Christmas is a colorful holiday. You’ve got your red and your green. Christmas trees are decked out in lights and ornaments. Heck, so are houses. You know what medium lends itself to a lot of color? That would be animation. Christmas episodes abound in the world of television, and cartoons have gotten in on that fun. That may seem obvious, given that a lot of cartoons are family-friendly and many a child loves Christmas, but it remains true. Christmas and cartoons go hand in hand.
I want to briefly touch on Phineas and Ferb, which is perhaps an unlikely show to tackle Christmas. After all, the entire premise of the show is Phineas and Ferb trying to make the most of their summer vacation. Since they don’t live in South America, summer and Christmas don’t go hand-in-hand. However, the folks behind the Disney cartoon weren’t deterred, and decided to do a Christmas special anyway.
This episode feels doubly special, since it’s extra long and completely changes the landscape of the show. It’s basically a prequel episode, but there’s not exactly a lot of long-term storytelling on Phineas and Ferb so that doesn’t mean much. Still, it’s cool to see Danville decked out in winter décor, and the characters wearing sweaters. The story is good, though. It’s a fun, truly eventful episode. For a family-friendly Christmas thing to watch, you can do a lot worse than “Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation.”
For a more pointed and twisted take on Christmas, you should check out Teen Titans Go!. This is one of my favorite cartoons, because it caters to a slightly-older audience and has more in it for adults. It’s sort of like subversion and iconoclasm 101 for kids, but for an adult it’s just a funny show. In their world, Santa Claus is a jerk. The Titans are always fighting him as he does some sort of evil thing. He tries to steal all the other holidays away from the likes of the Easter Bunny. He refuses to give the Titans presents. He cancels Christmas. He calls the Titans “garbage kids” over and over. It’s not your typical vision of Santa, but it’s from a show that probably has a large audience of kids who only recently put the pieces together on the realities of Christmas.
This is just the tip of the Christmas cartoon iceberg. I’m sure the shows of my childhood, like Doug or Rocko’s Modern Life, had Christmas episodes. I even have vague memories of such things. I just wanted to give you a taste of two distinct takes on the holiday from animation land. One is for the lovers of Christmas. The other is for the Scrooges. Make your choice for yourself.