Suzy Snowflake
. 1951


Director: Ray Mercer

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Three Little DwarfsAt under three minutes Hardrock, Coco & Joe: The Three Little Dwarfs (1951) is no longer than a Soundie or Snader telescription.

It is based on the song "The Three Little Dwarfs" by Stuart Hamblen, about Santa's three favorite elves. Hardrock & Coco he couldn't do without as they are pilot & navitagor for getting his sleigh all around the world with all those gifts. Joe is useless but Santa loves him so he gets to ride along.

The stop-motion animation begins with a spinning model of the earth, the camera moving in on the north pole, as a woman narrates:

"Now listen my children & you shall hear/ A story fantastic, a story so queer/ It's all about Santa & his helpers three/ There's Hardrock, & Coco, & Joe."

A male choral group, the Les Tucker Singers who have no other significance in the world of music, begin the song: "Now Hardrock's the driver up there by his sleigh/ Coco reads maps & he shows him the way/ Though old Santa really has no need for Joe/ But takes him cause he loves him so..."

The choras "lady-oh-lay" choras is sung by the guys & the woman who narrated the beginning. The song is kind of excreble but little kids would inevitably like the story of useless Joe taken on the sleigh, & a few of the song lyrics are evocative for children "The three little men only two feet high/ Are singing to Santa way up in the sky."

The stop motion animation hangs in there somewhere between cute & horrific. Santa & the "dwarfs" look a bit like spooky Laplanders.

Suzy Snowflake The same company made Suzy Snowflake (1951) based on a song by Sid Tepper & Roy C. Bennett, a minor holiday hit for Rosemary Clooney, but no one seems to know who sings it in the stop-motion animated short.

The song is performed by a female choral group. "Here comes Suzy Snowflake/ Dressed in a snow-white gown/ Tap, tap, tappin' at your windowpane/ To tell you she's in town..."

There's a line about "If you want to make a snowman," so the animation has her conjure a snowman in one scene, & turn a pedestrian into a snowman in another scene. She flies around a gargoyle & lingers at the window of a house, throughout calling for children to come play with her, though none ever do.

Suzy is depicted as a snowflake fairy flying about through the snowflakes & no larger than a snowflake. She's more cheaply designed as a doll than the characters for The Three Dwarfs, not greatly articulated. Through most of the two & a half minute film she's just zipping around between snowflakes like a doll on a string.

Yet there's an eerie beauty to the overall design that does to some degree capture the mystery & strangeness of the very idea of fairyland & winter fairy spirits.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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