Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From All of Us to All of You, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas Card opening by Xtencio

"From All of Us to All of You" is a very popular Christmas special that was shown for the first time on December 19, 1958 as a holiday treat on the "Wonderful World of Color". As usual Walt Disney was the host introducing the show although a chirpy Jiminy Cricket took over those chores quickly as the segment moved into animation.

Mickey Mouse, brought to life with wonderfully expressive character animation provided by Les Clark started the musical ball rolling with Tinkerbell applying just the right amount of pixiedust to open the curtain. We were led through memorable sequences from many of the Disney classics from "Snow White" to "Lady and the Tramp" presented as Christmas cards with new animation bridging with the vintage clips.

More of X's wonderful artwork

Over the years as this special repeated, it would include new footage of films and projects that were upcoming from the Disney Studio. It was directed by a good friend of mine, former animation teacher and First Dean of the Character Animation Program at CalArts, Jack Hannah who directed most of those classic shows that featured Walt introducing the episodes from his "office". That "office" by the way was a near perfect re-creation, yes re-creation of Walt's office which was about a 10 minute walk from the soundstage and up 3 floors in the corner overlooking the backlot. It was easier to do that than disrupt the operation and privacy of Walt's real office which was also brimming with confidential memos, notes from meetings and project ideas not the least of which were future attraction suggestions for Disneyland which had recently opened a bit over 2 years earlier.

Hazel "Gil" George Walt's nurse and songwriter
By the way, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts holes that  you don't know who wrote the lyrics for the title song, "From All of Us to All of You"?. The credit listed from the original airing is "Gil" George but a few of us will recognize that as an alias of sorts for Hazel. Hazel Gilman, later married as Hazel George wrote quite a few very memorable songs during this period from feature films like "Old Yeller" to bouncy songs like "Talent Roundup" for the Mickey Mouse Club. She pretty much gave up her song writing career in the early sixties although Hazel continued on as Walt's personal nurse, a position she had held since first treating his neck pain due to a polo injury from 1938. I wanted to mention her song writing career primarily because it seems to be largely unknown and ignored by Disney historians to this very day which is unfortunate when you consider her valuable contribution to the musical history of Disney Studios. It is also rather a significant responsibility in particular to this creation of this Christmas special.

Over time, the special "gained weight"  (don't we all? sigh) as they expanded it from the original 60 minutes in 1983 to 90 minutes and retitled it to "A Disney Channel Christmas". Unfortunately we don't see this special in this country for some reason as often as they do in the Nordic Countries of Sweden, Finland and Norway. In fact almost half the entire population of Sweden enjoys this holiday treat which is broadcast every Christmas Eve as their most popular and most watched show of the year.

Over yonder in that land known for meatballs, IKEA, and Ingrid Bergman, they call it "Kalle Anka och hans vanner God Jul" which is Swedish for "Donald Duck and his Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas!" Kinda roles off the tongue like lingonberry jelly doesn't it? And imagine, Donald getting top billing over Mickey! This delightful delicacy is still not available on DVD but here's wishing the Disney Studio will release it, the original 1958 version please, someday as part of a Holiday Collection so that new generations can enjoy what we have these many years.

So from All of Us to All of You, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  1. as a kid, we had a cassette of Disney Christmas songs, and From All of Us to All of You was on it. I've never heard it anywhere else, and actually kind of had forgotten it, so seeing this video and hearing that audio brought a flood of childhood memories back to me. thank you for posting it.

  2. I remember seeing the original as a kid and the subsequent airings. We always looked forward to them as they showed clips from so many classic Disney animated films that back then only came out in theaters every 7 years. Glad you liked the post Chroll!

  3. Use to remember watching an somewhat edited version of this on The Disney Channel myself.

  4. Hi Christopher,

    Yes the Disney Channel unfortunately edits many of the old classic telecasts which I guess is better than not being able to see them at all. I hope they release the original 1958 version one day as from the clips I've seen it was very entertaining and a great piece of Disney history to boot!

  5. They should bring back this special From All of Us to All of You on ABC

  6. Mike, who was the voice actor who introduced the Wonderful World of Color and described the episode?

  7. I'm not sure but I believe it may be Rex Allen, who narrated quite a few of the "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color". You would definitely recognize his mellow twang which was a favorite of Walt's.