Santa’s Little Helper appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these single-sided, double-layered DVDs; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. For SD-DVD, this was a solid presentation.
For the most part, sharpness looked good. At times, wider shots tended to be a little soft, but those examples weren’t terribly intrusive. Much of the film appeared pretty accurate and concise. No concerns with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement remained minor. Source flaws also failed to create problems.
In terms of colors, Helper veered toward a pretty peppy palette to reflect the holiday environment. This meant we got a fairly broad range of hues that tended to appear lively. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, this was a pleasing presentation.
Similar thoughts greeted the good Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Helper. I felt the soundscape delivered an involving experience in which the various fantasy scenes offered a nice sense of impact. Overall, the mix filled out the room in a satisfying manner, especially when it involved magic.
Audio quality was positive. Speech came across as natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music showed good range, and effects offered a good sense of impact with reasonable punch and clarity. This was a positive soundtrack.
Three featurettes appear here. The Ho Ho Ho lasts four minutes, 39 seconds and offers comments from director Gil Junger, and actors Mike Mizanin, AnnaLynne McCord, and Paige. They cover story/character elements as well as cast and performances. No substantial information appears here.
Introducing Paige runs five minutes, 21 seconds and features Paige, Mizanin, Junger and McCord. We learn about Paige’s WWE career and her movie debut here. Like “Ho”, nothing interesting emerges, but I like the shots of Paige in her skimpy wrestling outfits.
Finally, we get the two-minute, 50-second Holiday Cast and Crew. It includes notes from Mizanin, McCord, Paige, Junger, production assistant Jodi Henwood, assistant location manager Aleksander Stirajs, and assistant prop master Kenny Gibbs. All involved provide Christmas memories. This becomes another forgettable reel.
The disc opens with ads for The Peanuts Movie, Jingle All the Way 2 and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. These also appear under Sneak Peek along with promos for Russell Madness, Home Alone, Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales and The Sound of Music. No trailer for Helper pops up here.
At no point does Santa’s Little Helper threaten to become a terrible holiday movie, but it also fails to develop into anything memorable. Burdened by a poor performance from its lead actor and a general lack of inspiration, the film seems mediocre at best. The DVD offers pretty good picture and audio but lacks meaningful supplements. I can think of worse Christmas entertainment, but I can also find many superior efforts.