Santa vs. the Snowman 3D

Rated 3.0

The title of this high-spirited, 37-minute, 3-D, computer-generated animation adventure from IMAX is not misleading: Santa and his elves actually go to war against a troubled snowman and the army of minions the snowman sort of clones from ice cubes. The Star Wars similarity includes a phalanx of igloo walkers and a battle with freeze rays and hot-cocoa squirters. The story begins when the lonely snowman wanders into Santa’s Village, is awed by its camaraderie and splendor and attempts to replace a broken flute (his only worldly comfort) with one from the busy workshop. The theft and the rotund fellow’s pursuit by elves ignite a rivalry that threatens to ruin Christmas for the entire planet. Producer-creator Steve Oedekerk (who penned Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls) and the team that brought us Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius keep the visual wonders flowing at an exhilarating pace even as the story about patience, forgiveness, the need to be loved and the spread of goodwill takes a back seat to action. The movie was directed by John A. Davis and features the voices of Jonathan Winters and Ben Stein. M.H.