Santa Claus gets a telegram from Oswald the Rabbit, telling him the city is ready for his Toyland Parade and that there will be a reception in the big department store. Santa is a jolly elf indeed until he discovers that moths have eaten every last shred of his Santa suit. The day is saved when quick thinking on the part of an old elf, armed with red paint and popcorn, turns Santa's ordinary light-blue outfit into a real Santa suit. The parade is a big success, and the reception promises to be even better. Frankenstein's monster, Tarzan, Lupe Velez, Shirley Temple, Al Jolson and Bing Crosby are all there to greet Santa. Laurel and Hardy nearly spoil the day when they dress in a dragon's costume and try to steal the chocolate cake. Written by
Cute cartoon, especially for '30s-movie and L&H fans
"Toyland Premiere" was recently issued on DVD in "The Woody Woodpecker and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection," a three disc set from Universal. It's technically an Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, although he doesn't get much of the footage. In a very crisp, clean two-strip Technicolor print (red and turquoise dominate the color schemes), we see how Santa Claus's helpers make him a new suit after the first one has been eaten by moths; then Santa leads a big parade to a big-city department store, where a lot of Hollywood celebs at a banquet help him demonstrate this year's line-up of toys. Among the luminaries are Lupe Velez and Johnny Weissmuller, Shirley Temple, Eddie Cantor (in black-face!), the Frankenstein monster, Bing Crosby, and Laurel and Hardy. Stan and Ollie run afoul of the monster when Ollie wants too much of a large cake. There's not much in the way of story or gags here, but the movie-star caricatures and the bouncy musical score (featuring a trio of girl singers) make this a very enjoyable cartoon.
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