December 8, 2016 posted by

Yuletide Flickers!

yultide-flickers-CoverI have word that Yuletide Flickers will be back from replication Friday, so I thought it would be a good day to highlight the set! It’s available on Amazon as of today. I’ll be sending the pre-orders with the bonus disc as soon as it arrives. It was a fun one to put together late last year, and in-between other projects I worked on cleaning up the films for this set a little more for this years official pressed release.

Chris Buchman and Rex Schneider, who collectively form the Blue Mouse Studio, curated the films with me, and provided the nice menus and graphics for this little set. I helped Chris and Rex also produce three other sets: Grotesqueries, Back the Attack and An Interview with Walter Lantz.

They’ve put together a nice flyer that’s included with the set featuring some great information about the films.


The idea was to have a collection that resembled both holiday shows at movie theaters and the home movie experiences of the past. Most of the holiday-themed films for home movie use would likely stay on the shelf at both people’s homes and camera stores most of the time, then would be hauled out for the holiday. It’s a sometimes odd batch of films, with some cobbled together from stock footage from the states as well as other countries. Some of these were best sellers for the home movie companies like Castle Films, in 16mm and 8mm formats.

Collector and historian Paul Mular was kind in lending some beautiful material for this set, as was collector Jeff Missinne. The very first 16mm print I ever bought was Van Beuren’s ‘Christmas Night’ (Pals) starring The Little King, and I was happy to have this cartoon included on the set.

Here’s a complete list of the contents of the set- in the six programs. It’s nearly three hours all together.

Festive Novelties from the 20s:

‘Santa Claus is Coming’ (1920)
‘Five Orphans of the Storm’ Aesop’s Fables (1924)
‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ (1922)
‘T’was the Night Before Christmas’ (1925)
‘The Toy Shop’ (1928) in Technicolor

Castle Films Classics:

Christmas Time in Toyland
Merry Christmas
A Christmas Dream
The Night Before Christmas
The First Christmas

Claus Toons:

Jingle Bells (1926)
Season’s Greetings (1946)
Santa’s Surprize (1948)
Christmas Daze (1958)
Hector’s Hectic Life (1948)
Toys will be Toys (1949)
Holiday Trailers

yule menu2-600
Merry Jingles:

Frosty The Snowman (1951)
Hardrock, Coco and Joe (1951)
Suzie Snowflake (1951)

Choir Sing Alongs:

Christmas Carols
A Collection of Carols


The Shanty Where Santa Claus Lives (1933)
The Snowman (1931)
Christmas Night (1934)

The set is available on Amazon here.

Here’s a little preview of the set:

Below is The Shanty Where Santa Claus Lives, the classic 1933 Harman/Ising cartoon presented here in HD – as included on the set. Have a good week everyone!


  • Wow! Cant wait to get the pre-order. Thanks to you Steve and all at Thunderbean. Ya’ll do a great service for us who love vintage animation.

  • I think I came up with the idea for this set, but my original draft was going to have more cartoons as well as sponsor bumpers from beloved 60s animated Christmas specials.

    Oh,well……it’s still a great set anyways!

  • Does “Christmas Night/Pals” have its original titles?

  • Is there any way to purchase the bonus disc if you order the set today?

    • You can still order the pre-order on the Thunderbean site, at least for the next few days….

  • I pre-ordered the set, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the bonus disk. Thank you, Steve, for all that you and your hard-working band of collectors and, shall we call them restorationalists, do for animation fans. I long for the day when the big companies allow for invasion of their vaults again and produce new sets of classic cartoons or allow *YOU* to do it. Here’s to 2017, and I can’t wait to hear what the “secret” projects are that amount to three volumes at three disks each! Wow!

  • Sounds like a truly fantastic set and that Steve & his colleagues have done – yet again! – a marvellous clean up & production.
    Can’t wait for the pre-order to arrive!

    Great to see the U.S. version of ‘Christmas Dream’ is on the disc as the previous dvd version I’ve got of the U.S. version ( not a Thunderbean disc ) could certainly have looked nicer.

    I prefer the Czech original but it’s enjoyable & interesting to see the adapted version with extra footage ( of Santa if I remember correctly,
    who definitely doesn’t appear in the original ).

    Karel Zeman is my all time favourite cinema film-maker & as eveyone probably knows this was his 1st film ( except for some earlier advertisement work; done mainly in France probably & which as far as I know probably no longer exist ).

    As is well known famous animator Hermina Tyrlova originally did all the animation parts for ‘Christmas Dream’ ( & Borivoj Zeman – probably no relation to Karel Zeman, though I could be wrong about that – directed all the live action bits ).
    But then the finished film ( or at least the animated parts & possibly the whole thing ) was destroyed in a fire & it was decided to re-film it:

    H.T. wasn’t available so Karel Zeman was given his first full opportunity to animate/direct segments of a film.
    Apparently most of his animation follows closely what H.T. had done except for the short painting of the ship sequence, which was his own invention.

    It’s great that in recent times a lot of KZ’s work has become available in excellent quality editions with english subtitles ( & english dubbing in one case ).
    With very likely the rest of his films to come in the near future.

    As people may well be aware a couple of weeks ago a brand new Blu-ray of the 2016 4K restoration of his 1961 ‘Baron Prasil’ (Baron Munchausen ) was released and is available from the Karel Zeman Museum & elsewhere.
    The Baron is my personal favourite of his ( followed by ‘The Stolen Airship’ probably ) – & I’m really looking forward to it:
    Especially as last year’s blu-ray of the 2015 4K restoration of ‘Invention For Destruction’ ( ‘The Fabulous World Of Jules Verne’ ) was perfect in every way ( that was the one that as well as an English subtitle option, also had the U.S. English dubbed soundtrack as an audio option – although I don’t think that is an option with the new Baron blu ).

    Apologies if a bit off topic in last couple of paragraphs;
    animation/film fervour bubbling away – & ‘Yuletide Flickers’ looks like it’s going to be a corker!

    • “A Christmas Dream” has been one of my favorite Christmas shorts, after I discovered it several years ago, but I’m still anticipating on seeing the original Czech version, if at all possible.

      Does anyone know how I can see that version?

    • Hi Eric,

      There have been several good quality dvd releases of the Czech original. of ‘Christmas Dream’ over the years –

      A Japanese Region 2 DVD ( probably deleted now) where the main film is KZ’s ‘Krabat’ (& the disc was also issued in a KZ box-set )

      As part of the
      ‘Czech Animated Film 1925 – 1945’
      Region Free DVD ( currently available on ebay ).

      & possibly the best option if you can play Region 2 discs –
      The french Region 2 DVD
      ‘La Magie Karel Zeman’
      which also has 5 other films by him
      & if you buy it from the DVD company who made it; ie
      from their marketplace sale at
      it is at a reasonable price.

      There may well be other releases.
      I have the 1st two I mentioned – both great quality & the French one arrived today & I imagine it will be great quality too ( as the company release the French versions of the official Czech KZ releases ) – though I haven’t watched it yet.

      Hope this of some help!

    • The original Czech version of “Christmas Dream” is available on the 3rd disc of this DVD offered by the Czech National Film Archive purporting featuring every surviving Czech cartoon from 1925 to 1945:
      It’s an incredible set for a very obscure period of Czech animation, and by some miracle the packaging linear notes and disc menus are completely bilingual as well. The e-shop only accepts bank transfers so I had to use a service like TransferWise to avoid bank currency conversion charges. I also received 2 promotional booklets with my order on Jiri Trnka and Hermína Týrlová (in English with biographies and filmographies, apparently dating from the Communist-era) which were pretty neat!

    • I prefer the Czech original but it’s enjoyable & interesting to see the adapted version with extra footage ( of Santa if I remember correctly, who definitely doesn’t appear in the original ).

      Yes, Santa appeared nowhere in the original. I can only assume someone at Castle Films wanted an excuse for why her doll came to life like that outside of it being a dream anyway (as if Santa likes to read children’s minds on a daily basis).

  • I’m hoping Steve’s 3 volumes ( of 3 discs each ) ‘secret’ project is either 1920s Felix or Mighty Mouse!
    Though I’m sure it’ll be an amazing set whatever it might be.

  • … on further thought; although there are quite a lot of them, without checking I don’t think there are enough Mighty Mouse made-for-cinema cartoons to fill 9 discs.
    I think there are that many 1920s Felixes though ( & also Out Of The Inkwell / Inkwell Imps
    if enough survive ).
    Felix would be wonderful –
    and unseen Inkwells, for myself personally, even better.

    • I didn’t expect this set to be available to purchase on Amazon already, so I bought it in a heart beat.

  • How come nobody ever makes Hanukkah cartoons, harrumph, harrumph?

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