Alliance Atlantis Communications, Orly Adelson Productions

Jason Alexander, Kelly Rowan, Ari Cohen, C. David Johnson, Jayne Eastwood, Kenneth Welsh, Edward Asner

A. C. Gilbert (Jason Alexander) was trained as a physician, but had a love for toys and engineering. He built a successful company on the famous Erector Set, one of the most famous toys of the 20th Century. Then World War I broke out in 1917, and the government took over Gilbert’s factory to make munitions for the war. In addition, in order to support the war, the government asked Mr. Gilbert to speak to the country and cancel Christmas, and instruct people to cancel Christmas and buy war bonds instead of toys. After some soul searching Mr. Gilbert changed his mind, and opened a toy factory in his home to “save Christmas”.

This is a made for TV Christmas movie that seems to be replayed every year. I’m glad, as it’s a wonderful film. The story is excellent, and Jason Alexander does a wonderful job in this film. It’s some of his best work. Ed Asner as Mr. Gilbert Senior is a great “friendly adversary” as well and does a wonderful job. A.C. and his brother Frank are inventors and dreamers and their father is very pragmatic. He is willing to invest in the company with the understanding that he will be hands on and he fights them for every penny spent. Gilbert was one progressive company that provided benefits for employees unheard of at the time. Initially, the Erector Set was a disappointment until Mrs. Gilbert figured out how to correctly market the toy, and as result, it became highly successful. Many inventions were built using an Erector Set as the model. One classic example is the “Soaring Over California” ride at Disney’s California Adventure. The ride mechanism was dreamed up by a Disney Imagineer who pulled out his childhood Erector Set from the attic and developed a workable ride vehicle that could load 3 rows of people at once, yet provide a thrilling hang gliding experience. Many other modern inventions were developed using the Erector Set. This movie is a wonderful story of the early 20th Century and great American ingenuity and business sense. I really enjoy this even though I’ve seen it many times before, and I enjoyed it once again this year! Seek this one out!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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