Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hardrock, Coco, and Joe - The Three Little Dwarfs

Here's another Christmas classic from my childhood. This short would air together with Suzy Snowflake every Holiday season on The Bozo Show. It was also produced by the folks at Centaur Productions and Wah Chang provided his stop motion animation talents to this one just as he did on "Suzy". Hardrock, Coco, and Joe are three of Santa's helpers who ride along on his sleigh every Christmas eve. The short has become a true Christmas classic and a tradition on Chicago's WGN-TV since its introduction on December 18, 1956 on the "Garfield Goose and Friends" show. At two-feet-high, Hardrock drove Santa's sleigh while Coco navigated and Joe tagged along for fun. To create the animated short Hill & Range Songs hired Centaur Productions. The company was established in the early 1950s by the great FX artist and sculptor Wah Ming Chang (Star Trek, Fantasia, Pinochio, Planet of the Apes, Land of the Lost) and George Pal, the legendary producer of the Pupetoons and such film classics as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. These animated shorts are simple, beautiful, and timeless. We have to remember that these were produced long before the folks at Rankin / Bass studios perfected the techiniques for use in many other TV specials, and without the resources of theatrically released stop motion features such as the ones being made by Willis O' Brien and Ray Harryhaussen. Helping Santa spread some Holiday cheer here's Hardrock, Coco, and Joe...Enjoy.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails