Monday, December 22, 2008

I Want a Dinosaur for Christmas

if you've waited till the last minute to shop for the animation enthusiast on your list, fret no further! you too could get an original drawing from 1914 "Gertie the Dinosaur," the Winsor McCay hand-drawn(and I don't mean cel) classic.

only $5000! it looks like it might be from the endless cycle where Gertie sways back and forth. a little description from the ad:
"To create the film, McCay himself drew thousands of frames of Gertie on individual sheets of rice paper, which he then mounted on cardboard for registration. Of the estimated 10,000 drawings used to make the film, only about 400 are known to exist.

Image size 8 1/2”w x 6 1/2"h in original condition mounted on cardboard (overall size approx. 9 1/4"w x 7 1/2"h (23 1/2cm x 18 1/2cm). Certificate of Authenticity

perhaps this might be a little more in your price range for a Winsor McCay fan

you know dasher and dancer and prancer--wait no. you know Rudolph the Red-Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Garfield Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. But do you recall...any other specials at all? I present to you five alternative cartoon christmas specials:

one of three holiday specials commissioned by CBS, Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas is a not often replayed special that contains some great bits along with your favorite Christmas songs. the California Raisins regale us with Rudolph while the singing camels steal the show with the chorus for We Three Kings (Star of Wonder). the bells that hit themselves is probably my favorite skit (and there are quite a few of them). here's part 1. i trust you can find your way to parts two and three.

Eek the Cat has always been a criminally underrated show. created by Savage Steve Holland, the show ran on FOX Kids from 1992 to 1997! an incredibly long run for a show not available on DVD. Holland directed three live action eighties movies -- two starring John Cusack (Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer). being a CalArts graduate, however, he ended up with his own animated show on FOX starring a purple, fuzzy cat named Eek along with his oversized girlfriend Annabelle and her ferocious dog -- and the bane of Eek's existence -- Sharky the Sharkdog.

this particular episode, It's a Very Merry Eek's-Mas, involves Santa (voiced by Bill Shatner) dealing with the reindeer going on strike, headed by noneother than the voice of Bobcat Goldthwait, and Sharky's search for his family. Eek's mantra "it never hurts to help" makes the show worth watching to see him pushed to the edges of his code...only to bounce back. here's part 1 again:

probably the best of the bunch, A Pinky and the Brain Christmas brings more emotion to the special than most Christmas specials. Brain, predictably, wants to take over the world...on Christmas Eve, while Pinky just wants to deliver his letter to Santa, really bad. warn your eyes, they're about to well up:

i'm cheating a little bit here, as you may be aware of this special, but it gets much less press than its Rankin-Bass brothers Rudolph and The Year Without a Santa Claus (featuring the Miser Brothers). Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is one of their strongest specials. featuring Fred Astaire as the narrator and Mickey Rooney as Kris Kringle, the 48-minute special tells the origin of Santa Claus and explains the mystery behind many Christmas traditions. the legendary voice-actor Paul Frees plays the ruler of Sombertown -- Burgermeister Meisterburger. the songs are more than up to snuff, some on par with Rudolph's output. without further adieu:

finally, "A Jolly Molly Christmas," an episode from Disney Afternoon's Tale Spin, involves Rebecca's daughter's struggle over the existence of Santa. Baloo and Kit try to make her believe by taking her to see "Santa."

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