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  • This cartoon features two great Looney Tunes writers, Michael Maltese and Tedd Pierce, along with the direction of Friz Freleng and the music of Carl Stalling. Often the latter gets unnoticed by the casual observer but animated short buffs know and appreciate the incredible work of Stalling. His music and instrumental sound-effects were always good. Sometimes they stood out in a cartoon. This is one of the times. Of course, it's easy to say that in a cartoon that has no dialog, just sight gags and music, but Stalling, nonetheless, is often taken for granted. I plead guilty to that sometimes, myself.

    This cartoon really isn't a story, just a bunch of gags based around watching elves work at night making and repairing shoes at "Jake's Shoe Repair.". The shoe styles are interesting, since several of them are long out of style.

    The title of this cartoon, by the way, was a play-on-words to a very popular song in 1940s called "Holiday For Strings."

    Some of the elves are takeoffs on Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy. The music comes from a number of classic composers. The jokes are all musically-synchronized. For classic music lovers, there is a lot of music they'll recognize here.
  • toodler2th23 December 2001
    to some of my favorite music. These elves are cool, and how about when the cobbler decides to sneak out for a round of golf? I love this cartoon. I hope WB or whomever has control of these cartoons puts them out on dvd so we can enjoy them at our leisure.
  • Among the greatest Warner Bros. cartoons were the ones putting the action to music. One example is Friz Freleng's "Holiday for Shoestrings", taking the children's story of the shoe cobbler whose work gets secretly done by elves, and having the elves work to the "Nutcracker" music...with a few gags along the way. If you ask me, this is the way to get people into the holiday spirit; don't bombard people with that awful music and advertising that we have to experience every November and December. This cartoon (plus "Gremlins", "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and "The Ref") create the perfect amount of yuletide feeling. Just recently became available on DVD on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 5 Disc 2.

    PS: one of the elves looked a little bit like Elmer Fudd.
  • slymusic22 October 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    "Holiday for Shoestrings" is a wonderfully musical Warner Bros. cartoon, and who better to synchronize music with animation than director Friz Freleng! Thanks to composer/orchestrator Carl W. Stalling, numerous familiar pieces of music accompany a group of hardworking shoemaker elves. And don't worry, there are plenty of funny gags!

    Highlights: There is a running gag of two dopey elves who repeatedly whack each other on the foot by accident and then have an argument. Two other elves don busby hats & boots as they perform a Russian kick dance. The head shoemaker, supposedly sick in bed, tries to sneak out of his shop to go play golf, but the elves gang up on him, place him back in bed, and nail the bedsheets to the floor, as if to say, "Yeah, buddy, you darn well better be appreciative of all the hard work we do for you!" And watch for some nice caricatures of Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy.

    Among the pieces of music in "Holiday for Shoestrings" that I recognize are Chopin's "Minute Waltz" and "Grand Valse Brilliante", Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" Overture, Strauss' "Tales from the Vienna Woods" and "Voices of Spring", and several dances from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker". You can find this cartoon on Disc 2 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 5, with an additional audio commentary by music historian Daniel Goldmark.
  • While not quite among Fritz Freleng's masterpiece, though the man did so many great cartoons, 'Holiday for Shoestrings' is still wonderful stuff.

    For what it lacks in plot, saying that the cartoon's light on it in fact is being generous, it more than makes up for in its entertainment value, terrific animation and some of the best use of classical music of any cartoon seen recently. The animation is simply terrific, with gorgeously vibrant colours, backgrounds that are rich in detail and the characters are smoothly drawn.

    'Holiday for Shoestrings' is very funny stuff as well, all visual and gag driven with no dialogue or voices. The Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy bits are particularly hilarious, while the cartoon deserves a lot of credit for giving enough variety to the running gag with the two elves to not make it feel stale or repetitive. The ending couldn't have been a more beautiful or clever twist on a story as old as 'The Elves and the Shoemaker'.

    The characters are endearing, but the best asset is easily the music, all pre-existing and brilliantly arranged by Carl Stalling. Tchaikovsky with 'The Nutcracker' dominates, but there are also healthy doses of Chopin, Strauss, Mendelssohn and Liszt. The music itself is magnificent and how it's utilised in 'Holiday for Shoestrings' makes it even more special, the synchronisation of gag and music is a seamless match throughout.

    Overall, light on plot but high on entertainment and quality. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is one of Friz Freleng's musically driven shorts from Warner Brothers studio. There will be spoilers ahead:

    There are only a couple of segments which have dialog and what little there is was recorded at higher speeds, though it hardly matters. The animation is set to various pieces of classical music and the timing of things is superb The basic plot is straight out of fairy tales, namely "The Shoemaker and the Elves". A shoemaker is laid up in bed and needs help in his shop. Cue the music and the elves. There follows a series of scenes, each set to some piece of classical music, with the animation timed to the music-and excellently timed at that.

    There are really nice bits like two elves doing a turn on Charlie Chaplin's "little Tramp", two others who do Laurel and Hardy and various other bits such as Russian elves to some Russian music. Different types of work is done to music. one of the highlights is when two less than bright elves try to hammer in a nail. The scenes are done perfectly, with a typical Warner's conclusion.

    The ending of the short is a twist on the original, with the shoemaker trying to sneak off to play golf, only to be caught by the elves. It's a beautiful ending.

    This short is available on DVD and is worth finding. Most recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    . . . Warner Bros. Movie Studio's strongest warnings as to what could be in store for America, if Capitalism ever is allowed to run roughshod again over the backs of Average Citizens, as it had done in the early 1900s. (As the PBS offering MINE WARS recently documented, back then callous "businessmen" were murdering workers in multiples of one hundred ALL THE TIME in Non-Union Coal Mines for the "privilege" of earning starvation wages, and heavily armed People's Armies numbering in the thousands--led by America's World War One Heroes--shot it out with the Capitalists' Hench People during military campaigns spanning entire states.) In HOLIDAY FOR STRINGS, Warner's animators depict America's Worker Bees as elves, helping out a malingering shoe repair shop owner who feigns an "illness." Then these underpaid Capitalist Pawns notice that the "sick" businessman (or "job creator," in Fox "News"-speak) is trying to sneak away to play golf. Warner shows the worker elves immediately revolting, nailing down the Fat Cat miscreant in a helpless position of House Arrest, and going out to golf themselves. Under U.S. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, Rich People paid more of their fair share for the American Dream--about a 90% top tax rate. Warner shows in HOLIDAY FOR STRINGS the sort of chaos that results when the rate falls to all-times lows, like today, and the Wealth Disparity explodes to unconscionable record highs.