Santa in Animal Land (1948)
Article 6008 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Stefan Sharff
Voice and Hand actors unknown
What it is: Christmas short
The animals in Animal Land wonder why they have no Santa Claus. Two of the animals travel to the North Pole to find out why.
For the record, whether a puppet short can be called an animated short depends on the type of puppet. George Pal’s Puppetoons are animated because it requires a frame by frame process to bring the puppets to life. For hand puppets, you just let the camera roll and let the puppeteers do their thing, and this is not animation. I probably wouldn’t make an issue of this, buy my copy is on the Mill Creek 600 Classic Cartoons collection, and it’s not a cartoon. But then, one doesn’t necessarily take the Mill Creek megapacks at their word; I’ve seen movies on their Action movie set that have no action, comedies on their Comedy sets that aren’t funny, Movies on their Horror set that aren’t scary… but I digress.
The rating for this on IMDB is 4.8, and that’s about right. The presentation is static and dull, and there’s very little of interest here. Yes, I understand that some work went in to building the puppets, the scenery and the costumes, but beyond that, it looks like minimal effort was put into it. I’d find this one dull even if I was a kid who loved puppets. You could make a better movie at home, and I really mean it this time.