Monday 24 December 2018

Bedtime For Sniffles

Sniffles tries to stay awake to meet Santa Claus in Chuck Jones’ non-Grinch Christmas opus Bedtime for Sniffles. Alas, he fails.

Sniffles tries to read a magazine. It hints of sleep (the camera goes out of focus to show Sniffles is nodding off). He looks over the magazine and sees his bed in the distance.

He sees the bed in the mirror.

He sees the bed reflected on the wall.

He sees the bed while looking through a transparent wash basin. Wait! Why is there a Sniffles in the bed?

Oh, it’s a spirit Sniffles enticing him to bed. Jones has the camera pan back and forth from the imaginary Sniffles to the real one, whose resistance wears down and he finally, in an almost airborne walk sequence, floats into bed.

Jones interrupts this whimsy and sentiment with humour by having the spirit Sniffles suddenly blow out the candle.

Here comes Santa, Sniffles. You just missed him. The usual-late 1930s male chorus heard in Warners cartoons sings “Joy to the World” in the background.

Rich Hogan got the story credit, Bobe Cannon the animation credit (Phil Monroe worked on this cartoon as well, and I suspect Ken Harris did, too. Did Bob McKimson do the close-ups?). I’m pretty certain Paul Julian provided the excellent background art.

I really don’t like Sniffles but you can’t help but be touched a bit by this cartoon, especially during the Yuletide season.


  1. Almost exactly a month earlier, Good Night Elmer was released. That's right, a cartoon about trying to sleep followed by one about trying to stay awake. Oh, that Chuck! - Always the innovator.

  2. As much as Chuck was into pantomime at this time, he really was focused on it in the cartoons released in late 1940 and early '41. This one works better than most because audiences can identify with their own attempts to try and stay awake.

  3. These early years of Jones' cartoons are yawn inducing.

  4. In a Zits comic, Jeremy got up late and not real enthusiastic for his presents, while his parent remember when Jeremy couldn't wait for his presents.

  5. The boy in the magazine is the Fisk Tire Boy