Mar 15, 2021
Not-So-Classic Christmas Color Classics (part 1 of 4) Somewhere in Dreamland
I never watched the traditional Christmas movies like It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story growing up. Instead, I had this VHS tape of Christmas-themed cartoons from the 1930s and 1940s, and I watched it all the time around the holiday season. I loved it so much that I would even watch it in April just because I loved the animation.
This year, when I returned home from college, I was feeling nostalgic and wanted to take a look back at my favorite holiday video only to find out that I sold it in a garage sale years ago.
However, thanks to my obsessive repeated viewings, I was able to remember most of the shorts on the VHS and lucky for me, they’re all up on YouTube.
Thank God for public domain.
So let me put on my rose-colored nostalgia glasses as I watch these shorts for the first time in years. Let’s see if they are as good as I remember.
Somewhere in Dreamland (1936)
What I remember it being about: Two poor kids living in a crack den dream about a better life and trip on acid for 8 minutes.
What really happens:
A brother and sister roam the streets of their town picking up random logs. All the shopkeepers are impressed with their scrawny physique.
Seriously, that log is the same size as that kid. He must have super strength or something because there is no way a malnourished child could cart around logs all day without some sort of mutant ability.
The brother coaxes his sister to come look at the pretty cakes in the window. The baker in the doorway strokes his giant mustache and drawls, “Beggar kids, man. I get older and they stay the same age,” as he watches them.
Hallucinating from malnourishment, the brother attempts to lick a cupcake through the window.
That’s going to a bitch to clean up for the janitor.
The baker attempts to coax the children into his van by offering them ice cream but they have followed their “Stranger Danger” instincts and fled. Two local shopkeepers join the baker, complaining about the drool on their windows.
They vow to track down the children. One of them actually says, “I know where they live!”
The children come home to their mother, Olive Oyl. Times have been stuff since Popeye got carted off to rehab for his addiction to spinach.
She feeds them a rock she found outside.
The children find it a little hard to chew.
Olive Oyl weeps at her inadequacy as a mother and a provider. She wonders why she didn’t marry Bluto instead.
The little boy asks why all three of them have different hair colors and only look vaguely related.
This causes Olive to weep even harder. She does not want to admit that she needs paternity tests.
Annoyed by their mother’s incessant crying, the children prepare for bed on their own. To keep the audience’s attention, they perform a titillating strip tease.
Before they go to sleep, the children sing to each other, promising to meet each other in “Somewhere in Dreamland.” Apparently, the children can enter each other’s dream worlds on command and interact with each other.
So kinda like Inception. I knew Christopher Nolan didn’t come up with that idea on his own!
With their totems in hand, the children go to sleep. Since they only had a rock to eat for the day, their bodies give out on them and their spirits prepare to ascend into heaven.
Except the children aren’t good enough for heaven since they drooled all over the town windows and they’re not bad enough for hell, so they’ll have to settle for Dreamland instead.
Dreamland! Their motto is, “No, we’re not affiliated with Disneyland. But outside food and drink is still not allowed.”
The children cast off their rags and pick off some new threads from literally off of a tree. Next time my mother yells at me that I spend too much money on clothes and demands whether I think clothes grow on trees, I can yell, “THEY DO IN DREAMLAND!”
Aren’t the children technically stealing from whatever poor farmer grew this clothes tree?
The children are hungry so they continue to steal crops. Indignant on behalf of the hardworking farmer who grew it, one of the enchanted stalks spits on the children’s ice creams.
They do not care. They literally ate a rock for dinner. Their tongues have no palate.
The children ruin a giant’s birthday cake by riding on the decorative horsies to make themselves feel better about living in a crack den. They don’t care if they ruined someone’s party.
The children continue to mooch off other people’s crops and eat whatever they can get their grubby hands on. Unbeknownst to them, one of the crops is a potent hallucinogen.
The children start tripping and imagine it is raining popcorn and dance with flowers as Jefferson Airplane plays in the background.
For the hell of it, they also knock over a toy store and take whatever they want.
And if you’re wondering, yes, they did drool all over the windows. It’s sort of their calling card now.
Continuing their spree of nefarious activities, the children break into someone’s home and put their feet on the furniture.
For their sake, I hope this place doesn’t belong to those three bears.
The children wake up and are dismayed to find out that their criminal activities were just a dream.
Their mother calls them out of their room and it’s a trap set by the local shopkeepers to punish the children for getting spit on their windows.
The children are too stupid to notice because hey, free food!
Delighted by the feast, the little boy engages in sadomasochistic activities at the breakfast table to maximize his enjoyment.
The sister is scandalized but continues eating.
(This is but Part 1 in a four part series of Christmas Color Classics recaps. Read part 2 here!)