This film is part of Free

Christmas Around the World

Chomping alligators, a boomerang throwing kangaroo, a turkey in Turkey, and an angry lion, all mollified by a world touring, bumbling Santa.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1978 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


A typically wonderful animation from the award-winning animator Sheila Graber. This animation from 1978 has Santa, with three robin helpers, travelling the world in his sleigh delivering presents. This truly internationalist Santa travels from the Soviet Union to China, Ghana, Egypt, Vietnam and many other countries, before returning home to Iceland – each country identified by its familiar representation and accompanying music.

It was a short hop from her South Shields home for Sheila Graber to go on to do Fine Art at Sunderland College of Art in the late 1950s, then becoming an experimental art teacher. She was inspired as a child by Fantasia, and says that “Bill Tytla is my all-time fave animator”. But it was buying a Super 8 cine camera in 1970 that sparked her turn to animation, famously going on to do the children’s TV series Clapperboard. Graber turned professional in 1980 and subsequently won many more awards. This animation may have been inspired by childhood memories of the ‘Happy Wanderer’ song, which spent 26 weeks in the charts in 1954, when the artist would have been 14.