This film is part of Free

The Twelve Days of Christmas

A classic Christmas carol brought joyously to life in this engaging and colourful Sheila Graber animation, with help from her school class.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1976 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


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.