Mar 15, 2018
Not-So-Classic Christmas Color Classics (part 2 of 4) The Candlemaker
(This is part 2 of our series of Christmas Color Classics recaps. Read part 1 here.)
This was always my least favorite Christmas cartoon as a young child because I always thought it was so boring. What’s worse, I didn’t have anybody to complain to about this cartoon because literally no one I have ever met had ever seen any of the Christmas Color Classics.
It was times like those that made me wish my mother sat me down in front of A Charlie Brown Christmas instead of buying this 99 cent VHS tape.
However, as I got older, I began to appreciate The Candlemaker for its much more sophisticated animation style and the storyline.
Let’s see if it’s still as good as I remember.
The Candlemaker (1957)
What I remember it being about:
A little boy helps his father make candles. They’re candlemakers. It’s literally the title of this short.
What really happens:
In some little town, there is a candlemaker and his son, Tom.
Tom helps his dad make candles, as per the custom of the day: using underage children as free labor.
The narrator explains that back then, “Small boys were expected to behave like grown men,” which is a wildly unrealistic expectation that I feel is going to bite us in the ass later.
Tom’s dad leaves to deliver his best candles. He offers priority shipping, yo. Why each candle is roughly the size of George Stephanopoulos is never addressed.
Little Tom waves goodbye. Aw, how cute. How innocent.
NOT. He’s clearly got a cup full of blunts right there on the table.
You know what they say: while the cat’s away, the mice will play!
With his father gone, Tom can engage in his taboo romance with his pet rat.
Meanwhile, Tom’s dad drops off the candles for the church. The Narrator explains that Tom’s father gives his best candles to the church—for free. What a mensch.
Tom’s father is gunning for a good place in heaven.
At church, Tom’s pet rat sneaks out of his pocket and declares that he and Tom are in a relationship to the congregation.
Tom’s father is shocked!
All of Tom’s family is disgusted and ashamed.
Even Jesus is ashamed. He forms his fingers into a gun to indicate the young boy and his rat should be shot.
The pastor gives a sermon on how we should let our good works show our love for God. Also, for Tom’s sake, he reminds the congregation that Leviticus 18:23 clearly states, “And you shall not lie with any animal and make yourself unclean with it.”
Tom assures his father that his romance with the rat is over.
Tom’s father got a bunch of expedited shipment orders so he has to leave for the week to deliver all those candles.
His wife is upset that Tom’s father is leaving her alone with their disgusting, perverted son.
Tom’s father puts Tom in charge of the candle shop for the week while he is gone. He reminds Tom to make candles for the church.
Yeah, putting an eight year old in charge of a workshop. THAT’S going to go REAL well.
The rat seduces Tom by showing off his new sex swing.
The plan works and Tom gets distracted.
Meanwhile, at the church, the priest is waiting for his altar candles.
Tom realizes that he has forgotten! Oh no! Now his dad will have to sit next to some boring 14th century saint instead of someone cool like Mother Teresa in heaven!
He gets to work immediately and rushes through the process.
Tom’s mother wonders what she has done to deserve such a forgetful, perverted son.
To his credit, Tom is ashamed of himself.
Tom drops off the candles for the priest. The priest thanks Tom and quotes a few Bible verses about how all of mankind is sinful, sinful, sinful.
Oh no! The crappily made candle that Tom made is crappy!
The whole congregation is scandalized. Seriously? It’s just a candle.
Oh yeah, but it’s the 1850s or whenever so that one candle probably lit up the whole room.
Tom is so ashamed of himself.
The whole family is disgraced. Tom has brought dishonor upon them all. They all contemplate suicide to save face.
Look, I don’t want to be unsympathetic, but this what you people get for putting an eight year old in charge of the workshop. I get it’s the 1850s or whenever and it’s normal for small children to assume huge responsibilities, but come on! What else were you expecting?
Tom cries in his room about how much God probably hates him.*
*No, that really happens!
Tom resolves to make better candles and tells his rat that it’s over between them because he has to focus on his career.
True to his word, Tom starts another batch of candles. “Eye of the Tiger” plays in the background.
His father is proud that Tom is taking the responsibility of a thirty-year-old man. Also, that his son finally put an end to that bestiality thing he had going on.
Hey, maybe they’ll get a place next to the Kennedys in heaven now. You know at least one of them is up there.
Tom drops off the newer, better candles to the church the next night. “Okay, but if these don’t light up again then you’re going to hell,” says the priest.
Hurrah! The candle stays lit!
Tom is going to heaven after all!
To make sure that he doesn’t stray from the path of righteousness again, Tom sacrifices his pet rat to Baby Jesus.
The whole family is proud that Tom has renounced his sinful ways. It is a wonderful Christmas.
(See Part 3 in our series of Christmas Color Classics recaps!)