december 2011


Merry Christmas from Walt Disney

Five 20th Century animated Yuletide classics

‘Once Upon a Wintertime’: a 1948 Walt Disney cartoon originally released as part of a longer animated/live action feature, Melody Time, starring Roy Rogers and Trigger, the Andrews Sisters, Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians, Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, bandleader Freddy Martin, The Dinning Sisters (a popular ‘40s trio of singing sisters, one of whom, Jean, later wrote the classic teen tragedy song ‘Teen Angel’ for her singing brother Mark Dinning, It was Mark’s only hit, a chart topper in February 1960.) and the voice of Frances Langford. In 1954 Disney released ‘Once Upon a Wintertime’ as a separate entity.

‘Santa’s Workshop,’ a 1932 Silly Symphony from the Disney studio. Santa’s helpers must hurry to finish the toys in time for Santa’s Christmas Day deliveries. Franz Schubert’s ‘March Militaire’ is the soundtrack music for the workshop scenes. Alan Watson provides Santa’s voice, and Pinto Colvig his assistant’s.

‘The Night Before Christmas,’ the 1933 sequel to ‘Santa’s Workshop.’ In this installment, Santa delivers the toys, which come to life while Santa prepares a home for the next morning's festivities. When a tiny sneeze alerts Santa to the kids upstairs having been awakened, he rushes the toys back to their places before making a quick exit up the chimney. The singing voice on the soundtrack belongs to Donald Novis.

‘On Ice’ (1935): Mickey (in his early incarnation, when he still had a tail) shows off his ice-skating skills to Minnie; Goofy does some unconventional ice fishing; Donald straps skates to Pluto and laughs at his attempts to skate. Donald gets strapped to a kite and is about to be swept over a waterfall when Mickey pulls off an heroic rescue. Mickey’s voice by Walt Disney; Goofy’s by Pinto Colvig; Minnie’s by Marcellite Garner; Donald Duck’s by Clarence Nash. The song ‘The World Owes Me a Living,’ sung by Goofy (Pinto Colvig) was written by Leigh Harline and Larry Morey.

‘Pluto’s Christmas Tree’ (1952): Pluto comes bounding outside to help Mickey get a Christmas tree. Chip 'n Dale see him and make fun of him, but the tree they take refuge in is the one Mickey chops down. They like the decorations, especially the candy canes and Mickey's bowl of mixed nuts. But Pluto spots them and goes after them long before Mickey spots them. Minnie, Donald, and Goofy drop by to sing carols. Director: Jack Hannah; writers: Bill Berg and Milt Schaffer. Mickey’s voice: James MacDonald; Minnie’s voice: Ruth Clifford; Pluto’s voice: Pinto Colvig; Dale’s voice: Dessie Flynn; Donald Duck’s voice: Clarence Nash.

Mickey’s Orphans (1931): At Christmastime, Mickey Mouse, Minnie and Pluto are besieged by an enormous litter of bratty orphan cats. Walt Disney is the voice of Mickey Mouse, Marcellite Garner the voice of Minnie Mouse. Produced by Walt Disney; animated by David Hand.


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