Claymation Christmas, Part 3: Walruses and Penguins

Now we move on through Will Vinton’s 1987 “Claymation Christmas Celebration” to a significant moment in the Emmy Award-winning stop-motion animation special, the Walruses and the Penguins.

This is the most blatant comic relief in the half-hour Claymation Christmas special, relying heavily on the physical comedy of amorous walruses attempting to figure skate to “Angels We Have Heard on High” amid a platoon of curious penguins. And yes, this was certainly my favorite episode in my first several viewings of the special in elementary school. Age and developing taste, however, raise serious concerns.

  • These walruses have legs. Walruses do not have legs.
  • The female walrus has bears the feminine shape of a human woman, but animators stopped short of giving her full breasts.
  • As discussed at length in previous writing, penguins (my favorite animal as a child) live in the Antarctic Circle. Polar bears and walruses live in the Arctic Circle. They would never meet. If they did meet, it would be in violence.
  • Even assuming that cartoon tranquility overrules natural distrust within hypothetical penguin/walrus meetings, these walruses are very rude to the penguins to the extent that they are likely to be cold and selfish lovers, incapable of long-term commitment.
  • The penguins seek to capitalize on the horrible ice incident by attempting to murder the walruses. Though they are unsuccessful, this is glossed over.

In Part 1 of my Claymation Christmas, we discussed the California Raisins. In Part 2, camels sing “We Three Kings.”

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