A look into my design processes as I work along in my course as a CAA student at UCA Rochester.
OGR 30/01/17Hey Zoe - big apologies for appearing to ignore you for a whole week! Let's just call it a 'senior moment!' :)So, things I like - the grumpy elf all alone on the outpost with a chip on his shoulder, the 'health and safety' stuff, and Santa being stuck on the outside. Things I like less are some of the inferred complexities of your story, when I think a simpler more linear approach would ensure your 2 minute running time is sufficient.If you were to make your Elf, not so much grumpy, as a bit of a jobs-worth, who is more interested in paperwork and H&S than allowing Santa to pick up more presents on Christmas Eve, then I think you've got a quicker set-up. This elf could be one of those petty, fussy, embittered sorts who likes to assert his power through paperwork - you could express this quickly - not through backstory, but through character design. It feels to me that you've got a lovely character vs character set-up here - where Santa and the elf are locked into a power struggle around the airlock or whatever - tonally, I'm sort of reminded of this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB1Pukr0nFQIn terms of audience sympathies, I'm guessing we want to see Santa win out over the elf character, which means I think that the ending of your animation needs to be some satisfying tableau wherein the elf is left in a situation of his own making - something that may well represent his idea of 'hell' (so something requiring him to live in chaos or in mess?).In summary then, making it just a two man show will help you slim everything down and cut to the chase: I also think, given your theme, that maybe some sly nods to Kubrick's 2001 might be in order - with the Elf taking on the role of the implacable, rules-based Hal, and Santa in the situation of Dave...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARJ8cAGm6JE