The Twelve Animated Days of Christmas, #3

A 1966 holiday interstitial that aired on CBS.
Directed and designed by R.O. Blechman.
Animated by Ed Smith Willis Pyle.
(Thanks, Richard O’Connor, for the correction)


  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    Thanks for sharing, Amid! Never seen this before. It sure put me in the holiday spirit!

  • http://www.jjsedelmaier.com J.J. Sedelmaier

    Without a doubt, one of the most charming and clever little promo greetings ever produced ! Music was by Arnold Black and I believe the late Lou Dorfsman commissioned it for CBS.

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com Richard O’Connor

    Willis Pyle was the animator

  • uncle wayne

    thank YOO! I was wanting it, needing it, and LOVING it!! What a very fond memory for me!! (They should run it toDAY!)

  • fun

    listening to iron maiden’s “children of the damned” over video.
    strange experience. i recommend it.

  • Kelly

    That was very charming. Call me quaint and antiquated, but I think bringing back a modicum of innocence to mass media would be welcome and refreshing.

  • robert barker

    I think NBC is the only oldstyle network that still seems to have an identity as a network, mostly because of their comedys. But I do remember the vibe the networks had back then, and this was typically ‘classy’ CBS stuff. I remember this one. Way cool.

  • http://www.jjsedelmaier.com J.J. Sedelmaier

    Re: robert barker comment.

    You can thank Lou Dorfsman for the CBS identity. Google him and enjoy !

  • bob kurtz

    charm is never out of date. thank you my dear old friends,bob blechman
    and lou dorfsman.

  • Joe

    This is a great little piece that takes you back to simpler days. It can be found on the recent DVD release called, “Holiday Treats: TV Sets” by CBS video.

  • http://inklingstudio.typepad.com/chronicles David Nethery

    uncle wayne says:
    “thank YOO! I was wanting it, needing it, and LOVING it!! What a very fond memory for me!! (They should run it toDAY!)”

    I totally agree. They should run it today. If CBS were to run this during commercial breaks this Christmas it would be totally fresh.

    I’m sure I remember seeing this on television in the early 70′s so I think they used it for more than one season. Later as a budding young animator and film collector I had a Super-8mm print of it from Blackhawk Films of Davenport , Iowa . (anyone else remember them ? I know Jerry does … ) . It’s always been a favorite of mine.

    I’m the one who first posted it on YouTube on Dec. 24, 2006 , with a link from my blog “The Inkling Chronicles” . I think that first year it had like 247 views. Since then it’s had over 22,344 views on YouTube. I’m glad the powers that be have let it stay up . (sshhhhh….. maybe we shouldn’t be talking about it like this ?)

    It’s nice to see how this gentle bit of Christmas cheer by the great R.O. Blechman still strikes a chord with people.

    Now if we could only get a proper DVD release of Blechman’s PBS Christmas Special “Simple Gifts” . It came out on VHS 12 years ago , but PBS has never released it on DVD .

    “Richard O’Connor says:
    “Willis Pyle was the animator”

    Thanks for that , Richard. I’ve had a few other people contact me to say it was Willis Pyle who animated the piece. Someone else who I had reason to believe would know, had told me that the animator was Ed Smith (and given Ed Smith’s longtime association with Blechman that sounds reasonable) , but credit where credit is due … I’m sure it could be Willis Pyle . Is anyone directly in touch with Blechman to have him confirm it ?

    • Jim M.

      There are, supposedly, at least two other Christmas animations produced for CBS-TV by R.O. Blechman and Willis Pyle, one of a Santa Claus climbing into an oil lamp to light it, another of reindeer flying acros the screen.

      Is it possible for you to obtain them, and upload them to your blog and/or to You Tube, as you did with the one of the woodsman playing “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” on his saw that was for the birds?

      Thank you.

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com Richard O’Connor

    It’s definitely Willis Pyle (I was Bob’s producer for a decade).

    Ed and R. O. didn’t work together until the early 70s for Children’s Television Workshop.

    While the lumbering guy looks like classic Ed Smith, the birds are not. Ed has a special touch with animals (especially dogs) that is unmistakable.

  • http://asteriskpix.blogspot.com Richard O’Connor

    Also, this wasn’t exactly a commission- as Bob tells it.

    He produced it, then sold it to CBS as an acquisition. He still owns the copyright.

    It may have been done with Elektra Films, that I’m not sure.

  • http://inklingstudio.typepad.com/chronicles David Nethery

    Thanks Richard ! That’s great first hand info.

    I will update the YouTube posting.

  • http://www.jjsedelmaier.com J.J. Sedelmaier

    Spoke to Ed – HE confirms it was Willis. . .

    We retransferred this from the original OCN in 1990 for CBS to use with their “A Special Lucy Christmas” VHS release. I remember Bob saying it was Willis. Sorry i didn’t say anything in response to the original posting – Bob and Ed (and Tissa) are indelibly etched in my brain as a unit. . .

    such a great spot. . .

  • M. Gebers

    Thank you so much for helping us remember what the true spirit of Christmas is all about. This ad would have been run when I was just a child, but I sure would appreciate seeing something like that today. Just so calming and peaceful. No commercialism here.

  • mpchet

    That was lovely. It should be run today. People would love it.

  • F.S. Owens

    Just wonderful. I beg that they air it again. This world needs the kind thoughts it brings out.

  • M. Terri

    @David – I vividly remember seeing this spot for many years as a child and growing up, so yes, I am quite sure it was shown for numerous seasons, at least in NYC on WCBS.
    This was network? I somehow always assumed it was a local station spot.
    So lovely, peaceful and gentle.

  • Grinch
  • wes

    I can’t believe I just found what I now know as the R.O. Blechman CBS Christmas piece! I remember hearing this on WBBM, Channel 2 in Chicago as a child (seven years old in 1966) and it has stuck with me all these years. What’s even more unbelievable are the comment I’ve read since rediscovering this classic. I see I’m not the only kid in America that was touched by this. Forty-five years later I see in in a different light – how an instrument of destruction can be instantly converted into an instrument of empathy and understanding. Thanks for posting it.