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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Walt Disney's The Night Before Christmas is excellent Silly Symphony cartoon

Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
20 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I was a kid growing up in the '70s, the only way you could see any Disney cartoons were on NBC's Sunday evening program The Wonderful World of Disney and they were usually limited to those starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip 'n' Dale. So I was wonderfully surprised to find on YouTube a Walt Disney Silly Symphony classic called The Night Before Christmas. Singer Donald Novis sings the beginning verses of that famous poem as we see several children sleeping and then Santa comes with his bag of toys coming to life decorating the Christmas tree. The toys are having lots of fun but while Santa plays the toy piano, the children wake up. The toys get into their boxes and Santa goes back up the chimney as all the kids unwrap their toys. The littlest one named Junior gets a cute Scottish dog as the singer croons the very last verses: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night." By the way, this cartoon has a little butt cleavage with Junior that I was a bit surprised to see. I am thinking the Production Code eventually put an end to that soon enough! Very enjoyable Silly Symphony that should put the Christmas spirit in anyone under 10 right away. Highly recommend to any Walt Disney animation buff.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A bit dated, but holds up well after seventy years.

Author: Robert Reynolds ( from Tucson AZ
14 April 2002

While the cartoon does have a dated feel to it in spots, the animation is excellent (a Disney strength during the 1930s) and it still largely works for the most part, although probably not as well for the age group raised on jump-cut, fast-pace edits and Matrix style special effects. Well worth watching. Recommended.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Disney Animates Mr. Claus, Part Two

Author: Ron Oliver ( from Forest Ranch, CA
26 October 2000

'Twas THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and Santa arrives at a home with nine little children. Quickly he sets up a Christmas tree and takes a few moments to enjoy the toys' tiny celebration upon the placing of the star. But now the noise has awakened the children...

This follow-up to SANTA'S WORKSHOP (1932) is a very enjoyable cartoon. As in its predecessor, the March of the Toys is both colorful & fun to watch - although the playthings coming out of the bag are completely different from those we previously saw marching into it. (Notice the Mickey Mouse toy which Disney cannily included.) Query: do bad little kiddies live in all the many houses which Santa flies past & ignores?

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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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An In-depth Look Into the Christmas Eve Journey of Jolly Old St. Nick!

Author: ( from U.S.A
20 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Santa Claus and his sleigh, pulled by his eight famous reindeer land atop the first house on Santa's route. He jumps down the chimney with his bag and plays a bugle, the toys march out of the sack. Santa then proceeds to fill the stockings. The toys work together in decorating the Christmas tree. The children were upstairs asleep, but were awakened by Santa playing a toy piano. The toys rushed to their gift boxes and Santa zipped up the chimney as the children came running down. They immediately began playing with their toys. One package was addressed to the youngest, Junior. It was a puppy! Cute! Then the kids watch Santa and his reindeer fly off into the night.

Another cute Walt Disney classic Christmas cartoon. Its the sequel to Santa's Workshop which showed us how Santa Claus and his elves make the toys and this cartoon shows us how Santa delivers them. The puppy Junior get's is a Scottish Terrier, perhaps an homage to President Roosevelt's dog, also a Scotty. But anyway, if you saw Santa's Workshop, I recommend you see it sequel: The Night Before Christmas. I recommend it!


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This is a wonderful Silly Symphony

Author: Atreyu_II from The world of artists
8 September 2007

"The Night Before Christmas" continues the story of "Santa's Workshop", but this time «jolly old Saint Nicholas» is leaving the presents. In this case, in a house with lots of children, while they are sleeping.

This is pure Christmas magic and childhood memories: a classic story with Santa Claus, his sleigh and his reindeers. He comes down the chimney to let presents for children, bringing joy and happiness for them. This Christmas spirit feeling already makes this a wonderful animated short, but that's not all.

The designs, sceneries and picture quality are pretty good (an improvement over "Santa's Workshop"). The Christmas decorations are beautiful and this cartoon is also full of creativity and imagination: the toys marching (which includes two Mickey Mouse dolls) and decorating the Christmas tree with Santa's help, as well as the moon smiling at the end.

Again, Santa Claus makes his funny laughters. The ending is one of the best parts: the children wake up but Santa escapes before they come in. The children open their presents and the youngest one (named Junior) gets a Scottish Terrier puppy as a Christmas present. So sweet! Yet, the children still see Santa from the window. A perfect ending.

I consider this even better than "Santa's Workshop", despite being a sequel to that one. Without a doubt, this is one of Disney's finest animated shorts and it doesn't even look that dated.

"The Night Before Christmas" is one of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies and the best of that collection.

Curiously, this isn't the only animated short with this title. There's also a wonderful Tom & Jerry cartoon with exactly the same title.

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Dear Santy

Author: Foreverisacastironmess from ukwitchcountry
2 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For a start I was quite in awe of the beautiful artwork done on the opening scenes of the wintry house with the glowing window shining outside, the burning fireplace with the Christmas stockings adorning it, and all the children sleeping in the gigantic bed, it's so joyous and snowy, so warm and marvellously simple, so luminously beautiful. It was heartwarming and nostalgic to me, I watched this recently for the first time in a long time and that part of it made me feel like a kid again for a moment, it awakened that old cosy childhood feeling of Christmas. Those images are what I love the most about this short. I'm afraid there's a fair bit about it that stops me from finding it all that great, including Santa himself! Yes I thought it was a rather poor version of old Saint Nick. The face was all wrong, it was toonish and unlovable, and I didn't like his too-scary boisterous laugh which definitely was no "Ho-ho-ho!" And he was a most indiscreet Santa, in fact bringing a whole fanfare with him! I did love that part of it though, when all of the toys come to life and decorate the tree. There's lots of rich colours and details and fun sight gags in the actions of the toys. I love the toy soldiers cannoning the baubles onto the tree's branches, the mini aeroplane flying around the tree to drape it in tinsel, and the fire engine spraying it with mock snow, all marvellously adorable and clever. It's a sequence that's done time and again not just throughout the Silly Symphonies but with many short cartoons of the 30s, some kind of parade of small beings all working together to accomplish some bigger goal(or going to war!), and I've always tended to love it, it's very visually fun and fascinating. This sure isn't one of my favourites of this series but I don't dislike it or anything either, it's very sweet and wholesome innocent fun and is definitely a worthwhile watch as a short, especially around the season to which it owes its name. And that classic Christmas imagery and tone is sure to put big smiles on practically all viewers faces. Merry everyone!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A nostalgic Christmas cartoon from Walt Disney.

Author: OllieSuave-007 from California, USA
21 December 2013

This is a nostalgic cartoon short from Walt Disney, bringing back memories of my childhood.

This short features Santa Claus sneaking into a house full of little sleeping children and begins to work by decorating the Christmas tree, using the toys he brought to life from his bag. He then fills the little children's stockings with gifts and leaves right before the children awaken and run downstairs.

As with anything Walt Disney, this cartoon is filled with magic and wonders. Add in the spirit of Christmas, the peacefulness of a starry and snowy night and the innocence of little children, this is one of the most beloved and adorable cartoon shorts.

The animation is great for a picture made in 1933 and the sound and singing are beautiful, perfect for this short. Just the part of the live toys decorating a once bare Christmas tree makes you believe in miracles.

Grade A

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The singing is limp but wow, the animation is amazing!

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
21 August 2011

When the film began, I was struck with absolute joy and absolute terror! On one hand, the animation was truly breathtaking--particularly the gorgeous colors. Unlike the previous cartoon on the "Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies, Vol. 2" DVD collection ("Birds in the Spring"), the colors are perfect--and it's obvious that the Disney animators had quickly learned to use color well. On the other hand, the cartoon also had something that was very popular in this era--and it was god-awful--that awful singing--very old fashioned and very saccharine-like singing.

The cartoon is all about the visit of Santa to one home in particular. He takes so much time here setting up the presents and playing you wonder how he'd ever have time for any of the other homes! And, after he's done, the hoard of soulless-eyed children come down to play. This is all very, very cutesy. But, some might notice and be offended by the little kid who gets coal dust in his face, as he then looks like a stereotypical black caricature of the era. All in all, apart from the great color, I wasn't thrilled with this sickly sweet thing--but still, compared to other cartoons of the era, it's pretty good.

By the way, among the many toys Santa brings are some Mickey Mouse pull toys!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just as delightful as Santa's workshop!

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
24 June 2009

The Night Before Christmas is a sweet Silly Symphony based on the humorous, charming poem that has amused my family for as long as I can remember. True, some of the animation is a bit dated, but that is forgivable as it was made in 1933. We still have the Santa we know and love from Santa's Workshop, which is really delightful. I loved the soundtrack, and the toys even do a toy march before decorating the room. Seeing those children enjoying themselves with those toys, especially that sweet baby, brought tears of joy into my eyes. it actually reminded me of a Mickey Mouse cartoon called Mickey's Good Deed, where Mickey sacrifices his Christmas to make it enjoyable for a poor family, it is a forgotten treasure that broke my heart. Anyway, back to Night Before Christmas, I also liked the song at the beginning, and refrains at the end. Overall, delightful! 9/10 Bethany Cox.

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