Plot: Santa shares his story about his first Christmas.
Twix’s Brain: “Yes, Twix.”
Today’s review is about the origins of Christmas.
Brain: “Neato bandito.”
And how Santa became, well, Santa.
Brain: “Cool beans.”
Yeah, well, this is just a short cute little kid’s film that is in no way taking itself seriously, so if you could do me a solid and not overthink this, that’d be—frick, you’re already googling things. Stop it!
Brain: “But it’s an interesting topic! Before Santa was a part of things, Christmas was basically Mardi Gras! And the poor would bust into rich people’s houses and demand stuff, and if they didn’t get it, they’d “terrorize” the homeowners, like this was some trick-or-treating raid.”
Brain: “People used to get absolutely plastered and the rich were expected to cater to the lower class – Hey, one of these things stuck around through the years. I’ll give you a hint, they ain’t spiking eggnog with an increased minimum wage. Am I right? Up high!”
Brain: “Hey, did you know Christmas was banned in the United States by puritans for a while because they didn’t like that people were giving and receiving gifts? I need a reverse alarm for how backwards that is.”
That’s fascinating, Brain, but we’re reviewing an early 90’s Christmas cartoon about a young Santa, and I’d really like to get through this without writing a thesis.
Brain: “Oh well, I’m sorry, Twix. I thought I was helping. So, uh, how’s the story start?”
Okay, first, Christmas, specifically, not any holiday that preceded it but landed on the same day, is already a holiday even though they’re not acknowledging the Jesus part and Santa isn’t a thing yet. Also, they act like Christmas is a boring-ass day where nothing happens, so you kinda wonder why it’s even a holiday.
Brain: “…….Okie dokie.”
And Santa makes these gifts out of rocks and sticks. He saves an elf from a frozen lake, gives her a stick, and then she brings him to the North Pole where the other elves show him their workshop where they make furniture.
Brain: “Wha, wait, they walked to the North Pole? Where does Santa live? Didn’t Saint Nicholas live in Asia Minor?”
That’s not important, Brain. What’s important is that Santa is super generous and wants to make Christmas special so he destroys all of the furniture and turns them into toys.
Brain: “He….celebrates the act of giving by destroying their hard work?”
Well….I….He….Moving on. He makes a sleigh out of firewood, but finds that his red dog can’t pull it very well. So he meets a flying reindeer – these reindeer, by the way, fly by flapping their antlers.
Brain: “You know, it’s theorized that the flying reindeer part of the Santa mythos was created due to a magic mushroom fueled drug trip, so I’ll leave that alone.”
I am really regretting using up my drug jokes on Pac-Man.
Brain: “I know, right?”
The reindeer, Romuald–
Brain: “There was a real Romuald – a saint even.”
Oh really? Any connection to reindeer or Christmas?
………Anyhoo, Romuald wouldn’t listen to Santa because he was a kid so Santa wore a fake beard and tricked Romuald into thinking he was an adult.
Brain: “That work–”
Before you say anything, they joke about how stupid it is that that worked.
Later, the elves work their butts off trying to make enough toys to hand out at Christmas. They calculate that they’ll have to work non-stop in order to make the deadline. This is played off like a joke, but it’s also kinda horrifying. These elves were just chill carpenters a few days ago and now they’re working themselves to the bone for nothing in return.
Santa dons his signature red suit and heads out on his first delivery run. The bottom of his sleigh ends up getting a massive hole in it due to Santa and Romuald’s poor flying skills, so many of the gifts end up falling out and conveniently fall into the chimneys of the houses below.
They patch the hole and deliver presents ‘round the clock’ and we see a clock spinning several days worth of hours, even though they said they have to deliver all of the presents by morning.
Brain: “Where do his parents think he is?”
Dunno. We never see them beyond the first couple of scenes. And Santa’s never seen delivering presents to his own house. As far as this story is concerned, he’s whisked away to the North Pole and never returns home.
Brain: “That’s upsetting.”
It sure is. They accidentally skew about 8000 miles off course, so Santa does the rational thing and plungers a steering wheel to Romuald’s head.
Brain: “….a steering wheel….”
Brain: “To Romuald’s head….”
Brain: “For what purpose?”
To make him go faster, of course.
Using Romuald’s new brain implant, they manage to reach all of the houses in the world, including a bunch of animals, except one – a little cottage in Mexico. They’re all out of gifts for the little boy inside, so they scrape off the snow from the sleigh and make a snowman outside the little boy’s window.
Brain: “Heh….wait…so everyone else gets gifts, including the animals, but this little Mexican boy gets a snowman made of old crusty sleigh snow that will inevitably melt in about 20 minutes?
Mmm, yeah, that’s about it.
Brain: “Didn’t they make an igloo for a dog in the arctic out of about twenty different individual gifts?”
Brain: “Couldn’t THAT have been made out of snow?”
Yeah, but the specialness about the little boy’s gift was that it was a snowman in Mexico – a place where it never snows.
Brain: “That is very wrong.”
Okay, fine. It’s an awful gift, but it’s the thought that counts.
Adult Santa: “So that’s the story of how I made Christmas what it is today.”
Funny, you wouldn’t think he’d be nimble enough to suck his own di–
Brain: “Did you know that one of the origin stories of Saint Nicholas involves him staying at an inn where three little boys were murdered by the innkeeper? They were dismembered and stuffed in the basement in barrels, but then Nicholas sensed what he had done and brought the victims back to life.”
Brain: “Also, early Christians wanted to keep the gift-delivery aspect of the story, so they claimed baby Jesus did it, but in order to make sure they could literally scare kids into being good all year (and to explain how a baby can deliver all those gifts), they designed ‘scary’ huge sidekicks that were based on Saint Nicholas – Ru-Klaus, or Rough Nicholas, Aschenklas, or Ashy Nicholas, and Pelznickel, or Furry Nicholas……don’t read too much into that last name.”
…….Uh…yeah, the point is you can’t really thank anyone for the way that Christmas is celebrated today because it has such a vast history that underwent many changes, and it’s not universal across the numerous different countries and cultures that celebrate it. If we can blame humanity for ruining Christmas with its commercialism, I think we can also thank humanity as a whole for making it the loving and warm holiday that many people still cherish it as. No holiday can truly be ruined as long as you celebrate it the way you want to, and that type of thinking spreads to other people and makes the season that much more peaceful and happy.
Santa and the others nap after their journey, and we close out on the story, which, by the way, has been conveyed to us through The Office-style documentary shots of Adult Santa and pals telling the story. Also, this wasn’t really Santa’s first Christmas since he had about six or seven Christmases before he started delivering gifts.
Brain: “So you hated this special, eh?”
Nope. I thought it was really good. It had a good sense of humor, it was unique enough, and it drove home the true meaning of Christmas without being overly cheesy.
Brain: “But it was really stupid.”
You know what’s stupid? Spending a five page review talking to your own brain.
Brain: “……..Fair enough.”
Yes, there are some things they just get bafflingly wrong, and it’s really simple stuff too, so they didn’t really have any excuse for it, but it’s mostly just goofy and silly instead of enragingly dumb. It’s a light-hearted and fun Christmas story. You won’t bust a gut laughing, but you will probably enjoy it well enough.
Brain: “Huh, well I sure learned something today.”
You should, you read about fifteen different articles.
Brain: “No, I mean that you can enjoy something kinda cheap and goofy as long as the heart behind it is genuine.”
Of course you know that, because I know that. Because….you’re….my brain.
Brain: “…..Oh my god. You weren’t out of drug jokes, you liar! HOW MANY MAGIC MUSHROOMS DID YOU GOBBLE, MARIO?!”
I didn’t do anything! But I’m going to stop talking to you anyway just in case the pink elephants turn into reindeer.
Brain: “Good call. I need to stock up on aspirin for your Nestor: The Long-Earred Christmas Donkey review anyway. Peace out.”
Yeah, see ya—wait what?……Damn, Brain left before I could make a Pinky and Brain reference. That’s relevant now and everything! *huff* Now how do I end the review?
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