Cricket on the Hearth (1967)

  • Year: 1967
  • Released: 18 Dec 1967
  • Country: United States
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  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: TV-G
  • Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
  • Runtime: 60 min
  • Writer: Charles Dickens, Romeo Muller, Arthur Rankin Jr.
  • Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
  • Cast: Danny Thomas, Marlo Thomas, Ed Ames
  • Keywords: holiday, cricket, christmas, live action and animation, toymaker,

Cricket on the Hearth Storyline

A delightful, animated musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale. A Cricket on the Hearth, tells the story of a poor toymaker and his daughter whom a helpful Cricket named Crocket befriends on Christmas morning. When tragedy strikes the family, it’s Crocket who comes to the rescue and restores peace and happiness.—Ron LaPorte

Cricket on the Hearth Photos

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Cricket on the Hearth Movie Reviews

A Rankin/Bass Christmas Classic

I have loved animation from Rankin/Bass ever since I first watched Rudolph and Frosty as a kid at Christmas. This is one of those Christmas specials that I have never even heard of or seen. I have recently bought it on DVD, and after I have watched it, I absolutely love it; it almost made me cry, like the romance between Bertha Plummer and Edward Belton and the tender moments between Bertha and her dad. Except when Crockett and his mates put stuff (walnuts and pepper) in Mr. Tackleton’s tea to prevent him from proposing to Bertha; now that made me laugh.

Yes, with these beautifully animated specials and the film “The Last Unicorn,” it makes me wish that Rankin/Bass would have been around longer, along with Fleischer’s.

An old fashioned mixed TV Christmas special

This is a type of TV show that was fairly common and generally liked by audiences in the 1950s and 1960s. A popular entertainer would host a special program that would include a number of performers. They might sing, dance, and act out short skits. Occasionally, someone would host a show with an animated story in which he or she and other performers would be the voices.

“Cricket on the Hearth” is such a film. What makes this somewhat special is that it is based on a children’s fairy tale written by Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote “The Cricket on the Hearth” and it was first published Dec. 20, 1845. It was one of more than two-dozen Christmas stories he wrote.

The story is pleasant but not as engaging as are most Christmas tales. Danny Thomas hosts the show and produced it. He and daughter Margo are voices and sing a couple songs. Other characters are voiced by Hans Conreid, Ed Ames, and Roddy McDowell. The role of the cricket isn’t very substantial except that he appears as the narrator within the animated story.

Young audiences of the 1960s generally enjoyed this and similar films and programs. Modern audiences decades later have much more variety at hand for entertainment, so even young ones might find this too slow or boring.

So bad, it’s good

Just watched this gem for the first time and understand why it’s not aired every year with the likes of Rudolph, Frosty and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Very depressing and a bit disturbing too. This good luck cricket seems to have brought nothing but ill will to the father/daughter it finds. Sudden blindness. Banruptcy. Kidnapping and cold murder. Dirty old man with warts and no teeth. Not the things I really want to share with my kids. Ever. I suppose its OK because both Jesus and the Pope due make an appearance. However, my husband and I were laughing so hard by the end due to it’s utter ridiculousness that I think it will be a holiday tradition in our household for years to come. From now on our motto is: cricket on the hearth, take that horseshoe off the door, with a cricket on the hearth, you can leave that lucky penny sitting on the floor. Deep.