SUMMARY: An illustrator tells his dog the story of Christopher Crumpet, a boy who can turn into a chicken at will when he doesn’t get his way.
WHY IT’S HERE: Robert Cannon’s ‘Christopher Crumpet’ is one of my favourite of the lesser known UPA shorts. Cannon’s film comes up with the ingenious explanation for the even-more-limited-than-usual animation design by making its narrator an illustrator, so Christopher and his family appear as sketches on a large sheet of paper. The story is hilarious, as Christopher demands his own rocket ship and turns into a chicken whenever he doesn’t get his way, driving his father to despair. The timing is spot-on, with Christopher’s on and off-screen transformations always raising a laugh. The clever ending ties things up neatly, although a far inferior sequel, ‘Christopher Crumpet’s Playmate’, was released a couple of years later.