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The Spirit of Christmas (1950)

In this family film short, a nearly all marionette cast perform a dramatization of "The Night Before Christmas" and a performance of the Nativity.





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Credited cast:
Mabel Beaton Marionettes ...
Most of the characters in the film
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clement Moore / 'Nativity' Narrator


In this family film short, a nearly all marionette cast perform a dramatization of "The Night Before Christmas" and a performance of the Nativity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nativity | marionette | christmas | See All (3) »


Family | Short





Release Date:

December 1953 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


In the marionette segment "A Visit from St. Nicholas," music from "The Nutcracker" ballet is heard over dreaming images of the sleeping children. See more »


Edited into Retro Christmas Classics (2007) See more »


Good King Wenceslas
Composer unknown
[played on music box by Santa Claus]
See more »

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User Reviews

Takes me back to my childhood
6 December 2004 | by (Phildelphia, Pa. USA) – See all my reviews

Growing up in Philadelphia in the '50s this was on TV every night for at least a week prior to Christmas. Somehow my sister and brothers and I never got tired of it. Even back then we could see that it was pretty primitive - you could almost see the hand making the camels 'walk' as they carried the Wise Men to Bethlehem. That was part of the charm, I think.

For the longest time it disappeared from the screen, and as I married and had children of my own I regretted that they would not be able to see it and enjoy it as I had. Then somehow our local PBS affiliate got ahold of it and started playing it during pledge drives at Christmas and offering it as an incentive to contribute a donation. That's how I got my copy. My kids were all under ten at the time and I showed it to them. After viewing it a time or two they labeled it as old fashioned and weren't interested in seeing it after that. I was somewhat disappointed, but came to the conclusion that the MTV / Nintendo generation couldn't appreciate it for what it was.

The funny thing is, last evening I was watching TV with my middle daughter - now 19 - and a notorious channel changer, and SHE had the remote. This usually means seeing maybe 5% of 20 programs instead of one whole one. Well, she switched and found The Spirit of Christmas during the Nativity segment, stopped, and we both watched it to the end

  • no interruptions! I didn't say anything to her about it, but it made

me happy to think that maybe it reminded her of when SHE was little. I hope so.

The last thing that gets me is the unnamed host of the show with his inch wide necktie and dark suit saying that this was a gift from 'your phone company'. Pray, whatever phone company is that? Have you seen anything from MCI, Sprint, or Verizon that doesn't have an underlying "buy from me" subliminal message? No? Didn't think so! Don't hold your breath! I should know - I work for one of these guys.

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