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Toyland Premiere

by Nicholas Sammond

Oswald the Rabbit telegrams Santa to tell him his city is ready for the Toyland Parade. Santa worries about how his Santa outfit is destroyed, but the elves paint his current clothes red. After the parade, Santa is invited to dinner at the department store with celebrities, including Frankenstein's monster, Tarzan, Lupe Velez, Shirley Temple, Al Jolson and Bing Crosby. Al Jolson, though a white celebrity known for blackface, is here shown in blackface though not performing. Later, the cake needs to be saved from comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, who have dressed as a dragon, frightening everyone. Santa calls on the toys to help defend the dinner from Laurel and Hardy, who squirt paint at Laurel and Hardy - Santa joins in by throwing pie at their faces. Throughout, then, the short interestingly plays with costume and masquerading - the covering of the face and painting of the body shown at once as humiliation, entertainment and responsibility, offering a lens through which to look at performance and blackface during this time period.

Toyland Premier

Oswald the Rabbit telegrams Santa to tell him his city is ready for the Toyland Parade. After the parade, Santa is invited to dinner at the department store with celebrities, in which the cake needs to be saved from comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.

from Toyland Premier (1934) (1934)
Creator: Walter Lantz
Posted by Nicholas Sammond
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