AVAHS – Danny Phantom: The Fright Before Christmas

Plot: At the holiday season, Danny’s smile is on pause

as his parents fight to the teeth over old Santa Claus.

Year after year, the fight sparks up again

And Danny’s patience has begun to wear thin.

He takes out his anger in the zone meant for ghosts

Christmas trinkets and toys – he makes them all toast.

Meanwhile, the Ghost Writer completes his best work,

Danny ruins his poem, doesn’t care, what a jerk.

In vengeance of the story he lost,

He traps Danny in a poem world, for that is the cost.

Only when Danny learns the lesson will he be freed,

But Danny is adamant against doing the deed.

He’s determined to stay in his holiday funk,

Even when his friends and the town believe he’s a punk

Ghost Writer’s framing Danny for destruction and theft

If Danny doesn’t do something soon, they’ll be nothing left.

Can the Ghost Boy learn the lesson in time?

Or will he be stuck in a world of perpetual rhyme?

Breakdown: Is it time for A Very Animated Holiday Special again? Jeez, slow down, world.

This isn’t a must-see classic for me, but it’s still a treasured Christmas special from my childhood. It has a lot of great aspects to it. The reality-bending Ghost Writer was pretty unique and interesting. I wish we got to see more of him, especially considering how powerful someone like that can be. He even has mind-controlling/reality warping powers over the other ghosts – that’s pretty incredible.

I liked reassembling all of Danny’s old foes for the sake of having a Christmas party – that the enemies themselves planned! Danny’s the one being the grinch this whole episode yet people you’d think would be the jerks this time of year, like Sam and Danny’s foes, are caught up in the Christmas spirit and spreading cheer everywhere.

The fact that they team up with Danny to take down the Ghost Writer because he, ironically, disrespected the sanctity of Christmas and their annual Christmas truce was just awesome. I’m a sucker for plot lines where enemies and heroes team up – especially on Christmas.

I gained more appreciation for the story as a whole for this rewatch as well.

Every year on Christmas, Danny’s parents would do nothing but endlessly fight over whether or not Santa exists – Jack proclaiming he does and Maddie scientifically proving that he cannot….which is kinda strange because she’s a damn ghost hunter. Their fights would ruin every Christmas, and Danny would get less and less excited for the holidays every year until he got to a point where he hated the holidays.

Don’t know how Jazz survives it with a smile, though. She understands Danny’s anger, but she’s experienced more of these terrible Christmases than Danny and she still enjoys the holidays just fine.

When I got to the third act, I realized that they were subtly flipping the script on Danny. The Ghost Writer literally forces him to destroy Christmas for other people by ruining decorations, destroying toys and mowing down everyone’s Christmas trees. Even though they don’t point it out, he was doing to others what his parents did to him – he was so caught up in his own anger and fighting that he didn’t realize he was ruining the fun for other people.

Everything doesn’t start turning around because Danny suddenly gets all chipper for Christmas – it starts when he realizes that’s he’s ruined Christmas for everyone and gains a desire to fix it for them. Up until this point, it’s been about what he wants. It’s not even a magical turn around based on his realization either. It’s, AGAIN, his foes that come to save the day for him in honor of Christmas and gives him a taste of the holiday spirit, which, eventually, leads to the spell being broken. It warms my heart. (Also, hell yeah the Box Ghost gets a time to shine!)

The only point I didn’t like was, Danny’s such an ass about hating Christmas that he unabashedly doesn’t care that he destroyed the Ghostwriter’s masterwork poem all because it was a Christmas poem. I know he has to reach a high level of asshattery to warrant the spell placed on him, but that was still terrible.

Overall, though, I still really love this special. It’s not overly saccharine and forcing Christmas spirit down your throats. It’s a fun and heartwarming special that merely celebrates the Christmas spirit (just realizing that I’ve been making a pun this entire review…) and promotes not being a grinch to others, no matter your opinions on the day.

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