A Walt Disney Christmas (1982 Video)
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A beautiful collection of Disney cartoons, all with a Christmas theme. Titles are "Once Upon a Wintertime," "Santa's Workshop," "The Night Before Christmas," "Pluto's Christmas Tree," "On Ice," and "Donald's Snow Fight." VIEWER COMMENT: "I LOVE this video. This is the best of a Disney Christmas. Titles are "Once Upon a Wintertime," "Santa's Workshop," "The Night Before Christmas," "Pluto's Christmas Tree," "Donald's Snow Fight," and "On Ice.
This collection is timeless and priceless!
"The Night Before Christmas" 1933) - 6/10, Succeeds through the spirit "The Night Before Christmas" (******, 1933) is an 8.5-minute cartoon from 1933, so this one will have its 85th anniversary next year already and to show you how old this is: It was released in America back in the year when Hitler came into power in Germany. You know Christmas is approaching when these holiday-themed cartoons shoot up the Starmeter here on IMDb. This is just one example. IIt is in color and we should not take that for granted, but it means it is from pretty early from the Golden Age of Animation. Director Wilfred Jackson can be considered one of the most successful cartoon filmmakers from Disney back in the day. Kenny Baker is probably not too known to most, but that's also because he is singing and not voice acting. The thing that defines this little movie is maybe the innocence of it all. And the animation is of course brilliant for its time. A lot of heart in there. It is no really a film that scores through comedy at all unlike many other Disney cartoons. You will not burst into laughter on any occasion here. But this approach would not have fit the tone either, so it's all good. The emphasis on the spirit of Christmas, together with harmlessness, cuteness and just the longing for happiness are what makes this little movie. As a consequence, I think that this is a film that should not be checked out in the first 10 months of the year because you somehow need to be in the mood for that, but afterward it is a very rewarding watch and I certainly recommend the watch here. A definite thumbs-up for the holidays! Oh yeah, the music is of course pretty good too and the title is no unfulfilled bait.
"On Ice" (1935) - 4/10, Surprisingly disappointing "On Ice" is a Disney cartoon from 1935 that features some of the company's most known like Ben Sharpsteen a while before his Oscar wins and voice actors Disney, Nash, Colvig and Garner. This one here is already over 80 years old and even if it may have color, you can see from the characters' looks that this is a very old one as the gang is far from their final form here visually. The plot is very symbolic for cartoons from that time because first of all every character gets their introduction and then the story slowly moves them towards each other with eventually everybody (except Minnie) being united, even if an almost-catastrophe is the reason for that. Sadly the second half of this cartoon was so weak that it clearly shows they were running out of material as this one is a minute longer than they usually are. Only Goofy hitting Donald at the very end was somewhat funny and I liked how forgiving Pluto is too. Earlier on Mickey's (very elastic) introduction as well as Goofy's maybe too were worth seeing, but all in all it wasn't enough for a positive recommendation, even (or especially) for me as a cartoon lover. Watch something else instead.
Donald's Snow Fight (1942) - 6/10, Donald vs. the Nephews in the snow It is a bit odd to see that this Walt Disney 7-minute cartoon was released in April as it has winter and cold written all over it. Donald and the three Nephews are having a heavy battle in the snow in this one here and it clearly shows on several occasions that this was made almost 75 years ago, during the days of World War II. However, I don't think that's bad. It's always interesting to see serious war-related references in playful cartoons and it is certainly an art to include them credibly and Jack King certainly did in this one. It shows that he is among the finest Disney cartoon directors. There were several other funny references like Donald as a rhinoceros or the Nephews as bowling pins. A funny little short film. Recommended.
Once Upon a Wintertime (1948) - 6/10, Kinda sweet overall "Once Upon a Wintertime" is an American 8-minute cartoon from 1948, so this one will have its 70th anniversary next year already. It is a Disney production by Oscar winner Hamilton Luske and apparently this one here is an extract of a full feature film named "Melody Time". It's about a pair of (tiny) humans dancing on the ice and they are joined in here by a whole lot of animals. The looks for this one are pretty good overall and you can see it's from the Golden Age of Animation. Story-wise it is so-so. Cuteness prevails and the more dramatic parts, i.e. the breaking ice, the danger of drowning etc. are not really too memorable. But the music makes up for that I would say. It's not just a good watch, also a good listen. Maybe the kinda lack of a plot kept it from becoming another Oscar nomination for Disney. It's all good though. Quite enjoyable from start to finish I must say. In my opinion, you should see it, preferrable these days during the holidays. Definitely a thumbs-up here.
Pluto's Christmas Tree (1952) - 6/10, Will get you in the spirit "Pluto's Christmas Tree" is a Disney 7-minute cartoon that came out in November 1952, so already over 60 years ago. I am generally not the greatest Chip'n Dale fan, but here they were okay and it was actually fun to watch because this was not really about them beating Pluto, but more realistically about them trying to flee from Mickey's dog. Actually, the tree is as much Mickey's or Chip and Dale's as it is Pluto's. The best thing about this one is the music in my opinion, especially at the ending, which is really harmonic and it was nice to see the gang stand outside and sing together. Nothing really extraordinary or different from other Disney shorts of the 1950s, but a decent little watch in my opinion. The experience of the filmmakers clearly shows here and I recommend it.