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“Santa’s Surprise” Redux

Now, I’ve seen everything.

Film bootleggers have enjoyed distributing worn copies this Paramount Christmas cartoon for years, as the film fell into the public domain back in the 1970s. Apparently one enterprising entrepreneur decided to “colorize” the already in-color cartoon (original version above) and distribute it as if it were new. The characters were redrawn (or traced) badly, removing all their original appeal and charm. The colors were brightened and “airbrushed”; some shots are slightly restaged, with the whole film lightly re-edited – and all the racial stereotypes left intact! This copy (below), uploaded to You Tube, has a French track, though most of the songs are left in English.

Who did this and when? Anyone got the story on this “restoration”?

Santa’s Surprise (1947) is notable as the first “Little Audrey” cartoon; the character would replace Little Lulu at Paramount and would go on to become a popular Harvey comic book.

Oh, and whoever did this didn’t stop here. There’s a clip from another Paramount PD cartoon, Bill Tytla’s Hector’s Hectic Life (1948), on You Tube.

(Thanks, Luke Virgin)