Germany
  • Thomas Diesselhorst known as digital artist
  • Jussi Dittmer known as lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Friedolin Dreesen known as simulation artist: Germany
  • Friedolin Dreesen known as visual effects: Germany
  • Volker Eichhorn known as effects-pipeline technical director: Visual Distractions
  • Pierre Grage known as effects technical director: Visual Distractions
  • Markus Haverinen known as lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Frank Hellmann known as digital intermediate supervisor: Germany
  • Julian Hermannsen known as compositing consulting: Germany
  • Julian Hermannsen known as effects supervisor
  • Niko Hirvonen known as assistant lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Peke Huuhtanen known as visual effects animator: Finland
  • Simon Isenberg known as effects artist: Visual Distractions
  • Jani Kuronen known as lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Heli Laine known as visual effects animator: Finland
  • Marc H. Langbein known as digital effects artist: : Visual Distractions (as Marc Langbein)
  • Marc H. Langbein known as visual effects
  • Garloff Langenbeck known as simulation artist: Germany
  • Garloff Langenbeck known as visual effects: Germany
  • Malte Lauinger known as digital effects artist: Visual Distrations
  • Tim Liebe known as lead compositor: Germany
  • François Lorain known as lighting and texturing: Finland (as Francois Lorain)
  • Antti Markkula known as visual effects animator: Finland
  • Olivier Martiny known as lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Olivier Martiny known as lighting technical director
  • Janne Mäkinen known as assistant lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Karsten Friis Nielsen known as rigging artist: Denmark
  • Karsten Friis Nielsen known as set-up: Denmark
  • Jacek Nowakowski Oczki known as character blendshape artist: Denmark (as Jacek Oczki)
  • Björn Pedersen known as character blendshape supervisor: Denmark (as Bjørn Pedersen)
  • Cornelius Porzig known as simulation artist: Germany
  • Cornelius Porzig known as visual effects: Germany
  • Olli Rajala known as lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Poul Riishede known as character blendshape artist: Denmark (as Paul Riishede)
  • Aki Rissanen known as visual effects supervisor: Finland
  • Garry Runke known as simulation artist: Germany
  • Garry Runke known as visual effects: Germany
  • Anselm Seherr-Thoss known as simulation artist: Germany (as Anselm von Seherr-Thoss)
  • Anselm Seherr-Thoss known as visual effects: Germany (as Anselm von Seherr-Thoss)
  • Markus 'Maggi' Selchow known as digital compositor
  • Jaakko Stenius known as visual effects animator: Finland
  • Sebastian Söderlund known as lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Søren M. Thomsen known as rigging supervisor: Denmark
  • Tommi Tissari known as compositor: Finland
  • Tommi Tissari known as lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Jari Vaara known as visual effects animator: Finland
  • Kustaa Vuori known as compositor: Finland
  • Kustaa Vuori known as lighting and texturing: Finland
  • Stephan Wagemann known as compositor: Germany
  • Markus Wagenführ known as effects technical director: Visual Distractions
  • Thomas Wellendorf known as compositor: Germany
  • Florian Westermann known as compositor: Germany
  • Eva Matthes known as digital compositor (uncredited)
  • Sebastian von Overheidt known as digital compositor (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • Finland 22 September 2008 (Rovaniemi) (premiere)
  • Finland 10 October 2008
  • Netherlands 19 October 2008 (Cinekid Film Festival)
  • USA 25 October 2008 (DVD premiere)
  • Sweden 7 November 2008
  • UK 13 November 2008 (Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival)
  • Finland 17 November 2008 (Oulu International Children's Film Festival)
  • Ireland 28 November 2008
  • Czech Republic 11 December 2008
  • Denmark 12 December 2008
  • Belgium 17 December 2008
  • France 17 December 2008
  • Netherlands 17 December 2008
  • South Korea 24 December 2008
  • Russia 25 December 2008
  • Norway 26 December 2008
  • Turkey 20 February 2009
  • Finland 24 August 2009 (Espoo Film Festival)
  • Egypt 14 October 2009
  • Italy 30 October 2009
  • Germany 5 November 2009
  • Croatia 12 November 2009
  • Austria 13 November 2009
  • Poland 27 November 2009
  • Slovenia 3 December 2009
  • Switzerland 17 December 2009 (German speaking region)
  • Spain 23 December 2009
  • Hungary 9 November 2010 (DVD premiere)
  • Portugal 22 December 2011

..{tab=Gallery}{/tabs}

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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