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This animated video, inspired by the 1997 picture book of the same name, introduces children to the Christian symbolism behind a popular Christmas confection. The dusty, nearly deserted town of West Sage gets a bit shaken up when a stranger named John Sonneman arrives (along with a young companion named Matthew) and announces his plans to stay. Sonneman begins restoring a rickety storefront so that he can open up shop—but the town folk aren't sure what kind of shop. Turns out Sonneman is a candy man and he lets young Jane in on his secret while also telling her all about the origin of the peppermint, red-and-white-striped candy canes people have come to associate with Christmas over the years. While the legend is an interesting one, with special appeal to Christian viewers, it gets buried in this expanded version of the tale. Too many characters and too much meandering exposition at the outset may have younger viewers wondering if the candy cane will ever make its entrance. Veteran actors Florence Henderson, Tom Bosley, Ossie Davis and Malcolm-Jamal Warner all give solid vocal performances. But, unfortunately, the excellent cast seems lost in the uneven story line.
FYI: The Legend of the Candy Cane will air on PAX-TV on November 22 and also on December 22.