Christmas Merry-thon: The Fright Before Christmas

It’s pretty weird that a lot of Christmas stories revolve around people who hate the holiday.  You’ve got Scrooge, the Grinch… Okay, so really only those two.  But you can’t argue that those two curmudgeons haven’t become major characters when it comes to the holiday.  And yet, each of their stories end up with them learning the “true meaning of Christmas” and becoming better people.  Today’s episode revolves around that idea as well.  This is the Danny Phantom season 2 episode, The Fright Before Christmas.

On the day before Christmas in Amity Park,
almost all souls were cheery.  Yet one soul was dark.
Danny Phantom hates Christmas.  He hates it a lot.
And his hatred has gotten him stuck in a plot.
He pissed off a ghost who had magical powers.
Now, in a poem, Danny will be stuck for hours
unless he can learn to love Christmas once more.
It’s a twist on a tale we’ve all heard before.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist doing the summary in rhyme.  I promise I won’t do it all of the time.  Danny has pissed off the Ghost Writer.  As revenge, Danny is transported into the Writer’s new story, where he messes with Danny’s life until our hero can discover the consequences of his actions.

Danny Phantom is one of my top favorite shows of all time, period.  It’s a great superhero show, a great cartoon with lessons, it has dramatic and emotional stories, good humor, dynamic and action packed animation…. I simply love everything about this show.  And this Christmas special is no different.  It has a good twist on that old grinchy tale.  The lesson here isn’t just about getting Danny to love Christmas.  It’s about showing Danny the consequences of his hateful actions on the holiday.  The story, while familiar, has just enough of a spin to make it seem fresh and heartwarming.  It’s like trying a new hot chocolate recipe that happens to be delicious.  Yes, you may have had hot chocolate before, but that doesn’t make this particular cup any less delicious or refreshing.

The writing of this episode is simply brilliant.  It’s the only episode of Danny Phantom done (almost) completely in rhyme.  It all flows well with all of the rhymes sounding perfectly natural.  Granted, there are one or two rhymes that do seem a little forced (particularly a rhyme about avrits, whatever THOSE are).  But the rest of the special flows so well in the rhyme that I can forgive a few hiccups.  I can tell the writers were working really hard to make the rhyming thing work.  Let me tell you, despite what you might see in Dr. Seuss, it’s not easy at all.

This is one of my favorite Christmas specials ever simply because it’s attached to one of my favorite shows.  It’s got Christmas cheer, a good story, a different, quirky writing style from the usual show, and great action scenes as well.  I just can’t recommend this episode, or even the entire show, enough. (Seriously, one of these days, I’m going to make a blog post about why I love it so much.)

Don’t know Danny Phantom?  You should give it a try.
Now, the article’s done.  Until next time, good bye!


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