Thursday, December 21, 2017

Perfect Winter Day

Began my morning quietly with breakfast and The Small One. Don Bluth's last project for Disney before breaking out on his own was the touching tale of a little boy who has to sell his beloved but aging little donkey in a local city. No one takes them seriously, either making fun of them or barely looking at the poor animal...until they encounter a kind man named Joseph, who needs a gentle donkey to take his wife to Bethlehem.

Spent most of the rest of the morning and early afternoon writing. BB is happy to see Rey Quite Contrary and Poe the Piper's Son and their friends getting along so well. They even take part in a huge dance number in the Toyland Town Square. The number ends, however, with the arrival of the police and Jack Hux and Jill Phasma, who insist that they saw Poe the Piper's Son stealing Kaydel Bo Peep's sheep! The police admit they found wool and lamb sausage in Poe's house, too.

Broke a little early for lunch at 12:30 so I could get the cupcakes together. Half of them are going downstairs for Charlie and his men. The other half are Dad-Bruce's Christmas present. Ran Kung Fu Panda Holiday while I got organized. Po is looking forward to the Winter Fest, the big winter festival in their town. Every year, he and his dad make noodles for all their family and many people in the town. His holiday is thrown into chaos when Shi-Fu reveals that the Dragon Warrior is to host a huge, elegant dinner for all the martial arts masters in China on the same night. Poe does what he thinks is his duty, but trying to be elegant only makes a mess and upsets a bunny chef whose reputation he accidentally harms. He finally discovers why the winter holidays bring people closer together, no matter who they are or what they do.

In honor of the first day of winter, I ran animated shorts from various sets about snow, winter, and winter activities while eating lunch and getting ready for work. "Snow Foolin'" is from Paramount's Famous Studios and is one of their Screen Songs sing-a-long shorts. Animals have fun in the snow before singing along to "Jingle Bells." No clue where "The Snow Man" originally came from, but it looks like it dates to at least the 30's. A group of Inuit and Arctic animals build what they think is a snowman, but turns out to be a genuine yeti. They have to melt him to get rid of him. "Arctic Antics," one of Disney's earlier Silly Symphonies, and "Winter," one of their last black-and-white ones, are basically animals dancing and singing in the snow. ("Arctic Antics" does feature a cute sequence with penguins dancing to "March of the Toy Soldiers.") Tweety gets into "Puddy Tat Trouble" when he has to dodge not only Sylvester but a second cat on a snowy day in the city.

Work was surprisingly quiet for so close to Christmas. I guess everyone's waiting for the weekend. Besides, it was too nice to be shopping. The day was sunny, windless, and chilly but not out of line for the time of year, probably in the mid to upper 40's. I was more than happy to spend the first half of my shift rounding up carts and doing the trash, and the second doing returns. Grabbed sugar (brown and white) on my way home.

Finished out "Puddy Tat Trouble," then did a couple more winter and Christmas-themed cartoons while eating leftovers for dinner. "Chip n' Dale" named the two mischievous chipmunks who forever bedevil Donald and Pluto. Here, Donald has chopped their home down to fuel his fire. They just want their home and nut supply back. They're also after Donald's nuts in the Oscar-nominated "Toy Tinkers." The duo get into Donald's house on Christmas Eve and try to snitch his goodies. Donald's attempt to get rid of them turns into an all-out holiday war.

Tried to take a shower after dinner, but...brrrr! The water was freezing, and it refused to get warmer. I finally gave up and just took a very cold shower.

Ended the night with Scrooge. This musical version from 1969 features Albert Finney as the title miser and Sir Alec Guinness as Jacob Marley. I've kind of grown fond of the music from this one over the years since I picked up the soundtrack. "Thank You Very Much" was the sole hit, but I also like "December the 25th" for Fezziwig and the chorus and "Christmas Children" for Bob Cratchit and his brood as they do their Christmas shopping. I have no idea why they felt the need to extend the Future segment to actually end up in hell. (This is the only version besides Mickey's Christmas Carol I've seen even attempt this.) Otherwise, if you're a fan of Finney or Leslie Bricusse (who wrote the music for this one as well as the screenplay), the music alone makes this worth catching. 

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