Sunday, 30 October 2011
49. The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives (1933)
Release date: January 7, 1933.
Series: Merrie Melodies.
Directed by: Rudolf Ising.
Producers: Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising and Leon Schlesinger.
Animation: Rollin Hamilton and Norm Blackburn.
Musical Score: Frank Marsales.
This is the first cartoon to be released in 1933, and it was obviously created and finished in 1932, as it was probably meant to be released in Christmas 1932, but due to production schedules, it would be delayed to January. Sorry if the screen grabs have rather crappy quality. Oddly enough, this is October 30 - and I'm reviewing a Christmas production - I should review something Halloween like, but my schedule says that I have to review The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives - oh well. We are getting near to Christmas, aren't we? I mean some of my aunts and uncles are already talking about Christmas present lists.
Santa arrives inside the shelter, to which the boy turns astonished in amazement that a miracle had arrived in excellent timing conditions. To the boy's amazement, he gasps "Santy Claus!". Santa enters the shelter as he is singing the chorus to the title song. He sure is a jolly Santa Claus in this short. The boy says how he wishes to go on his sleigh, and his wish is Santa's command as he's been a good boy this year - yep, one of Santa's trademarks for children "behavior". So the boy is going on an exciting ride to "the shanty where Santy Claus lives".
I must say that the introduction to this sequence is very good, I love the music for the church bells at the very beginning as it shows a rather dark introduction to the orphan boy, and the toughness he has to go through, since he doesn't belong in a good home and he lives alone.
That gag with the "mamma" transferred to "mammy" through design would've been a funny gag back when it was released, but I don't think the audience would understand the joke watching it today - as joke like these are not common anymore and strict in terms of censorship.
This cartoon was quite sentimental, and the beginning scenes were quite good with good character development going on. Up to the point in which he arrives at Santa's workshop - the short gets weaker as the toys enter, and we just see nothing but toys and not much of the orphan. The reuse scene from Red Headed Baby was just poorly reused, that I almost forgot that scene, and just remembered it because it was reused.