Santa Company, at least this version, does a pretty mediocre job of telling a story with an environmental message for kids. I know there's another short film and a full-length movie from a few years ago, but as I haven't seen those, I'm just going to judge this on its own.
There are going to be slight spoilers from here on out, but since it's a 30-minute short film... I hope it's not too inconvenient.
Story - 4
Although this is a PG film, definitely meant for kids, I feel like the story was still really underdeveloped. Kids don't necessarily need super complex stories, especially if the focus is the message rather than the characters' development, but I do think this could've been better. There's no motivation behind what the characters do, at least no good motivation. Mint wants to be as good as her brother/live up to Panal (I think), Noah wants to clean up to prevent animals from dying like his pet(???) whale did, but these are all motivations that are dropped more than halfway through the film and without further elaboration. Also, the reveal of the trash dragon Mook was quite strange. The only other time we hear about him is when the teacher from the beginning says that Mint was working on an assignment about "Mook, Santa's enemy," and even then that's all we hear about it.
Maybe I'm being nitpicky, but I feel like there could've been something more coherent for this film.
Art - 9
I think the art style is super cute and the color design is awesome. The main cast certainly look unique without being gaudy. One point off for the CGI though. It wasn't bad, just... strange.
Sound - 9
Sound design was pretty good. I don't usually listen very hard for sound design, but nothing sounded bad to me. The voice actors are all also really incredible. So, a 9.
Character - 5
Like I said in the story section, the characters just didn't feel fleshed out in any way. They were all pretty one-dimensional. They don't have to be super complex if they're just for a short environmental story, but I wish there was more of a sense of their goals and motivations. Or some kind of change in their characters...
Enjoyment - 7
Despite all of the flaws in the characters/story, it was still kind of fun to watch. It was visually pleasing and the music during the credits was definitely really nice.
Overall - 5
I think the message behind the short film is a great one. We should all do our part in keeping the world, especially the oceans, clean and not contributing to the large amounts of litter out there. I admire the team's efforts to make an entertaining film meant to entertain and educate the public about this issue. I just think audiences would enjoy it more or take it more seriously if there was some more work put into the story so that it doesn't seem so heavy-handed.
I really like the concept, I just wish there could've been a better product for such an interesting idea and such an important issue.