Made for the Christmas 1968 episode of the ‘children’s’ show Do Not Adjust Your Set.
Gilliam had moved to London in 1967, and was working as art director for London Life when his friend John Cleese (whom he had worked with in the US) introduced him to Humphrey Barclay, who was producing Do Not Adjust Your Set, which was written by and starred Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Eric Idle. Barclay happened to be an amateur cartoonist, and loved what Gilliam was doing with his cut-out stop-motion animations. He pretty much forced the trio to include Gilliam’s works.
For the Christmas special, Do Not Adjust Your Stocking, Gilliam went to London’s Tate Gallery, and poked through their huge collection of Victorian era Christmas cards. He made copies, and just started playing around with them. “So the style just developed out of that rather than any planning being involved,” he would write in the Python’s ‘autobiography’. “I never analysed the stuff, I just did it the quickest, easiest way. And I could use images I really loved.”