Monday, 24 December 2012

Sniffles Misses Santa

Jerry Beck described “Bedtime for Sniffles” (released November 1940) as “A charming Christmas cartoon, a rare Warners bow to yuletide sentiments, albeit an effective one.” Well, if there’s sentiment in a Warners cartoon, you know it’ll come from the Chuck Jones unit.

Jones and storyman Rich Hogan put a pleasant spin on the idea of a child trying to stay awake on Christmas Eve so (s)he can see Santa Claus. And despite Sniffles’ best effort, he falls asleep before St. Nick and his sleigh arrive.

The camera moves in on the left pan on this scene so I can’t show you the whole background. You get about 2/3rds of it here.

Bobe Cannon gets the sole animation credit and despite the fact Hogan came up with the story, writer Dave Monahan has a prominent place in the cartoon as Sniffles owns a Monahan brand pocket watch.

And a trivia note: Sniffles’ radio is playing KFWB, a Los Angeles radio station owned by Warner Bros. The radio gives the NBC chimes twice, even though the real KFWB was not an NBC affiliate. But the chimes were so recognisable, they became kind of a shorthand for anything to do radio.

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