I saw this early one morning back in the late 1980s as I was getting ready for school. I turned on the TV and this just happened to be playing. I think it may have been on HBO. They used to show short films as time-fillers in between movies...back when they used to show movies.
The thing is, though, I came in somewhere in the middle. When I started watching, the horse-faced guys had just launched their boats and started the skywhale hunt.
This is much more enchanting and less nightmare-inducing when you see it from the beginning.