Monday, December 23, 2019

Quick Holiday Greetings

 
Uniting the season with my interests in Colleges and in the State of Ohio, here is a 19th Century snow scene on the campus of Ohio State University, with Main Hall in the background.




Hello everyone,  This is not a regular post, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season, whatever holiday(s) you may celebrate.

There is a Santa, after all.
My favorite holiday animation has long been Frannie’s Christmas, produced by Mike Mitchell. This classic took part in some animation festivals, and was released on VHS, but unaccountably has made no appearances since then. Now someone has posted a slightly imperfect dubbing on Youtube, but I recommend taking advantage of this rare opportunity to view it—who knows how long it will stay up!

Those who know my offbeat sense of humor will know why I treasure this, but at least now the rest of you won’t have to quote syrupy Letters to Virginia to prove the existence of Santa Claus:

Watch Frannie's Christmas Here.


 

Christmas Time is Here, by Golly!
While we’re on the subject of Christmas Classics, I hope that you all know Tom Lehrer’s Christmas Carol. His zany and complicated rhymes remind me of Ogden Nash, but of course the style is all Lehrer’s own, and has the added benefit of music:

Listen to Tom Lehrer's A Christmas Carol Here.


 

The Insects' Christmas
I posted this video by Russian-French animator Ladislaw Starewicz a few years ago, but many of you many have missed it, or wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Although the title sounds quite edgy, this silent animated short is just the opposite—sweet, charming and magical:


Watch Starewicz's The Insects' Christmas Here. 


Holiday Question: Can you buy artificial dead Christmas garland?
Answer:   In Taiwan, Yes!


I was walking today in the Taipei's wholesale/decoration area, and there were lots of natural/green and colorful or metallic garlands like these:


but then at a store that generally sells the cheapest of merchandise, I saw the dead artificial garland--it was not in the least metallic; in fact I kept excepting "needles" to drop off when I touched it!



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Tell me how you like these holiday videos. Try to be tolerant if any of those annoying Youtube commercials pop up. 


I hope to have a few new posts ready for early 2020. I already have a few basically prepared except waiting for some email confirmations, but you know how people are about sending emails!

Finally, I wish everyone a Happy and Safe New Year, and a healthy and prosperous 2020.



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(Stereoview photo of Ohio State University collection of the author.)

30 comments:

  1. Dearest Jim,
    Well, first off a Merry Christmas to you and yours and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
    As for those videos above, I love the Tom Lehrer's A Christmas Carol, so to the point in the end!
    The favorite is The Insects' Christmas by Wladyslaw Starewicz!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Hello Mariette, Yes, Tom Lehrer has a way of poking fun at everything that unmasks all pretension. I somehow didn't think that Frannie's Christmas would be in your line, but I loved the irreverent mixing of several genres. Starewicz certainly has a unique charm--I tried to locate his Winter-based film "Carrousel boréal" but apparently it is no longer in Youtube--luckily I have it on DVD.

      Happy Holidays to you and Pieter!
      --Jim

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  2. Have a safe holiday and a healthy New Year.
    While I am lying on the beach, reading and sipping cold drinks, I will be thinking of snow laden trees in the northern half of this globe :)

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    1. Hello Hels, I am glad that you are getting a break. I wonder what book you are reading? At the moment, I am almost finished with My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin, that you recommended a while back. I love the Australian background. In Taiwan, there are no snowy trees, but it is hardly beach weather either! --Jim

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  3. Dear Jim - wishing you a very happy Christmas and a really good 2020. My computer keeps crashing so hope I manage to write this before it goes again. Will look at your recommendations when a new one is hopefully installed.
    In the meantime have a lovely time, and thank you for being such a thoughtful blogging friend.

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    1. Hello Rosemary, I am sorry you are having so many computer problems. At least your family knows what you want for Christmas!

      Wishing you a pleasant holiday, and an error-free 2020!
      --Jim

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  4. Seasons greetings from the UK Jim. I enjoyed both of those clips!
    One of my favourite animations was the Roger Ramjet series. It's a but like the Simpsons in that it's ostensibly for children but really works on an adult level:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIbFJmCUxsA
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s unexpectedly uxorious Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hello Bazza, Thanks for the link. I don't think that Roger Ramjet has entered my mind since I was small, but as soon as I saw and heard this, there was immediate recall!

      We need Roger Ramjet today to take care of the mess in Washington. After he has finished there, we'll loan him to England. In the meantime, I think the light-bulb destroying machine has ended up in Taiwan--that would explain why I am constantly replacing bulbs! --Jim

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  5. Each of your video links are delightful, especially "Frannie's Christmas" -- and its concluding line gave me a good LOL! Have a wonderful holiday season, Jim, and all the best for 2020!

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    1. Hello Debra, I thought you would like Frannie's Christmas. I was lucky to see it for the first time on the large screen at an animation festival. I am very much looking forward to seeing what you are going to post for us in the coming year. --Jim

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  6. You made my Christmas bright! Thank you for posting ! I hope to read more in 2020

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    1. Hello Ur-spo, Thank you for you kind comment! Since I live alone in Taiwan, reading about your family's plans and traditions, even the complications, have created a vicarious holiday for me. --Jim

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    1. Hello R's Rue, Thank you for the greeting, and you have a great Holiday, too! --Jim

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  8. 聖誕節快樂!
    Wishing you enjoy this holiday in good health.

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    1. Hello rtc, Thank you for your good wishes, and I hope you have a pleasant Holiday season and a great 2020! --Jim

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  9. I liked the amazing Starewicz animation, way ahead of its time. It reminded me of the Quay Brothers and Jan Svankmajer and I found to my great surprise that they have done a film "Metamorphosis" using some of his material. So I am looking forward to watching it. Happy Christmas!

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    1. Hello Jenny, I love all of those animators--I have all or most of their obtainable works on dvd. My favorite Quay Brothers film is Street of Crocodiles, which is also on Youtube. If you can find Svankmajer's sometimes evasive Jabberwocky, be sure to give it a look! --Jim

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  10. A belated merry Christmas. Love those videos. Frannie's Christmas is a real find. And that Russian film! An excellent example of stop-motion animation, and to think, so early in movie history. A hand-drawn cartoon from the same era wouldn't be nearly as accomplished. One quibble about the YouTube site on which it was shown. It's referred to as a "Soviet" film. Though they wouldn't be around for too much longer, the Romanovs were still running things in 1913.

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    1. Hello Kirk, I was lucky to see Frannie's Christmas for the first time on the big screen at the Cleveland Cinematheque. I noticed the same thing about the "Soviet" Youtube site, but their version, apparently lifted from the dvd, was the only one with good music. For some reason, arrangers of modern soundtracks to silent movies feel that they have to be tedious and discordant! Happy New Year! --Jim

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  11. Note: This comment arrived via email from La Contessa:

    HELLO and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    I left a comment and POOF it was nO LONGER THERE!

    What animal is FOR 2020?I will never retire YOUR PIGGIES as I adore the colors!

    I will come back to watch the videos and appreciate you putting them there for us to ENJOY!

    Have spent the morning answering the BLOG COMMENTS and NOW need to DO SOMETHING REGARDING THE HOUSE AND FOOD!

    THANK YOU for always being there!

    XX
    ELIZABETH
    LA CONTESSA

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    1. Hello Contessa, Next year will be Rat Year, but lucky animal decorations never have to be retired--they continue to bring perpetual luck. In my apartment, I think I have most of the animals somewhere or other. Some people especially collect the animal from their zodiac birth year.

      I hope you enjoy the videos--they are some of my favorites.
      A Happy New Year for you and your entire family, pets included!
      --Jim

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    1. Thank you, and a very Happy 2020 to you, too! --Jim

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  13. Hope the New Year will be happy and wonderful for you and your family.

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    1. Hello rtc, Thank you, and I return the good wishes!
      --Jim

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  14. Are you in the US? If you are in Taiwan, please take good care to prevent the infection.

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    1. Hello rtc, I am in Taiwan now, but am trying to take good care of my health. So far there are still very few cases of the virus in Taiwan.

      Thank you for your concern.
      --Jim

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  15. Hope the New Year will be happy and wonderful for you and your family.custom sequin pillow

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