‘Tis the Season…and what better way to celebrate than to have classic and popular holiday movies suitable for the entire family, presented by the Sunset Film Society.
By popular demand, the Sunset Film Society again presents one of the most requested programs of Holiday Classics on December 21st, a holiday program spanning 43 years at the International Museum of Art.
“As we look forward to this most Blessed Season and usher out 2019, we’ll go back in time for the very first animated television Christmas Special, an Academy Award-nominated cartoon from the USA, an enchanting Academy Award-nominated animated short from England, and an Oscar-winning live-action short from France,” Sunset Film Society director Jay Duncan shared.
MR. MAGOO’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (UPA: 1962) TECHNICOLOR 53 minutes
Before A Charlie Brown Christmas or even How The Grinch Stole Christmas, there was Television’s 1st Animated Christmas Special.
On Tuesday, December 18, 1962, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol debuted on the NBC Television Network, sponsored by Timex. It became an annual holiday event for the next two decades, then it vanished from regular telecasts.
However, if you’re a baby boomer…or older, you know that this program was produced with loving care; featuring wonderful voice characterizations, a memorable Walter Scharf music score with songs by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill and the famous “minimalist” style of UPA (United Producers of America.) animation.
Charles Dickens’ timeless 1843 literary classic has been faithfully and movingly adapted, and in my book rates just below the all-time classic British version, SCROOGE, produced in 1951 starring Alastair Sim.
PEACE ON EARTH (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer: 1939) TECHNICOLOR 9 minutes Released December 9, 1939 80th Anniversary!
In December 1939, MGM released an animated short entitled Peace on Earth and it was made at a time when much of the world was contemplating peace – or the diminishing prospect thereof. World War II had begun in Europe and, although the United States had yet to become involved, many Americans were endeavoring to promote the possibility of a peaceful resolution.
In this animated classic, two young squirrels ask their grandfather why they say “Good will to men” at Christmastime and inquire what exactly “men” are. The grandpa squirrel tells them that men were a monstrous species that used to be in charge until they were all wiped out in a global conflict.
Peace on Earth was nominated for an Academy Award and it has also been included in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals from film historian Jerry Beck. Hand-drawn and photographed on thousands of sheets of celluloid with no computer assistance, this is animation and design at its epoch, and shows the power of the animated film to move an audience emotionally. Academy Award Nomination: “Best Animated Short.”
THE SNOWMAN (Great Britain: 1982) Color 27 minutes Great Britain
Based on the wordless best-selling children’s book by British author Raymond Briggs, this enchanting film perfectly captures all the wonder and innocence of Childhood. Music by Howard Blake. Memorable in every way, it earned an Academy Award nomination for “Best Animated Short Film”.
THE RED BALLOON (Lopert: 1956) TECHNICOLOR 34 minutes France
A “Sense of Wonder” and the innocence of Childhood has seldom been more fully realized than in this dialog-free French short subject. Filmed entirely in the back streets and narrow alleys of Old Montmartre, it tells the adventures of a little boy (the director’s own six-year old son Pascal) and a big red balloon he rescues from a lamppost.
This world-acclaimed film inspired 2008’s French feature: Flight of the Red Balloon. Starring: Pascal Lamorisse, the children of Menilmontant and all the balloons of Paris. Directed, produced and written by Albert Lamorisse. Academy Award winner – “Best Original Screenplay”.
The Red Balloon (1956) – Le Ballon Rouge Movie HD
The special series starts at 2:00 p.m., with Jay Duncan providing insightful commentary, anecdotes and the Facts Behind the Films. Free admission and free parking, as well as freshly-popped theater popcorn, beverages, candy and snacks are available for purchase.