THE INSECTS’ CHRISTMAS (1913)
aka Rozhdestvo obitateley lesa, Christmas for the Forest Inhabitants
Article 5187 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Wladyslaw Starewicz
What it is: Stop-motion holiday whimsy
A tree ornament Santa Claus climbs down, goes outside, and brings Christmas to the insects in the middle of winter.
There’s no real plot to this holiday whimsy; it’s really just a group of setpieces on the theme. That doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable; Starewicz’s beautifully realized stop-motion animation (of the tree ornament Santa, a doll, several insects and a frog) plus his attention to fun little details (such as the fact that some of the insects don’t just walk off screen – they join into a wheel and roll off screen) are as enthralling as ever. As great as the animation is, I think it’s really Starewicz’s wonderful imagination that really brings these things to life. I hope someday that this man and his work become as famous as he deserves to be.