Next month we will resume our investigation of the contents within the sacred Mark Kausler film collection. Mark has been collecting 16mm prints for decades and may have one of the largest collections ever amassed – and we have a golden pass to examine some of the odds and ends therein. For Christmas Eve, I’ve asked Mark to pull some seasonal titles we might not have seen. Here are two from the Soviet Union and one from the Czech Republic. First up:
A Christmas Journey (1959 – aka “A Christmas Visit” Soyuzmultifilm production) with original Russian titles. English voices: Gilbert Mack (Narrator), Hal Smith (Taxi Driver / Santa Claus / Lion / Whale), Ginny Tyle (Kolya). Says Mark: “This is a very elaborate, somewhat suspenseful animated cartoon. I especially like the “whaleback” sequence. It’s all a dream, of course, but it has the Russian version of Kris Kringle in it.”
Little Snow Flake (A Captain Sailorbird version of a Soyuzmultifilm cartoon, combination of stop motion and cel animation). We are going to have to a post on the “Captain Sailorbird” cartoons one of these days… as for this one Mr. Kausler says, “I’m not sure of the year, but this has a Hans Andersen “Little Mermaid” tragic ending. The little bear and rabbit are such typically cute Russian character designs.”
Mole and the Christmas Tree (1975). “By Zdenek Miler of Czechoslovakia, featuring his daughters doing the voices, except for the crow. There are some 50 cartoons starring the Mole! He is one of the favorite Czech cartoon characters, beloved in Eastern Europe. This cartoon is also known as “The Mole At Christmas”.
NOTE: Mark’s print is clearly in rough shape… a cleaner version appears on archive.org.
Merry Christmas – Everyone!