'Twas the Night Before Christmas (TV Short 1974) Poster

George Gobel: Father Mouse


  • Father Mouse : Here's our first example of how you've ruined everyone's Christmas with your opinions.

  • Father Mouse : Merry Christmas, Mr. Trundle.

    Joshua Trundle : Not very merry, I'm afraid.

    Father Mouse : You were right, of course. And it's my fault, my family's.

    Joshua Trundle : How so?

    Father Mouse : My older boy, Albert. First he insulted Santa and then... I can hardly say it.

    Joshua Trundle : Go on.

    Father Mouse : I'm afraid he got into your clock to see how it worked, and then...

    Joshua Trundle : Kerplunk.

    Father Mouse : Kerplowie.

    Joshua Trundle : So... that was it.

    Father Mouse : The boy has repented; he's trying to make amends right now.

  • Father Mouse : You don't know as much as you think because you only think with your head. So you have a lot of trouble believing in things you can't see or touch.

    Albert : Like for instance, what things?

  • Albert : That's it! That's it, Father. I'll fix the clock by midnight, then maybe Santa will...

    Father Mouse : You believe in Santa?

    Albert : I don't know. I don't know. But I've learned that I still got a lot to learn.

    Father Mouse : But son, you don't know how to fix a clock.

    Albert : That's all right, Father. Copernicus knew.

  • Albert : [after Father Mouse has shown him Davy Thomas]  But these are just kids. Grownups never believe in Santa.

    Father Mouse : Don't quite know everything, do you?

  • Father Mouse : "'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." Well, *I'm* stirring. If only I could sleep. If only I knew. We've got trouble, the boss and me. *Big* trouble. I mean, how would you feel if there was only three minutes till Christmas, and you didn't know whether...?

    [he gets out of bed and paces the room] 

    Father Mouse : As we say when approaching a tall piece of cheddar - better start from the top.

    [he stops pacing] 

    Father Mouse : The trouble began two months ago when the mailman came.

  • Father Mouse : Albert.

    Albert : Yes, Father.

    Father Mouse : There's something we have to talk about.

    Albert : I said, "Yes, Father".

    Father Mouse : "Yes, Father", what?

    Albert : I wrote the letter. My friends and I, that is. "All of us".

  • Mother Mouse : [reading the letter, not yet aware that Albert is its author]  Dear Editor, Santa Claus is a fraudulent myth rooted in unconscious fantasies and emerging as a deceitful lie.

    Father Mouse : P.S., the reindeer are phony, too.

    Mother Mouse : Signed, "all of us".

    Father Mouse : No wonder Santa's angry.

    Mother Mouse : Who would send him a letter like *that*?

    Boy Mouse : Big words. It sounds like the Mayor.

    Father Mouse : Long words... long words... long words!

  • Father Mouse : [voiceover]  The same thing was happening *all* over town as boys and girls got their letters back from Santa. No one knew what it meant, but we grownups knew one thing for sure: we were gonna do *everything* we could to find out.

  • Father Mouse : Which brings us to where we were: three minutes...

    [as Father Mouse holds up his alarm clock, we hear an ominous chime, which is a signal that it's almost Christmas] 

    Father Mouse : Three seconds to Christmas!

    [we now hear carolers singing "Silent Night"] 

    Father Mouse : No chimes. No song. No Santa.

  • Father Mouse : [after Albert tries out Mr. Trundle's model clock]  What's the matter with you? You wanna wake everyone up?

    Albert : That's pretty neat. Does it work in a gear and pinion principle or an AC synchronous motor?

    Father Mouse : Well, it's more of a - a gear, what? Synchronous uh, who?

    Albert : Ever since Copernicus, Dad, it was known that...

    Father Mouse : Never mind, never mind, you may know algebra, son, but this time, the whole town's counting on this clock.

  • Father Mouse : After the clock went kerplowie, life changed for Mr. Trundle. No one trusted him anymore.

    Joshua Trundle : [as some grumpy customers leave with their clocks]  Please. Come back. I'm still a good clock maker, really I am.

  • Father Mouse : Winter came and things got tough for the Trundles, and if you think they had it bad... we'd have swapped our whiskers for a peanut shell or a round ripe apple seed, but meals don't fall from empty tables. Then finally it was Christmas Eve.

  • Father Mouse : While the people were storming the Village Hall and the mayor was wishing he was somewhere else, *I* decided to give Mouse Bell a whirl and get the word from up north.

  • Father Mouse : This children's hospital once knew laughter. Best medicine there is, but not anymore.

  • Father Mouse : There's Davy Thomas. The best artist in school, he made that picture of Santa when he thought that Santa cared.

  • Father Mouse : Mr. Trundle's been hard at work making a special clock.

    [pointing to the model clock] 

    Father Mouse : There's the model. When the clock strikes twelve on Christmas Eve, it'll play a song welcoming Santa. Does that sound like a man who doesn't believe?

    Albert : A song?

    [jumping onto the clock's face] 

    Albert : Is that when the hands come together like this?

    [he turns the minute hand to 12, and music emits] 

  • Father Mouse : [seeing Albert crying]  What is it?

    Albert : My fault... all my fault... I've ruined everyone's Christmas.

    Father Mouse : I know. I know you wrote the letter, Albert. You told us so, and that was honest of you. But as you said, it *was* your opinion.

    Albert : No, that isn't it. Something else.

    Father Mouse : What else?

    Albert : Mr... Mr. Trundle's clock - at the village hall. I... I wanted to see how it worked, so I climbed into it and...

    Father Mouse : Kerplunk?

    Albert : Kerplowie...

    Father Mouse : You broke the clock?

    Albert : I - I didn't mean it, Father; I'm sorry... so sorry...

    Father Mouse : It's not enough to be sorry; when you've done something wrong, you have to correct the thing you did.

  • Father Mouse : [singing]  There's more to the world than meets the eye when doubts in your mind give your heart a try. Let up a little on the "wonder why" and give your heart a try.

  • Boy Mouse : [seeing their letters they wrote to Santa are tossed down to them in the mail]  Hey, wait a minute. This isn't for us, it's for Santa.

    Girl Mouse : So's this.

    Mother Mouse : And this.

    Father Mouse : And this.

    Boy Mouse : I spilled that ink. These are the letters we wrote to Santa.

    Father Mouse : The letters we wrote to Santa - returned?

See also

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