DuckTales! Season 3, Episode 18/Holiday Special Review
“Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, Old Scrooge laid barbed wire, about Santa he groused!” With those words from Della Duck, the third DuckTales! Christmas episode opens with the Duck family celebrating with the favorite tradition of Scrooge McDuck: keeping Santa out! And if it weren’t so early in the morning, I’d have laughed my butt off at that.
Next to what happened to Della, the reason why Scrooge hates Santa Claus has to be the biggest mystery of the DuckTales! reboot. The mere mention of him is enough to make him go nuts. But the show’s never given us an actual reason for his hate for St. Nick. Until now. That’s right, we finally learn why Scrooge hates Santa
Santa and Scrooge: Friends Forever?
Twas the night before Christmas, when who shows up at Scrooge’s door? None other than Santa Claus, who falls right on the floor! Somehow, Santa injured his leg and can’t do his annual toy run, so he asks Scrooge to do it. In exchange, he promises to never come to his house again. So, Scrooge and Webby fly around the world delivering presents so they can save Christmas!
As far as the “Saving Christmas” plot goes, this is a standard setup. What serves as the big draw of the episode is the flashbacks that reveal the story of Santa and Scrooge. It turns out that, in the past, they were business partners!
Years ago, Scrooge and Santa worked together running a delivery service. They’d go around the world delivering coal to people to warm their homes. Santa brought the charisma and jolly feelings, while Scrooge got him his flying reindeer and a magic diamond that slowed down time. Both Scrooge and Santa admit that they made a great team and got along great together. Which begs the question: what happened between them?
Turns out, Scrooge’s capitalist mindset happened.
How Scrooge Almost Ruined Christmas
It turns out, the pair had less of a falling out and more like Scrooge’s greed and ego led him to drive Santa away. Scrooge only cared about selling people the coal and earning money from it. So when Santa wanted to give people toys for free, he saw this as a betrayal and severed all ties with him. The worst part, though, is that even after all these years, Scrooge insists that his way is right. He goes so far as to swap all the presents out with coal; with invoices!
Seeing Santa (and even Webby) rightfully call Scrooge out on his actions helped to drive home the heart of the one-sided feud between the two. Scrooge is someone who believes in practicality above all, thinking that’s all people need in a gift. But he wants to charge people for it, which defeats the point of his argument. Santa understands the importance of generosity, hence why he faked his injury in the first place: to get Scrooge to finally see how selfish he had been. Truthfully, Santa back the friend who first believed in him when no one else would.
Thankfully, Scrooge sees reason, and he and the Duck family work together to save Christmas. And Scrooge finally drops his Santa vendetta at last.
A Great Christmas Story
I have to admit, I was expecting Scrooge’s grudge against Santa to be the result of something else. Like, he never gave him the present he wanted as a kid. Having them as business partners before their splitting up was a much more creative idea, though. It doesn’t just fit Scrooge’s character, but also highlights the downsides to his business-oriented mindset. That’s a pretty good moral to be had.
I know that the events of this year put a damper on the Holidays, but I refuse to let 2020 wreck Christmas! This Christmas episode helped to start the season off on the right foot, and that’s good enough for me.
I Give “How Santa Stole Christmas” a 4.5/5
- This was the first time we’ve seen Launchpad since the Darkwing Duck special
- So, why did Santa give coal to naughty children?
- There was a deep reference to an old comic in this episode