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The Candlemaker

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The Candlemaker

An animated tale with a Lutheran message that's equal parts Christmas spirit and good old-fashioned guilt

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1957 13 mins

Overview

There's nothing like instilling children with a profound sense of guilt and penitence to rouse the Christmas spirit. This animated parable from the United Lutheran Churches of America positions giving, community and sacrifice at the heart of Christmas. The sections showing worship are handled with sensitivity and are quietly moving - although it's hard to blame young Tom for any mistake when his parents leave him alone with saucepans of hot molten wax.

The cartoon was commissioned from the British animation company Halas & Batchelor, which came to prominence on both sides of the Atlantic after their feature length version of George Orwell's Animal Farm (1954). The unit director Louis Dahl was a brother of author Roald and worked at a few animation studios in this period. The film was released in colour and black and white versions.