Charles Tazewell's The Littlest Angel, published as a book in 1946, is certainly a bona fide children's classic. It's odd, though, that this 1997 25 minute filmed adaptation is the only animated version with talking characters. It should have been made and remade a dozen times. This is a faithful telling, and as opposed to the 1969 feature musical version, here the main character is 4 years(+ 6 months, 5 days, 42 minutes to be exact)old, not 9 as was Johnny Whitaker. The "voice" stars are mostly TV veterans. Maxine Miller, who is heard as the Littlest Angel, has an early credit in the classic kids show, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, and more recently was in the surprise success, Diary of a Wimpy Kid(2010). Then there's L. Harvey Gold, no stranger to celestial beings, as he is currently in a recurring role as a "bad" angel in the TV series Supernatural. Many cartoons have a wide age appeal, but this should be watched by a child or with a child. Better yet, introduce a child to the story with the book first, than the movie. The other animated version is not well known, it was produced in 1950. It has limited animation, is told through narration only, & released & distributed by Phoenix Learning Group/Coronet, with a running time of 14 minutes. Besides film adaptations, The Littlest Angel has been produced many times in amateur theatrics as well as heard in a radio adaptation in 1950 on Family Theater. Decca released it in album format in 1949 with Lorreta Young on the vocals. Caedmon released it in audio as well. Another reading on record was released featuring the music of Victor Young. In addition to the hardcover & paperback releases of the story, there was also a "pop-up" and coloring book version. Among Charles Tazewell's other works adapted to film, the most popular is The Small One, made into a 26 minute Disney movie. Much more difficult to come across has been his Littlest Snowman, incorporated into the circa 1960 short film, Christmas Fairy Tale(?Canadian). It is a loose adaptation but works very well in a limited movement puppet type production. It can be seen(as of this writing) on YouTube, or found in the recent DVD collection, 150 Cartoon Favorites. And, though not originating with Tazewell, there's a follow up film, The Littlest Angel's Easter.
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