Film ID: NEFA 20565 Video of NEFA 20565 The 12 Days of Christmas THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 1975 Visitor TabsDescription A short Christmas animation produced by Sheila Graber based on the traditional carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. The film focuses on Santa Claus as he introduces each of the twelve days to comic effect. The film begins with an image of Santa Claus standing against a red background, his hands behind his back. He looks to his right and the number ‘1’ appears. He dances briefly before a Partridge appears in his hand which then transforms into the Partridge in a pear tree. Title: The 12 Days of Christmas The film cuts to show Santa standing alone beside an orange background holding the number ‘2’ in his right hand. Credit: Sung by the King George School Madrigal Group led by Brenda Orwin The number changes into two Turtle Doves which Santa holds in the air. The Partridge reappears in his other hand and then in a pear tree. The film changes again to show Santa standing alone against a green background. The number ‘3’ appears above his head which changes into three French Hens. In his hands appears two turtle doves with the partridge in a pear tree on his left foot. Credit: Produced by Sheila Graber. On a blue background Santa leans against the number ‘4’. The number disappears and Santa falls to be ground. Four Calling Birds appears and begin to sing. Holding a French flag the French Hen’s reappear with Santa saluting. In his right hand appears the two Turtle Doves with the Partridge in the pear tree sitting in his hat. On a red background Santa stands with his arms around his back. He appears on top of the number ‘5;’ He kneels down and gesticulates with his hands. The film cuts to show five Golden rings, three with diamonds. They each have faces which sing along to the tune. The film cuts to the four Calling Birds singing carols from a sheet. It cuts again to the three French Hens wearing striped tops and beret’s drinking wine and then one of the Turtle Doves placing a ring on the others wing. The sequence ends with a view of the Partridge who winks at the camera and sings along to the tune inside the pear tree with Santa looking down. The film cuts to show Santa standing along on a brown background. The number ‘6’ appears in his hand. He stands back to reveal six geese inside the outline of a wrapped present on the right. They are all sitting in an eggs. On the left appear the five Gold Rings also wrapped inside a see through present sit the singing. Beneath Santa the four Calling Birds appear singing inside a wrapped present. The three French Hens, two Tuttle Doves appear above Santa inside wrapped boxes. Santa disappears and is replaced by the Partridge and pear tree inside wrapped box. The film cuts to show Santa standing on a green background sitting on the number ‘7’. He comes off the number and below him are seven swans swimming inside a blue box, one is wearing snorkel and mask. On the right another box in orange appears inside which are six geese. One of them is sitting on a golden egg. Next to it appears another box inside which sing the five Gold Rings. Santa is slowly replaced by other boxes containing four Calling Birds, three French Hens and two Turtle Doves. Lifting up the box containing the Calling Birds and pushing down the one with the six geese Santa reappears holding the Partridge in a Pear Tree. The film cuts to show Santa standing in front of a blue background holding the number ‘8’. Suddenly eight maids carrying pails of milk race across the screen being chased by a bull with horns and a ring through its nose. The seven swans race across the screen in one direction followed by the six geese in egg shells, five Golden Rings who spin before being followed by the chasing bull. The four Calling Birds race past. Each of them is carrying a letter that spells ‘HELP’. The three French Hens race past carrying the letters to spell ‘AU SECOUR’. The bull chases the two Turtle Doves. The Partridge comes to land on the bull’s nose and then drops the pear tree on its head. Santa appears holding his red jacket which he holds over the bull like a matador. The film cuts to show Santa standing along on a red background. He lays on the floor and bounces the number ‘9’ on his feet. The film cuts to a line of nine can-can dancers. Standing beside them is Santa who us also dancing the can-can. The film cuts to show eight maids drinking milk from bottles with Santa standing nearby dressed as a milkman. In the sea Santa in a striped bathing suit dives under the water besides the seven swans. The film cuts to show Santa sitting on a large wrapped egg next to six geese sitting on their eggs. The film cuts again to show Santa in the middle surrounded by five Gold Rings. They all spin. The film cuts to Santa conducting the four Calling Birds, standing as if Napoleon Bonaparte in 19th century military uniform beside the three French Hens in military uniform. He sprinkles confetti onto the two Turtle Doves dressed in a suit and bridal gown. Sitting in a nest is the Partridge. Santa appears alongside sitting in a pear tree. The partridge jumps out as the branch snaps and the nest containing Santa slips off the screen. The film cuts to show Santa standing alone on an orange background holding the number ’10’ in his hands. Ten Lords a Leaping drop onto him followed by nine ladies dancing, eight maids and seven swans sitting in buckets. Six geese appear in the arms of six of the Lords. They all separate and the five Gold Rings appear down the middle singing as the characters around them dance along to the tune. The crowd separate as the four Calling Birds, three French Hens and two Turtle doves join the crowd. Finally the Partridge appears in the pear tree. The film cuts to show Santa alone on a green background standing on the number ‘11’. The numbers fall over and Santa pirouettes down and sits. Eleven Pipers Piping march across the screen stamping on Santa followed by a bagpipe player wearing a kilt. ten Lords a Leaping, nine Ladies Dancing, eight Maids carrying pails walk across him. The film cuts to Santa in water with seven swans swimming past. The film changes to Santa on the ground with the six geese falling onto him followed by the five Gold Rings riding across him like wheels. The four Calling Birds bounce on him followed by the three French Hens walking over him carrying the Eiffel Tower. The two Turtle Doves come down and pick him up as the Partridge appears. He falls against the pear tree. The film cuts to show Santa with a blue background sitting on the number ‘12’ and wiping his brow with a handkerchief. The screen is filled with twelve Drummers Drumming followed by the eleven Pipers Piping, ten Lords leaping along with Santa who is then seen dancing with the nine Ladies Dancing. His head appears in the pails of the four of the eight milk maids. He swims in the water towards the seven swans. He appears from an egg sat on by the six geese. His eyes spin as the five Gold Rings spin in front of him. He covers his ears as the four Calling Birds sing in his ears and his eyes water as the three French Hens wave an onion under his nose. The female Turtle Dove lays an egg on his head. The film ends with Santa walking towards the camera carrying the Partridge in the pear tree. He falls over exhausted. Title: The end Context In 1975, Sheila Graber made this highly imaginative cut out animation, shown on BBC Look North the same year. Inspired by her own designs for Christmas decorations on the walls of the comprehensive school where she taught for many years, nobody watching it will ever forget the words of the carol ever again. Sheila Graber started doing animation in 1970, experimenting with anything from cut-outs and pastel to plasticine, with her first full film ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ in 1972. She has had a prolific career as an animator, for television and much else, and has pioneered the teaching of animation for children and adults with special needs. As Head of Creative Studies at King George Comprehensive School, Graber believed in education through art, making films on artists like Turner and Blake, demonstrating how artists worked. The composer, Brenda Orwin, ran the school madrigal choir. In 2004 Graber started teaching on the first animation degree of its type in the UK at the University of Sunderland.