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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
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.
*** This review may contain 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!
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.
Before Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs came to the big screen, The
Disney Company produced a very nice little short film to add to their
own collection of Silly Symphonies. The story is told like a poem which
feels like a parent reading a bedtime story is coming to life. The
story is all about Santa and the elves building toys for the girls and
boys on Christmas Eve, we have the traditional way where Santa himself
reads the naughty or nice list out. One of my favourite scenes was the
bit with Billy Brown writing a letter to Santa and asking for a bunch
of toy animals! Santa is very jolly and likable and so are the elves
whose singing is sure to make you laugh! The animation, even for a
cartoon from The 30s, is fantastic. The short film ends on a
cliffhanger which makes way for The Second Part: The Night Before
Christmas, Young or old, you should see this at least once in your
Written By Alienator Donut.
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.
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.
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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