7.2/10
329
15 user 3 critic

Christmas Comes But Once a Year (1936)

At an orphanage, the children are sad because they received broken toys as gifts. Professor Grampy sees the children while passing by in his sled and has an idea on how to give them a merry Christmas.

Directors:

, (uncredited)
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Director: Seymour Kneitel
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Jack Mercer ...
Grampy (voice) (uncredited)
...
Orphans (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

The children at the orphanage are thrilled to wake up and find plenty of new toys on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, all of them break or fall apart within a few seconds. Prof. Grampy, the inventor, passes by in his motorized sled and hears the wailing of the disappointed orphans, which brings him to the door to investigate. When he learns what is wrong, he puts on his thinking cap and quickly comes up with a plan to make everything all right. He sneaks into the kitchen through the window, takes out every pot, pan, plate, spoon, etc., and builds better toys than the kids could have dreamed of. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Short

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Weihnachten gibt's nur einmal im Jahr  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This cartoon used a process called the Stereoptical Camera or Setback created in 1934 as a variation on the multiplane camera. Three-dimensional sets were created so that animation cels could be placed in a realistic background allowing the characters to move about an actual miniature stage. The scenes were shot with a horizontal camera and the set was rotated on a turntable for background motion. The opening shot of the orphanage and the final shot of the umbrella tree were completed using this process. See more »

Connections

Featured in Affliction (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

X-mas Comes But Once a Year
(uncredited)
Music by Sammy Timberg
Lyrics by Bob Rothberg
[Sung by the Orphans and Professor Grampy, then repeated at the finale]
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fun Animated Movie
18 December 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Christmas Comes But Once a Year (1936)

*** (out of 4)

Fun Max Fleischer cartoon has a bunch of children at an orphanage waking up on Christmas morning and becoming sad because all of their toys are junk and either falling apart or they simply don't work. A happy-go-lucky older man comes by, notices that the kids are unhappy so he decides to take the run down building and turn it into a happy place with brand new toys. Fans of the Fleischer type of animation are going to get a real kick out of this one. As you'd expect, the animation is extremely nice and I really loved the look of the orphanage. It's rather dark and ugly but it's so fitting of the type of place it is before the old man gets there to fix it up. I also thought the look of the children was a good one and there's no question that the Grampy character is very memorable. The overall story probably isn't something that would get made today but that's why watching these older films are so special.


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