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Christmas Comes But Once a Year (1936)

Passed  -  Animation | Short  -  4 December 1936 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 272 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

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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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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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 Christmas at Pee Wee's Playhouse (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Over at Grampy's House
(uncredited)
Music by Bob Rothberg and Sammy Timberg
Played when Grampy enters the house and raids the cupboards for the dishes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Christmas Comes Once A Year!
19 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I found this cartoon short on my Scrooge (1935) DVD. I couldn't get the song out of my head. I wished that they would play "Christmas Comes But Once A Year" on the radio around Christmastime. Anyway the story is about orphans and Christmas. Regardless of the animation of the time period. I found the cartoon short to be cute and enjoyable about orphans who find the joy of Christmas even with broken toys. The song should make a comeback to the radio and compact discs. You can't help but start singing "Christmas Comes But Once A Year" around the house this time of year. The animation in the 1930s was still in it's infancy. If you study animation history, you will note how it's advanced from drawings on paper to the computers. Still, it's priceless and charming to watch the old animated shorts and cartoons where I felt that the characters were more friendly and cute rather than odd looking as in today's animation.


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