Thursday, December 6, 2007
Have a Golden St. Nicholas Day
December 6 is St. Nicholas Day, a major Christmastime holiday in many parts of the world. To celebrate, here’s a real St. Nicholas goodie: the classic Little Golden Book, Santa's Toy Shop, first published in 1950 and still available today as a Big Golden Book. Inspired by Walt Disney’s 1932 Silly Symphony Santa’s Workshop, the charming illustrations are by Golden Book artist Al Dempster. Like many of the Golden artists, Al was also a Disney animation artist, specifically a background artist, who painted backgrounds for many of the great Disney features, including Fantasia, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book. As a Disney background artist, Al knew everything there is to know about staging, color and conveying story in an illustration. The art is in fact superior to and far more appealing than the style of the original cartoon, which was produced as Disney animation was still very much evolving. For this simple volume, Al designed a Santa that is pure Disney. Hope this Christmastime treat makes you as jolly as Santa Claus himself.