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I don't have a whole lot to go on here, but I am trying to identify a very old children's VHS. I would have seen the VHS in the very early 90's, but I believe the actual short films were from the 50's or shortly after.

The VHS was some sort of compilation, I seem to remember watching it around Christmas time, but that could just be coincidence. I remember at least two different shorts, and I can only remember a couple seconds of each. The whole VHS was either black and white, or very dull colors. Both were stop-motion using dolls or puppets, not claymation. Both films are mostly silent, with instrumental music, possible very brief speech, "Oh my!" etc.

This short is the first on the VHS, a maestro is trying to conduct (an orchestra maybe?) and becomes very upset, I think I remember his large moustache twitching.

Like I said, not a lot to go on, if you can help at all, it would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


Edit: The 1950's Hansel and Gretel may have been part of the compilation, I remember having this, but don't remember if it was separate or not. The stop-motion style was similar in any case, which leads me to think that the whole thing was probably 1950-1960's productions. (Though, as mentioned I was definitely watching in 1990's VHS compilation form.)

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+1 for a good example of a identify question. –  TylerShads May 19 '12 at 13:52

1 Answer 1

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I'm having a hard time placing the ballerina segment, but the conductor makes me think of one of George Pal's more famous Puppetoons, Bravo, Mr. Strauss (1943).

enter image description here

George Pal is considered one of the foremost animators of the 40's and 50's, and his prolific output was employed by many advertising companies before he successfully turned his hand to live-action effects (War of the Worlds, The Time Machine et al).

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Amazing! Using your lead, I was able to absolutely confirm that this was the first short I remember, specifically this image is specifically one I remember: image I'll try to follow this to the others! –  Xestrix May 19 '12 at 12:16
    
Terrific - I'm trying to think of the other one - it sounds like a variation on the Tin Soldier. –  Nobby May 19 '12 at 12:19
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I agree on the Tin Soldier lead, but I kept hitting dead ends. I very specifically remember the ballerina being "broken" (her leg, almost certainly) and someone trying to help fix her with glue. –  Xestrix May 19 '12 at 12:21
    
Yeah - I keep returning to the 1955 animated version by Ivo Caprino, but this doesn't match your description. I still want to think it is a Pal film, but I'm drawing a blank - onwards and upwards! :) –  Nobby May 19 '12 at 12:26
    
I'd run into the Ivo Caprino film while searching too, definitely not what I'm remembering. I'm not sure how much it helps, but I found the exact Puppetoon, labeled as The Little Broadcast, thanks for all the help so far! –  Xestrix May 19 '12 at 12:33

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