Every 178 years Santa retires after almost two centuries of service. So, fifteen years before this date, Santa combs the world searching for an orphaned boy named Nicholas with a pure heart to take up the role of Santa's Apprentice. This time a boy named Nicholas from Australia is chosen. He is brought to the north pole where he must study and learn the secrets of Santa to prepare to become the next Santa Claus.
Santapprentice is a French animated series produced by Alphanim productions. It's been dubbed into and episodes on the Encore Family Channel, especially around Christmas time. It also has a full series DVD release, and an Animated Film in 2010 that was dubbed into English.
The characters featured in the series are.
Nicholas: An orphaned boy form Australia with a good heart. He is chosen by Santa to become his apprentice and lives and studies at the north poll to become the next Santa.
Santa: Santa's run is coming to a close. So he chooses Nicholas to train as his successor. Santa is very much a kid at heart and loves playing just as much as he does designing new toys.
Beatrice Lovejoy: Santa's current secretary and house keeper. She is responsible for organizing all of Santa's files and keeping house. She is often the voice of reason in Santa's house.
Humphrey: The head elf and Santa's foreman. Humphrey is in charge of all the elves who works for Santa and has one of the most stressful jobs in the factory. When Nicholas was chosen to be the apprentice, Humphrey was sent to Australia to find him.
Waldorf: A young reindeer who dreams of being on Santa's sleigh team. Waldorf was sent along with Humphrey to find Nicholas in Australia and the two have been close friends ever since. Waldorf likes to stand out from the other reindeer by wearing strands of Christmas lights in his antlers.
Nik-nak and Tim-Tum: Two eskimo children who live in a village close to Santa's workshop. They go to school with Nicholas and become close friends with him. Nik-Nak and Tim-Tum are always there to help Nicholas out of a jam, but they can get up to mischief sometimes.
The tropes featured in Santapprentice are:
Santapprentice provides examples of:
- Age Without Youth: Nicholas becomes immortal and will someday grow up to become the next Santa.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Nicholas finds a meteor that infects anyone who looks at it with powerful greed. It makes almost everyone acted nuts before Nicholas finally manages to get rid of it.
- Nicholas runs across creatures called Troublies. They're basically elves who have gone nuts and try to break everything they touch.
- Butt-Monkey: Humphrey usually ends on the receiving end of slapstick humor.
- Con Man: Santa faces two of these. The first one tries to convince Santa to buy a fancy rocket sleigh that's really a lemon. The second is a woman who tries to whoo Santa, but is really just trying to steal his toy designs.
- The Determinator: Nicholas faces some seriously hard challenges to become the next Santa, but he always pulls through.
- Immortality Inducer: As part of being the next Santa Claus Nicholas must become immortal by finding the last mammoth and having it breath on him.
- Manchild: The nature of Santa leads him to be this.
- Our Elves Are Different: In the series, Santa's elves are odd short beings that look like little green men. They're said to come from a hidden land.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Nicholas wants to leave his mark on the Santa role by changing something. But he learns the hard way the traditions of Santa's are there for a reason.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: Nicholas uses one of these to figure out how to stop a monster that's causing a snow storm.