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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

One word: Creative

Author: LittleMiso
21 December 2002

Make that two words: VERY creative

Every december I pull that old tape out and put it in the old VCR, just to see this short, and the "On Ice" short, too. Hey, I did it for all of them on the "Walt Disney Christmas" tape, long out of stock.

Who wouldn't want to say that? The clever rhymes for the lists, how they build the toys (gotta love the checkered paint), and, what I just noticed, a nice little Jazz Singer reference. (If you haven't seen this short yet, or that movie, I will not spoil it for you)

By today's standards, some of the scenes would be considered racist. But who said that they were for today's kids? They're enjoyable enough for adults. Enjoy what Disney used to be about: political incorrectness.

Review: On a good movie scale, 5/5

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

"Molly seems to be okay / She eats her spinach every day."

7/10
Author: utgard14 from USA
21 December 2014

Delightful Christmas cartoon from Disney, part of the Silly Symphonies series. The simple story is about Santa Claus and his elves preparing for Christmas, getting all the toys ready. Made in a different era with a different (lost?) kind of magic than we see today. Lovely music and rhyming dialogue throughout the short help keep things lively and bouncing. The animation is very nice for its time. Love that beautiful Technicolor! It's a wonderful, creative Christmas short that is sure to leave a smile on most faces. There's something very innocent about it all. If you're able to still enjoy things like this, I'm sure you'll love it. Try to watch it with little kids and pass the fun on to them before they're too old to even give it a shot.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Delightful Christmas cartoon!

9/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
24 June 2009

I have always had a soft spot for this cartoon, part of the always hugely enjoyable Silly Symphonies animated shorts. It shows Santa and his helpers working hard on Christmas Eve, and like most commentators have said it is certainly very interesting. Santa himself, and I still confess I still believe in him, is presented as a jolly old man with a hearty laugh that was very pleasurable to the ear. The animation, considering it was made in the 30s is surprisingly good, with a nice quality to it. The short does get a little too silly at times, some of the rhyming dialogue is very inspired but rather absurd; the description of Billy Brown not washing behind his ears for seven years is quite disgusting. But what I loved most about Santa's workshop is its imagination. I adored the toy's march to Schubert's famous Marche Militaire, which is also featured in the short when Chip and Dale give Donald Duck a hard time on Christmas, to be seen on the video, Jiminy Cricket's Christmas. About Marche Militaire, I believe it was originally written for two pianos, but I will say I prefer the orchestral arrangement, it has a certain liveliness to it. Another piece I felt the same about was the Tocatta and Fugue by Bach, used in Fantasia, that was very menacing with an orchestra. Overall, a delightful short, very fun to watch. 9/10 Bethany Cox.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

An In-depth Look into The Workshop of Jolly Old St. Nick!

Author: (robocoptng986127@aol.com) from U.S.A
20 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

[CONTAINS SPOILERS]

It's December 23rd and up at the North Pole, Santa Claus, his elves and reindeer await the flight the next night. Santa Claus is reading letters sent to him by little girls and boys while his elves manufacture all the toys. We get to see how rocking horses are assembled, how dollies get their hair curled just right, how checkerboards are painted, etc., then all the toys are loaded into a large sack and placed in Santa's sleigh. Then the team is hitched up, Santa bids farewell to the elves and takes off into the night sky.

Very interesting cartoon. Those old 1930s cartoons featuring how stuff is made are always cool. Happy 70th anniversary to Santa's Workshop! This is a very humerous cartoon and although Mickey Mouse's head appears at the very beginning, he does not in fact appear in this cartoon. It's one of those famous Walt Disney Silly Symphonies cartoons. Was followed by: The Night Before Christmas, also a good cartoon! So this Christmas, check out this Walt Disney classic! I recommend it!

-

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Typically high-quality animation, but second-tier for Disney in the 1930s

9/10
Author: Robert Reynolds (minniemato@hotmail.com) from Tucson AZ
13 April 2002

This is a very good short and the animation is the quality you expect from Disney in this time-period. But it isn't one of the best Disney did in the 1930s, which should give you an idea just how great Disney was in the 1930s. No one else could consistently even come close to them until about 1938 or 1939. Other studios were doing good work, but until Disney started focusing more on features, they were all but alone at the top in terms of animated shorts. Well worth tracking down. Recommended.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Worth checking out during the holidays

6/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
20 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Santa's Workshop" is another really old Silly Symphony from Walt Disney. The master himself appears as voice actor in here and so does the legendary Pinto Colvig. Director is Wilfred Jackson, who also made many many of these 7-minute short films. Some of the action takes place in the snow here, especially towards the end, but the toy shop sequence is when this movie really shines. The music is very good too from start to finish. Wild, but not over-the-top and perfectly adjusted to what we see. The animation is of course not too mind-blowing, but keep in mind that this is over 80 years ago. For the early 1930s, it's actually really good. And there is no denying its traditional charm. I enjoyed the watch. It is not among Disney most or least famous short film works, but definitely worth checking out, especially now with Christmas approaching. May get you in the spirit. Thumbs up.

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Santa prepares for the big night. I wish he'd have brought me a better Symphony!

6/10
Author: Foreverisacastironmess from ukwitchcountry
24 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Feeling a bit festive lately so this is one of old short animations that I thought I'd check out again after a long while. Um, it's adequate. I've seen way better Christmas-themed vintage cartoons though. The mass of Christ used to be my favourite of all the traditional holidays, before it was usurped by the darker and more fun magic of Halloween! When it starts though, oh my what a lovely enchanting opening scene of the busy workshop with the snow and sun around it in the North Pole, so exactly what generations of kids would picture in their heads when reminded of Santa's workplace. This short sees a most classic version of jolly Saint Nick reading off a long list of good and bad little children as his many elf helpers go about constructing the gifts that he will be delivering for Christmas Day. Like in all short animations now that I think about it, I love the smaller things in the animation like all the colourful wrapping paper and baubles in the backgrounds, and the machinery that helps build the rocking horses and when they're painting the blocks and the adorable little parade of wooden clockwork animals which was my favourite part of the short. Like with many of the Silly Symphonies in one way or another, there's a definite emphasis on the industry of what's going on, with the many working together to create some greater goal, and I always love to see that kind of imaginative animation on display. I do wish however, that the animators had opted to give Santa a nice rosy pink face, because I don't know if it was just the print that I watched, but he looks white as a dang ghost.. When Santa's teaching the dolls to say mama I just knew they couldn't resist having a black doll leap out and yell "Mammy!" Well I thought it was funny, and hey at least Santa appreciated her sass and didn't throw her back! It's a cute enough short with a bit of Christmas spirit behind it, but nothing about it leaps out at me that much at all. I liked the sequel Symphony "The Night Before Christmas" better. I mean it is over 84 fricking years old and is bound to be rough around the edges, but it's never the age or state of the animation that bothers me, only when a short is bland and fails to hit me! But regardless of my view of this particular short, I still love that good old-fashioned sweet heartwarming image of Christmas and I sincerely hope that young families of today still celebrate the season in that way with their kids because there's priceless emotional worth attached to those traditions that you don't fully appreciate until you're a little older. So give and love and feel that spirit of festivity and don't forget to be good, you know why! X

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Santa's Workshop is another excellent Christmas cartoon from Walt Disney

10/10
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
10 December 2008

Just watched this, a Walt Disney Silly Symphony, on YouTube. It's the first of two Disney cartoons that star Santa Claus (the other one was The Night Before Christmas). He checks his list which one of his elves monitor in a book that reveals each child's behavior. When one of the children is revealed to not have "washed behind the ears for seven years", Santa decides to add soap to this boy's long list of presents. Highly musically entertaining with some amusing gags like someone using a spider to scare some of the dolls' hair in an upright position and someone else painting exact checker squares in one fell swoop on a board. There's also one politically incorrect blackface doll that says, "Mammy!" to Claus that may be considered offensive today but was considered a highly amusing reference to then-star Al Jolson. Since it only lasts a few seconds, I don't think any harm is done. This was quite an entertaining animated short that I highly recommend to any animation fan especially Walt Disney completists. Children should enjoy this too.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

availability

Author: chinatown74 from Florida
1 December 2002

Delightful Silly Symphony cartoon. Does anyone out there know if this is available on dvd?

It's not mentioned on the case, but the "sequel" to this cartoon ("the Night Before Christmas") is a bonus feature on the recently released dvd of "the Santa Clause". In order to see the cartoon, you have to play a very simple game involving dropping presents from your Santa sleigh and dodging buildings/flocks of birds. I was wondering if "Santa's Workshop" might be available also in this manner.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Disney Animates Mr. Claus, Part One

10/10
Author: Ron Oliver (revilorest@juno.com) from Forest Ranch, CA
25 October 2000

A Walt Disney SILLY SYMPHONY Cartoon Short.

As Christmas approaches, SANTA'S WORKSHOP becomes a beehive of activity, producing & quality testing a myriad of new toys, with the jolly old elf himself checking his list & filling his big bag.

This is a very colorful & entertaining film, with lots for the eye to look at. The march of the toys - including a Charlie Chaplin doll - into the bag is lots of fun. Quibble: some of the toys, in the unedited version, are a bit racist and it was a real lapse of taste to group the Hassidic doll with the toy pigs.

The SILLY SYMPHONIES, which Walt Disney produced for a ten year period beginning in 1929, are among the most fascinating of all animated series. Unlike the Mickey Mouse cartoons in which action was paramount, with the Symphonies the action was made to fit the music. There was little plot in the early Symphonies, which featured lively inanimate objects and anthropomorphic plants & animals, all moving frantically to the soundtrack. Gradually, however, the Symphonies became the school where Walt's animators learned to work with color and began to experiment with plot, characterization & photographic special effects. The pages of Fable & Fairy Tale, Myth & Mother Goose were all mined to provide story lines and even Hollywood's musicals & celebrities were effectively spoofed. It was from this rich soil that Disney's feature-length animation was to spring. In 1939, with SNOW WHITE successfully behind him and PINOCCHIO & FANTASIA on the near horizon, Walt phased out the SILLY SYMPHONIES; they had run their course & served their purpose.

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