Hmmm...where should this second page begin? How about a look - the first look in animation, no less - at the most famous reindeer of all?
Created in 1939 by Robert May, as a promotion for Montgomery Ward, Rudolph first graced the silver screen in or around the year 1948 courtesy of Max Fleischer for the Jam Handy Organization.
If the only version of Rudolph you know is the one made famous by Rankin/Bass, you'll likely be surprised by this version conforming to Mays' original story. Rudolph isn't the son of one of Santa's reindeer here, but merely an ordinary schooldeer with an extraordinary nose.
Santa discover's Rudolph's gift while delivering his present on a very foggy Christmas Eve, leading him to request the young buck's help.
Look's like everything worked out for the best...
While we're looking back at vintage toons, let's take a look at the Fleischer's competitors - if that's even a fair assessment - specifically, a couple of Disney's "Silly Symphonies". Although they seem like they well could be two halves of the same toon, Santa's Workshop debuted in 1932, while The Night Before Christmas showed up a year later.
Truthfully, there's nothing really groundbreaking in either. The second short really has little to do with the story invoked by the title and brief opening lines. Still, they're both pleasant looks at Santa's work leading up to his annual ride. Plus, the art itself is as good an example of the "traditional" look of Santa's operation as any.
Let's stay with Disney for a moment and check out a couple of very different Christmases for Mickey and Pluto.
In their early years, the duo were not well to do. Here, in Mickey's Good Deed (1932), Mickey wants to buy presents for some children even more down on their luck than he is. Unfortunately, the only means he has of financing this deal is to sell Pluto to a rich brat.
Not the happiest of Christmases, especially for the pup, but as is the Disney tradition, everything works out in the end...
Later, in better times (in 1952 they can even afford color...), the Mouse and his pet look forward to a country Christmas, complete with Pluto's Christmas Tree.
Wouldn't you know, of all the trees they'd pick...???
To wind up this look at classic toons (unless I do a Part 3 later), let's see what happens when an MGM mouse is stirred on Christmas Eve...
1941's The Night Before Christmas put Tom and Jerry up to their usual tricks.
But the season will out..
All is well...and to all a good night...
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