Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Thunder Discusses Phineas and Ferb: "Christmas Vacation"

Hey, guys.  I didn't originally intend to discuss anything from the Phineas and Ferb Season 2 episode "Christmas Vacation", but seeing as it's close to the holiday season and I'm pretty much in a good mood as of now, I think I'll chip in my two cents on this holiday classic.  Now like my discussion of "Night of the Living Pharmacists", this isn't much of a review so much as pointing out a few things and nitpicking here and there.

First off, I'm willing to bet this is now considered an underrated holiday classic that not many people will pay attention to, which is fair enough considering that Disney Channel now has Gravity Falls.  But I should mention the most important part of this classic that Dan and Swampy focused on.  This is in fact a Christmas special that is meant to fixate on the appreciation of Santa Claus and everything he does for children all over the world.  I don't care if Santa Claus actually doesn't exist for two reasons.  One, he does exist in this special.  And two... well... just humor me, will ya?  I can't think of any other Christmas special that actually has anything relating to showing appreciation to Santa Claus.  This 2009 should-be timeless classic is really the only Christmas cartoon, maybe the only Christmas special that spells "Santa appreciation".  Hell, the last song in the episode is called "Thank You Santa"!  How much more appreciative of jolly old Saint Nick can you get?

So in the special, the two stepbrothers feel that Santa Claus deserves to be appreciated for all the great things he does and being able to fly around the world in one night, assuming he leaves prior to noon on Christmas Eve in order to start with Japan.  They rally not only their friends, but everyone in Danville, to help turn their city into a gigantic thank you card.  But trouble brews when Dr. Doofenshmirtz activates his Naughty-inator and enshrouds Danville in a dark cloud of naughtiness in the hopes that Santa will skip it and cancel Christmas for the residents.  However, it turns out that Santa rigged and planned everything to not only grant everyone's Christmas wish, including giving Phineas a chance to be like him, but to actually spend a little more time at Phineas and Ferb's house.  Apparently the boys had built him an exotic rest stop and Santa just couldn't pass up the offer.  How did he know all this?  He's Santa Claus!

Phineas gets the chance to play the role as Santa by doing a Danville run with his friends using a specially-built sleigh and flying around the city, delivering gifts with the help of Blay'n and Clewn't, two of Santa's elves.  After the Naughty-inator gets short-circuited by a loud Christmas carol, Danville is no longer branded naughty, but of course Santa had already left the North Pole, possibly hours ago assuming he tackles Japan first.  So like I said, everyone gets their Christmas wishes fulfilled and things work out in the end.

Now it's time for some personal nitpicking.  First, there's Candace.  I'm well aware that her character was supposed to be created as a stereotypical hyperactive teenage girl, but I think she has problems in this episode.  For starters, she thinks her younger brothers are at the point where they should have outgrown Santa Claus and for some reason thinks he doesn't exist.  Well, if only she decided to accompany them to the roof after she helped out with saving Christmas for the children of Danville.  Then there's things between her and Jeremy.  She seems to be trying a little too hard to get her boyfriend a really great gift.  Even Jeremy knows she's trying too hard.  I know the holidays can be stressful, but perhaps Candace's behavior is a bit much.

Now, if you can grasp that, it would make for a very heart-wrenching scene, even coming from her.

And of course, Candace has never been too keen about Phineas and Ferb's summer antics, so she assumes that not only they might have been the cause of the entire city being branded naughty, but also thinks that their Santa appreciation efforts were also considered naughty.  Tough love.  But Clewn't summarizes what really defines generally naughty.

Take Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes for example.  I consider Calvin to be a genuinely naughty person.  But since Santa doesn't really exist in that comic, he still gets presents because Christmas is about the gift of giving.  That and his parents are always like "Oh, what the hell, it's Christmas".

And speaking of naughty, I'm gonna guess Buford making the naughty list is more of a joke because he's supposed to portray your typical schoolyard bully.  The reason is because this episode reveals that all he really wants for Christmas is to be thought of as nice by his friends.  Now how can a genuinely naughty kid ask for that?  Like I said, Buford being deemed naughty seems more like an episode joke than anything.

So that was my take on "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation"... and I watch it every year.  Does it have problems?  Of course.  Is it the greatest Christmas special?  Probably not, but it should be considered an original Christmas special because of its theme.  And it's mainly because of the theme that I think it still shouldn't be overlooked, assuming it is in exchange for Gravity Falls and anything else on T.V. nowadays.  If I was Doofenshmirtz, I'd say "Curse you, Spongebob and My Little Pony!"  So feel free to check out this classic, which I'm sure is still airing on Disney Channel and Disney XD this holiday season for the sixth year in a row.  Like with many other Christmas specials, it has its moments and this one is at least worth watching.  This is The Thunder, signing off.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

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