Plot: It’s Arbor Day! (Christmas for beavers) And Norbert and Daggett get their holiday gifts from their mom and dad. Norbert gets a massive and expansive train set while Daggett ends up stuck with a tiny pine tree air freshener. Daggett is disappointed with his puny gift, especially in comparison with Norbert’s cool train, but after growing tired of pretending that his gift is great, he ends up trying to ruin Norbert’s gift in a fit of jealousy.
Breakdown: This one’s a bit of an oddity because I remember this episode playing fairly frequently when Angry Beavers was in syndication. While many holiday specials are usually bumped when it’s not the holiday season, this one stuck because it’s not really a special. Like most cartoons of the time, it was split up into two 14 minute halves. The first half is the Chri—Arbor day special and the other half is a non-holiday related episode unlike the full half-hour holiday specials that cartoons typically did.
I remember it so well, I don’t even need to rewatch the episode to do the recap. It’s a pretty cut and dry scenario anyway. For Arbor Day, Norbert and Daggett’s parents send them each a gift. Norbert gets a huge (Like, it covers the house and he can ride on it) and really awesome train set. Dagget gets a little pine tree car air freshener. Daggett feels, justifiably, shafted with his gift and is jealous of Norbert’s awesome gift.
Norbert kindly offers to not only let Daggett play with his train set, but he offers to trade his train for the air freshener to make Daggett happy. However, Daggett refuses because that’s the gift his parents wanted him to have.
To Daggett’s credit, he does try to make the best of what he has and actually tries to play with the dumb tree and it’s….actually pretty damn sad. I remember feeling really bad for Daggett during this part of the episode, even if he does ruin it by getting ‘Daggetty’ later. I mean, I get that the spirit of Chr–….Arbor Day is family and giving not getting, but how much would it suck if you had to watch your parents give an INSANELY NICE gift to your sibling and you end up with a dinky little ‘could’ve bought it at a gas station’ gift?
Daggett eventually grows tired of trying to pretend his pine tree is a good toy and tries over and over to sabotage Norbert’s train and after several failures he actually ends up (accidentally….on purpose?) destroying Norbert’s train.
In compensation for ruining the toy for both of them, Daggett offers his gift to Norbert, which he accepts. However, the delivery man returns saying he only delivered half the gift earlier since the main gift was so large. He hands Norbert a remote control to a gigantic more-than-life-sized eight-wheeled monster truck, much to Daggett’s disdain.
Bottomline: As you can see, this isn’t really much of a holiday special. They don’t really celebrate Arbor Day so much as get gifts for the holiday. They decorate the house in Christmas-y lights but that’s about it. I don’t understand why Norb and Dag didn’t exchange gifts themselves. There’s also not much of a moral, which is also very odd for a holiday special. I guess ‘don’t let jealousy get the better of you’ and ‘be thankful for what you have’ are the lessons, but there’s no substance behind the ‘giving is better than getting’ lesson or even appreciating family or anything. Granted, Angry Beavers never was the show for that stuff really.
This episode is definitely more entertaining and funny, even today, to the AGU special. I didn’t laugh out loud or anything, but it still holds plenty of comedic value. Plus, there is a decent reason for Daggett to indeed be Daggetty in this episode. Not very mature or nice, but you can sympathize with him a bit.
Recommended Audience: E for everyone!