Day Four: Snow (2004) Tom Cavanagh Shines in This Small ABC Family Made-For-TV Movie

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tumblr_inline_mxx03mOjYf1qavk7bI have always though that Tom Cavanagh was a really solid actor who just didn’t have the lucky breaks or the work ethic to grind out auditions after auditions. Every role I have seen him in, he has done a great job and has always brought a certain something to all of his roles even if they were meant to be generic or cookie-cutter characters. But I am guessing for many of you out there, he pretty much flew under your radar until his breakout role as Harrison Wells (or The Reverse Flash) of 2014 in CW’s The Flash. He played an incredible companion to Barry Allen and an even better villain for him and I was happy to see his role reprised in the second season of the series… I hope to see much more!

I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if you are one of the millions of people who love him as Harrison Wells but have never know him as Nick Snowden from the made-for-tv movie called Snow. It is a charming little movie that has a unique twist on Santa Claus as a person and the adorable and comedic talents Cavanagh brings to Snowden really do make this movie worth the watch if you’re up for a heartwarming Christmas tale.

Synopsis

When one of Santa’s reindeer is kidnapped by big game hunter Buck Seger (Patrick Fabian), Nick Snowden (Tom Cavanagh), a nerdy young man who is training to take over for Kris Kringle, travels to California to recover it. There, he meets Sandy Brooks (Ashley Williams), a kind-hearted zoologist, and begins to fall in love. With the help of a young boy named Hector (Bobb’e J. Thompson), Nick concocts a plan to retrieve the reindeer in time for Christmas.
162325__snow_lIf you have never seen this movie, but were lucky enough to see Cavanagh on The Flash, then his role as Nick Snowden might surprise you. Harrison Wells is a very different character, he is confident, charismatic, energetic and an emotional rock for the other characters. Nick Snowden is the son of Santa Claus… not the Santa… just a Santa. He has been “learning” from his father everything that it takes to be a Claus until his untimely death. Snowden isn’t very confident and usually ends up making a fool of himself rather than accomplishing anything. But it is refreshing to see someone who can take the physical comedy and add sort of nervous charm to it that makes you both laugh at him but take him serious all in one moment.
chg9hazymbalaetfkdthHis relationship with Sandy Brooks (Ashley Williams) isn’t overly unique… It is one of those “love at first sight”-type of love story, at least on Snowden’s part. But they mingle it in well with the ridiculous slapstick-style feel of Santa Claus needing to smuggle one of us reindeer out of a zoo in time for Christmas. Additionally, similar to Miracle on 34th Street, this movie had Snowden attempt to restore Sandy’s faith in the holidays, which is something she lost after the death of her mother despite being surrounded by fairly jolly people.
What I really enjoyed about this movie, other than seeing Tom Cavanagh be awesome, is  the Claus mythos found within. It is a take you do not often seen in other Holiday movies. In this mythos, Santa Claus originally was an evil rich baron or prince (I don’t exactly remember) who had denied someone a particular kindness and was cursed. Here… actually I cannot really explain it all that well so here is the story Snowden tells a bunch of children in the movie (Copied from IMDb):
Once upon a time, in a far and distant land, there lived a mean and cruel lord. And, one Christmas, this mean and cruel lord was throwing a lavish feast, for Kings and Queens. When, lo and behold, a poor beggar was caught picking scraps of food from his kitchen. Now this cruel lord was a miser, so, what did he do, but, he threw him out, into the cold winter night. But, what the cruel lord did not know, was that this was no ordinary beggar. This man was, actually, a very powerful wizard, and he cast a spell over this cruel lord. Now, under this spell, this cruel lord vanished. And he would reappear, every year, one week before Christmas, during which time he was to give away some of his treasure, and spread glad tidings and good cheer. Well, as you can well imagine, this cruel lord gave, and gave, and gave, until a strange thing began to happen. He began to see the joy that his giving brought others and, bit by little bit, despite himself, he began to like it. And before too long, he began to love it. And, as he did, this spell passed from a curse… to a blessing. And this, once cruel, lord gave with a glad heart. It was at this point wondrous things started happening: for example, he worried that his big bag of gifts and gold was nearing empty when, all of a sudden, it would fill right back up again. This was the power of that spell. And it was this spell that was passed on from generation to generation, from father to son. Just as it was passed from my father… to me. And that’s how I became Santa Claus.
snow2-brainfreeze1My main point is that it is an extremely well though out mythology to how Santa Claus came to be…rather than a saint– he is someone who had to find redemption. I, for one, think that this story might deserve a movie, or at least a short, of its own!

Snow is not the best Christmas movie by far, but there is tons of stuff to like about it from the funny slew of side characters to the tumbling charm of Cavanagh. It was clearly not out to win any awards– but it is undeniable that the story is heartwarming and the characters are easy to root for. So, hey, give it a shot!

Trivia
This 2004 Christmas film Snow — about a young Santa (Tom Cavanagh) who needs to rescue his reindeer from a California zoo — became so popular with viewers that it is now a regular part of the ABC Family Christmas block. It led to a sequel in 2008, titled Snow 2: Brain Freeze.

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