Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Two movies that I must watch every Christmas are A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life. I have seen both more times than I can count but I still enjoy them with each viewing and it is a tradition I treasure. And while I adore these and other seasonal classics I am not averse to checking out more modern Yuletide content. And last Christmas (I gave you my heart; sorry, couldn’t resist) I did just that with the animated short Bermuda Shorts Christmas Special.
Written, directed, animated by and starring the voice of Tashel Bean, the Bermuda comedy follows struggling single father Mateo and his plans to get his precocious teen daughter Dani the best Christmas gift ever. He also has to manage his sassy, upper class baby mama Kat and his disapproving relatives but he has the support of his grounded and quick-witted girlfriend Zerlina.
It’s an animated show, so let’s talk about the animation. It’s a very colourful, simplistic style that may remind some of South Park, though the tone is much less adult and irreverent. And it works for the whimsical, wacky style of the show. The jaunty music and sharp sound editing is quite good, with a few audio gags delivering the chuckles.
The characters are also quite enjoyable and relatable. Everyone knows a struggling slacker with big dreams like Mateo, or someone uppity and condescending person like Kat. And who doesn’t have a friend who is always coming with a crazy plan like Mateo’s best friend Toru? The voice acting is pretty solid and the comedic timing impeccable. Bean has quite the offbeat sense of humour which I really enjoyed.
And speaking of the humour there is a mix of it to be had here. Bean lampoons Christmas traditions, relationships, and Bermuda culture, but it is broad and recognisable enough to be appreciated by audiences from most cultures. I found myself laughing repeatedly and I predict you will find lot to enjoy here too.
Aside from the humour what I enjoyed the most about the Bermuda Shorts Christmas Special is the heart and message at the centre. It is not a sappy, “meaning of Christmas”, Hallmark-esque message but a very real and grounded one. And I liked that.
Bean, who also created the animated fantasy series The Adventures of Raz (I’ll link that below), hopes to make Bermuda Shorts into the island’s first animated sitcom. And with his talent and knack for humour I think that is a splendid idea.
Editor Jules’s Score: 8 out of 10
You can watch the Bermuda Shorts Christmas Special for yourself by clicking the link here and do show them some love with a share and a comment. And you can check out more animated Caribbean content right here:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.