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Harman-Isling Christmas cartoon. Mother mouse reads "A Visit from St. Nicholas" to a bunch of little mice kids. Among them is Little Cheeser. Cheeser is cynical and doesn't believe in Santa. Meanwhile some mangy-looking cat eavesdrops through the window and decides to masquerade as Santa. He hopes to gain entrance to the mouse home and eat them. But once inside he gets more than he bargained for from the suspicious Cheeser. An innocent little toon that will probably play best for toddlers. Not really much for adults. First appearance of Little Cheeser. The cat looks positively demonic. The animation is nice.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . if you're a 21st Century World Citizen aware of Mickey's Disney Megacorp. and its sorry story of the Rat Who Swallowed Civilization. Since his Steamboat Willie Days, the Mick has behaved like the 8,000-ton Gorilla in the room (as seen in the KONG: SKULL ISLAND preview, only multiplied by 100). Blatantly bribing the Job-killing Corrupt Capitalist Toadies in the U.S. Congress to prevent ANY poem, short story, flip-book, doodled kindergartner's coloring book page, animated short, or live-action feature film from EVER joining Beethoven, Van Gogh, and Shakespeare in the formerly EXPANDING Breezy Clouds of the Public Domain IF the said item was created even one instant AFTER Steamed Clam Willie, Disney's Legal Thugs have been the Tip of the Fat Cat One Per Centers' spear in eradicating the American Middle Class by squelching innovators, artists, artisans, writers, wit, filmmaking, and fun. So any thinking viewer of ALIAS ST. NICK (misattributed here to plagiarist Tory Traitor Family Member and pinched-mouthed, lemon-sucking killjoy Clement Moore, rather than its ACTUAL author, fun-loving Hero of the American Revolution Capt. Henry Livingston!) Today will be hoping for the cat to gobble down as many of the wretched little Disney trademark rodents underfoot as possible. (SPOILER ALERT:) Don't expect no satisfaction here.
'Alias St. Nick' was introduced me quite late, very recently actually
via Youtube, so nostalgic value plays no part whatsoever in rating and
It is a very charming seasonal Christmas cartoon, without being one of the best around. It doesn't necessarily do anything wrong really, just that there are Christmas cartoons, many of which with iconic childhood favourite characters and from more famous companies and directors, that have more emotional impact and more staying power.
The start is a bit draggy, and it is agreed that the humour factor is low (apart from the train sequence, but that's more amusing than laugh-out-loud hilarious). And that it does at times try too hard to be cute so the cartoon occasionally goes overboard on the sentimentality.
On the other hand, the animation is colourful and beautifully drawn, the backgrounds smooth and rich in detail. The animation on the cat in expressions and movements is a mini-masterstroke. Also outstanding is the music, with a lush understated elegance but also uses rousing and dynamic arrangements of pre-existing music like "Light Cavalry" and "Snake Charmer" (a very clever brief bit).
While there are reservations about it being too cute and sentimental, 'Alias St. Nick' is also very charming and heart-warming. The beginning with the cat has some foreboding, but the highlight is the exciting and clever climax where the pace of the story drastically picks up.
Regarding the characters, the mice are sweet, with Little Cheeser not falling on the wrong sides of annoying or cloying, but the most memorable is the cunning characterisation of the cat, most of which can be seen in the animation but with Billy Bletcher doing a marvellous job with the voice work. The voice acting generally is fine.
In conclusion, charming cartoon with a particularly engaging climax and a great character in the cat being particularly noteworthy. 7/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember first seeing "Alias St. Nick" in 1971 when I was in fourth
grade at Lewton Elementary School (which I dubbed "Auschwitz I") in
Lansing, Michigan. I remember our homeroom teachers (it was one of
those "team-teaching" schools then) surprised us with a showing of this
short on the Friday afternoon before Christmas break that year. I just
ran across this short on You Tube, and was surprised to see it again
after so long.
Although I am not really a fan of the MGM cartoons (I always liked the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies better), "Alias St. Nick" ranks as one of those rare exceptions. Especially amusing was the "train" sequence; I always remembered those tracks running across the far-back hallway of the mice's cave home.
(For some strange reason, the print of "Alias St. Nick" I saw in school was in black and white, or maybe the print began to deteriorate and the colors were fading; obviously, in 1971 there *wasn't* any such thing as "digital remastering." And, ironically, *Warner Bros.* now owns this short today; Time Warner, Inc. bought out Turner Entertainment Company in 1998, which in turn had bought out the pre-January 1986 MGM library of films and TV shows in September 1986, including this short subject.)
I give "Alias St. Nick" a 7, especially for the (few good) childhood memories (at that time) it evokes. (To be sure, later Christmases became *much* better.)
In 'Alias St. Nick' a cat tries to get his Christmas dinner by playing Santa Claus for a family of mice. This short is pretty low on humor, it goes for cuteness instead and suffers for it. Some fun voice characterizations is about all this short has going for it.
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