Episode: 319 "How Santa Stole Christmas!” 11/30/20
Starring: Scrooge McDuck and Webby Vanderquack
Costarring: Della Duck, Huey Duck, Louie Duck, Dewey Duck, Donald Duck, Launchpad McQuack, Mrs. Beakley, Bouncer Beagle, Big Time Beagle, and Burger Beagle
Featuring: Santa Claus
Appearances by: Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, Manny the Headless Man Horse, Lena Sabrewing, and Violet Sabrewing
Introducing: Jennifer, The Guardian, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen
Setting: Duckburg (McDuck Manor, the Drake Treehouse, Fenton’s home, the Sabrewing residence, Gyro’s lab, the Beagle Boy’s junkyard, Donald’s boat, and Jennifer’s home) and Cascabel Cavern
Like a Christmas gift, the series is finally delivering on one of its biggest mysteries: what’s the deal with Scrooge McDuck and Santa Claus? Stemming from a cryptic, throw-a-way line in Season One’s “The Impossible Summit of Mount Neverrest!” (S1, E9), Scrooge tersely rebuffs Louie’s lament of missing Santa Claus during one of their adventures by declaring “that man is not allowed in my home… he knows what he did.” Then, in “Last Christmas!” (S2, E6), Scrooge angrily refers to his old nemesis as a “traitor.” And, most recently, in “Timephoon!” (S2, E21), we are introduced to one of McDuck Manor’s Santa Traps of which burns a time-displaced, ninja-intruder alive(!). These little nuggets hinting at some sort of generational beef between Scrooge and the fabled Santa Claus have tickled both the nephews’ and fanbase’s curiosity alike, eliciting much speculation and theories. Now finally, we will learn how Santa may or may not have stolen Christmas.
Upon their first meeting, Scrooge and Santa were but a couple of entrepreneurs passing through a cold and wintry night. While Scrooge is going door-to-door, selling coal to warm hearths, Santa is peddling free toys in hopes of warming hearts. Due to their contrasting styles and skill sets, they quickly realize that they compliment each other perfectly. Where Scrooge’s brusqueness could use a bit of Santa’s holly jolly “Christmas is Magic” act, Santa’s unbridled enthusiasm is in need of Scrooge’s business acumen. Together, they decide to enter into a global coal delivery service aided by the time-slowing properties of the Feliz Navidiamond along with the aerial magic from the Los Renos Voladores.
But before their joint venture can take flight, the “two red-coated, mythical immortals” have a falling out over the benefits of calculating practicality vs. frivolous generosity. Santa’s proposal of giving away the coal for free is immediately at loggerheads with Scrooge’s money-making ideals. Scrooge even condescendingly suggests that Santa may as well “give away his ridiculous toys too.” This leads Scrooge to presenting his friend and partner an ultimatum: “it’s either your Christmas thing, or me.” And that’s how the magical, secular Christmas we all know and love was born… from the fallout of a broken friendship.
In present time, it’s Christmas Eve and Scrooge is taking up the typical measures in fortifying his home against Santa. That is until teh fathman appears on Scrooge’s doorstep nursing a bum leg and needing his help. He then offers his former partner a detente; if Scrooge helps deliver presents this year, Santa will stay away from McDuck Manor forever. Of course, this is nothing more than a benign con from Santa, in hoping that the two ex-friends can use the night to reconcile. With Webby in tow, the night is going well and Scrooge’s chilliness towards the Santa seems to be thawing. That is, until it’s revealed that Scrooge has taken this opportunity to follow through on the old axiom that "revenge is a dish best served... coooald" by swapping out all of Santa’s toys for coal - invoices included.
Santa is furious that Scrooge would betray him like this and ruin Christmas. He’s finally ready to confront Scrooge and give him what-for. But not before Scrooge recognizes the error of his ways from an encounter with a little girl named Jennifer. It’s when the freezing girl takes Scrooge’s gift of coal and refashions it as a doll named “Collette” that he finally realizes that it’s not always the practical thing but a frivolous one that warms the heart and “can carry you through the coldest times.” Scrooge apologizes for his miserly ways, the two “ancient enemies” exchange gifts and engage in a warm embrace. Then the rest of the McDuck family takes to the sky on Santa’s reindeer to help save Christmas.
Scrooge’s idea of Christmas gifts for the kids are practical, yet itchy, knitted caps.
Santa delivers the following toys:
Legends of Legend Quest 2 (Huey)
Cellular phone (Louie)
Thunderhawk Elite Compound Crossbow with Titanium arrows (Webby)
Elanor Roostervelt doll (Jennifer)
Two jingle bells engraved with “McDuck & Claus Delivery” (Scrooge)
Although it seems pretty well established at this point, it still warms my cockles to see B.O.Y.D. firmly entrenched as a member of the Drake family; even having his own, robot-themed stocking hanging next to Doofus.’
Lena sharing a bed with Violet feels like something sisters might do especially on Christmas Eve.
While globetrotting between Rome, Egypt, Japan, and Rome again... it’s revealed that Santa delivers his gifts in alphabetical order. This is a nice example of how, regardless of his other-worldly success, Santa still could’ve benefited from Scrooge’s sense of practicality.
Scrooge procured a treasure map to the Feliz Navidiamond, a legendary gem that can slow time for one night a year, through a trade with a Spanish sailor for some coal.
Cascabel (as in the name of the Cavern where the Feliz Navidiamond is located) is the Spanish word for a projection behind the breech of a muzzle-loading cannon. The significance thereof, I do not know.
Santa articulates the magic of Christmas in his explanation to Webby: “the greatest gift of all: a warm heart - the joy of giving just to give, without a thought of getting.”
In a reference that’s a deeeeep cut to the Scrooge McDuck Comics Universe, the character of Jennifer is in reference to the Uncle Scrooge comic called "Tis The Season" where Scrooge reads through a collection of letters that he’s saved from the young girl, thanking him for all of his help throughout the years.
Scrooge’s gift to Santa is a remote that deactivates all of the Santa Traps that protect McDuck Manor.