Elena of Avalor-Navidad
Future Worm-Future-Worm and the 54 Days of Snordfest/Lost in the Mall
Liv and Maddie-Cali Christmas A Rooney
Girl Meets World-Girl Meets a Christmas Maya
Bunk’d-How the Griff Stole Christmas
KC Undercover-Holly Holly Not So Jolly
Best Friends Whenever-The Christmas Curse
Hello, Spongey here.
Well, we’re officially in December, and our Holiday Celebrations have kicked into high gear. Which means it’s time to post some holiday review stuff.
This intro will be short because there’s not much to say. Last year I covered the Disney Sitcom Christmas Episode, and Disney Cartoon ones as well. Did the same for Halloween, so this year I did a post in what Disney aired this year for Halloween.
It’s time to do the same for Christmas. Yes, I’ll do this every year, since there’s usually quite a few for Sitcoms alone. This year is a bit different for Disney. On the Live Action front, for Falalalidays they-
Oh wait, nevermind. It’s actually NOT Falalaidays this year. Now it’s “Dis the Season”. Gag me with a spoon. Seriously?! Falalaidays may not have made much sense, but it’s tradition! You don’t mess with tradition!
They’ve been doing this under this name since 2011, you wanna screw it all up? If they change Monstober next year, I’ll quit. Disney is on thin ice as it is with all the shows being canned, don’t ruin Christmas too!
….Anyway, on the cartoon front, we have a whopping TWO episodes. Yes, because of the cancellations and breaks, only two shows could mange to get one out. That’s kind of pathetic. I mean, I got some shows that were canned, but Star Vs didn’t make one, yet they made a Halloween one?
Although I should point that the current Mickey Mouse Shorts had a half Holiday Special. I almost counted that but since it’s spinoff from a short form series, I’d kick it. I might look into on Deviant Art, but not here.
Whatever, we still a fair amount to look forward to. Holidays are often about making the best of a bad situation. While we don’t have a ton, most of it should hopefully be good. So without further ado, let’s see what Disney has for us this year, to give us holiday cheer.
This, is A Look at Disney Christmas Episodes (2016)
Since there’s only two, we’ll go into the cartoons first.
Navidad [Elena of Avalor]
Season 1, Episode 11
Writer: Craig Gerber
Airdate: December 9, 2016
Christmas Cliches: None
Elena brings all the communities of Avalor together to share each other’s holiday traditions. But when a Doña Paloma scheme causes an overly competitive atmosphere, Elena sets off on a traditional “parranda” and carols through the city to remind everyone of the true spirit of Navidad.
This episode was good. I surprisingly didn’t like it as much as the Dia Del Los Meeturos (I know I butchered that) but I still enjoyed this. ‘It has the message you expect and I knew where it was going but it was still solid.
While Dona is a pretty obvious villain, she is enjoyable for that reason. Although she has a really random change of heart at the very end, which was odd.
While we’re on minor things, I quite like the songs in this (Yes, there’s two for the price of one), one of which actually use 2d Animation in a pretty neat way. The 2nd one plays a good part in the story too.
One minor thing I really liked is that Isabelle’s friend is in a wheelchair, but at no point do they make any kind of deal out of it. Seriously, they say the word wheelchair once and it’s in a casual way that doesn’t raise any eyebrows.
The character plays a good role in the story, without the whole wheelchair thing being the extent of her character. Granted, I’m making a deal out of it but only because it’s actually really important. That was nice.
The story itself is a solid one. Again, it reaches the message about how you celebrate the holidays isn’t as important as being together and such but the execution is thankfully good. I really don’t much to say aside from the message being good and how it’s interesting to see it play out.
The highlight is the really sweet ending where the lesson is learned and everyone bonds together. It’s where the 2nd song comes in and the way it’s done is really sweet and nice. I like the way plot escalates.
It seems like it’ll be ‘two places at once plot” until it becomes what it ends on, and it’s natural and interesting. I’m actually glad it wasn’t about them trying to be about many parties, because We Bare Bears did that plot very recently, and it would have weird for both shows to do it in the same month..
So yeah, this wasn’t anything too amazing but it was a pretty nice episode. The plot went through phases while not being messy, the moral is good, and the ending is very heartwarming.
It’s nothing mind bowing, but it is a nice episode that’s fitting for the Holiday Episode. It’s not as good as either of Sofia’s Holiday Episode, but it’s still solid. I suppose it’s not the highest recommendation but I think it’s worth a look if you want something from this year to watch.
Yeah, that’s all I got. Now for the only other animated offering this year!
Future-Worm and the 54 Days of Snordfest/Lost in the Mall [Future Worm]
Writers: Nick Confalone, Todd Case.
Airdate: December 12, 2016
Christmas Cliches: You Mean Xmas,
Embarrassed by his role in a future-holiday movie, Future Worm time travels to make sure it never happens. Then When the family accidentally leaves Doug at the mall, they return to discover a sinister plan afoot in Santa’s Village.
The first episode was alright, and the other one was decent. Yeah for once, when we have two cartoons, they are of difference qualities. I get what the Snordfest one was going for, but it didn’t quite work for me.
Future Worm is supposed to be a dick so he can learn a lesson, but they go way too far with it. I mean, his way of preventing the movie is going back and stopping the Holiday itself from existing.
That itself would be bad enough, but dong this would cause the possible death of these people, since they’d be eaten with the Glow Worm to lead them. Yes, he’s willingly to basically the kill many people just because he was embarrassed to be in a bad movie.
…Wow. The only thing redeeming is that he does learn his lesson, although it is a bit rushed and it takes too long. Plus, what he wanted to do was a bit too bad. Otherwise, is this middling. Nothing is really that funny, although there’s some mildly amusing lines here and here.
I do like the nonsense culture of these people, with Snord replacing random words. The way it’s done reminds me of a joke I’d see on Rick and Morty or something. Then again, this whole show is very Adult Swim-ish.
As for the other episode, it does what Buzz Lightyear did and just calls Christmas “The Holiday’,. Seriously, at one point they even just say Holiday Morning. Huh. Anyway, despite all the crazy stuff, it actually does manage to be rather sweet.
Doug just wants to spend time with his family and while they mostly aren’t assholes, they do seem to get caught up in the shopping of it all. This drives Doug to join the GOTHS. …Guardians of the Holiday. S.
It’s hard to explain but it’s rather funny and makes for an interesting story. Yes, they learn their lesson and there’s a nice message but it’s just neat to see that in this show. The surreal nature of the plot makes it interesting enough.
The twists are rather crazy, like how Mrs. Claus is behind the evil stuff. Granted, Billy and Mandy did that first but it works here on it’s own. There’s more energy and humor to this episode than the other one that I liked.
My only real complaint is that Future Worm is a dick throughout and doesn’t seem to learn anything like the others. It’s not a huge problem but it’s there. Huh, both episodes have being a jerk as a problem.. The Halloween Ep had that problem too.
Just saying. Thankfully, this one lets Doug be awesome without being put down.
Overall, the first episode isn’t bad but is just kind of average. It’s not that funny and it’s rough in some spots. I’d just skip it. The episode however, is solid. It’s rather nice and is amusing with how crazy it gets.
Both do kind of drag a bit. The show usually has one 11 minute segment in each half hour, but both are 11 minutes in this case. The show can do those find but both do have slight padding, especially the first one.
It’s not a huge deal. Would I recommend the latter one? If you want something different but still decently Holiday-y, than sure. Not a must watch, but you hopefully won’t regret it. It’s an odd but kind of nice episode, especially when compared to the other one.
If you want something a bit different, Lost in the Mall fits the bill. Snordfest is a skip though. An odd way to close out the animated slate, and the overall slate in the full airing order, but not a bad way, I suppose.
Okay, let’s see how “Dis the Season” turns out.
Cali Christmas A Rooney [Liv and Maddie]
Season 4, Episode 6
Writer: Sylvia Green
Airdate: December 2, 2016
Christmas Cliches: None
Maddie is upset that she can’t be in Wisconsin for Christmas and to cheer her up, Liv plans an incredible surprise. Meanwhile, Joey participates in a Mr. North Pole Santa Claus pageant against an old foe and Parker tries to teach Ruby the wonders of a Snow Day.
This episode was decent. I don’t have a lot to say about it though. It’s the plot where someone is homesick and someone tries to fix that. It works in that ways that plot tends to work and there’s some nice moments.
The subplots don’t really go anywhere though. Joey’s plot does feed into the main one but it by itself is not really resolved. As in, no one wins Mr. North Pole, they just kind of drop it. Which is too bad because it had it’s fun moments and seemed to be building to a good lesson.
Parker’s plot is fun but doesn’t lead to much. He gives her a snow day and…that’s it, nothing really happens after that. Eh. The main plot is the best by default. It’s nothing too special but it is amusing and sweet enough.
There really aren’t many huge sweet moments but the nice gestures are good enough I suppose. Joke wise, again there’s nothing too great but there’s some amusing moments. Although based on this ep, you’d think Hot Locations don’t know what Christmas is. Cold Weather doesn’t get rid of the holiday, you know.
Oh, and Johnny Nimbus and Diggie show up, which is nice. This episode is fairly basic, but there’s nothing too much wrong with it. It’s in that “Fine” category for me. Nothing too wrong, nothing too great, but just fine.
Overall, I’d say the 2nd Christmas ep was the best of these 3, but this one isn’t too bad. I wouldn’t recommend it too highly but again, nothing too much wrong with it. But since there’s tons of better options, I’d say skip it, for the most part.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Girl Meets A Christmas Maya [Girl Meets World]
Season 3, Episode 18
Writer: Teresa Kale
Airdate: December 2, 2016
Christmas Cliches: Christmas Scrooge, A Christmas Carol
It’s the holidays and Riley is excited to celebrate her favorite time of the year, but for Maya, the holidays only bring back unhappy memories from her childhood.
This episode was decent. It was a bit sloppy but the heart did manage to pull it through. This has to juggle the main story and a secret Santa story, and sometimes they aren’t connected crazy well.
Also, Maya’s unhappy memories really aren’t that bad. We’ve seen worse Maya memories, really. It needed to be a bit more tragic for this plot to work. Honestly, maybe they did it a bit too late in the series.
But it does lead to some nice moments. The heartwarming moment are just too nice for my resist, like the explantions for why they got the secret Santa gifts that they did. It’s cheesy but in a good way.
I think it’s the Christmas setting that makes this work more than other overly sweet episodes. The nice moments have more of a reason to be there, and thus feel more earned. Sometimes it gets too cheesy, but other times it works.
Plot wise, I’ll admit there’s nothing that makes it any better than other episodes like it, but there is a certain charm. I like how Riley does a sort of Christmas Carol thing, as it doesn’t go too far into parody and holds up on it’s own.
Humor Wise, there’s some annoying moments early, but there is some decent bits a bit later on, like how Zay says Lucas is the smartest person in the world…because he’s not here. I don’t know, I found that funny for some reason.
But yeah, it’s lame that Lucas isn’t here for the big Christmas Episode, but ah well.
Overall, this episode isn’t perfect by any means, but there is a certain charm. They use the plot to give us some nice moments and it embraces Christmas nicely. It’s far from a classic, but I think it’s good enough.
I’d say it’s roughly on par with Girl Meets Home for the Holidays. That one is a bit more even though. I’d recommend this if you can tolerate some cheesy-ness. It’s not high on my list but eh, maybe you can check it out.
It’s another that’s not too special but it is nice enough. So eh, there you go, it’s fine.
How the Griff Stole Christmas [Bunk’d]
Season 2, Episode 11
Writers: Valerie Ahern and Eric Schaar
Airdate: December 2, 2016
Christmas Cliches: Christmas Scrooge, Christmas In July
The campers participate in a gift-making activity for the upcoming holiday and Griff is not into it. Ravi and Lou try to create a special memory for Griff, while Santa asks Jorge to babysit for one of his reindeer. Emma gets Xandar a necklace he doesn’t like.
Okay, it’s bad enough that we had one Christmas Episode in a show set at a Summer camp, but Two?! This one makes it both more and less confusing. They do say it’s Summer a few times…but why were they doing Christmas stuff in the A and C plots to begin with?
That aside, the episode is alright. It actually did have some nice moments, but the plot felt a bit muddle. There was no need for the C plot since it’s resolved very quick and doesn’t have anything I haven’t seen before in this plot.
I think the main plot needed more time to develop. Griff’s reason for being a Grinch does make sense but it’s nothing really that new. I also think it would hit more if I knew him better, but it’s the shows fault for not being good enough for me to keep up with.
But that is the best of the 3 plots, since it has some nice moments. The Santa plot isn’t that bad but nothing that interesting. Also, it’s now official that Santa exists in the Jessie Universe. I guess that’s given this is the DCLAU, which has Wizards in it.
My other big complaint is with the jokes. I swear, no one on this show likes each other, there’s a lot of mean jokes in this that just aren’t funny. There are some amusing moments but those jokes hold it down. Something tells it won’t be a hard to find a reviewable episode in the future..
But there is some amusing/nice moments in here, enough to make it a slightly better episode for the show. I should like it more but I spent too much time being confused. They should have established that it’s Christmas in July at the start like Hey Dude and other shows did.
Overall, this episode is okay-ish since it has it’s sweet moments, but it’s also a bit sloppy in it’s plotting, and the whole Christmas thing doesn’t quite work for this show. It’s fine to do Christmas In July, but you need to establish it better.
If you ignore that, you may enjoy this, but for the most part, it’s a skip. Not bad, but just kind of…average.
Holly Holly Not So Jolly [KC Undercover]
Season 2, Episode 22
Writer: Rob Lotterstein
Airdate: December 4, 2016
Christmas Cliches: None
As the Cooper family decorates the house for the holidays, K.C. begins to reflect on the many disguises and missions she has taken on as a spy in hopes she can get over her holiday blues and recapture the spirit of the season.
This episode was…alright. It’s like this years Halloween Episode, meaning that it’s okay on it’s own, but is barely a Holiday Episode. It’s better than the Halloween one in that way, but even it’s own it has problems.
KC goes to The Organization’s Therapist because she has some issues. What are they? …I have no idea. Her problems are not clearly defined. She says she’s been going through stuff due to all the spy stuff sh does or something but they never clearly say what is going on.
And at the end, she doesn’t seemed to have learned much. She clearly is over her problems and appreciates her life I suppose, but she leaves the Therapist almost suddenly. This episode seems to want to dive deep into something but it seems to ignore the actual problems.
I do know why it’s like this. See, this episode is a Clip Show. Yes, really. The questions he asks her prompt a clip one of her disguises, since she often has to do that kind of thing on the job.
This whole plot is an excuse to have a Clip Show. I tend to like this kind of Clip Show, where the clips are used to do some kind of character analysis. But this honestly just feels lazy. The clips are just kind of there and without them, there’s not much of a story.
There are some nice and amusing moments, but the whole thing just feels a bit lazy. I can see where this could have been really interesting but as it is, it’s not that interesting or deep. Also, the Therapist’s face is hidden …for no reason. It’s not a joke and I was expecting some reveal but nope, it’s just there for no reason.
Oh, and it has nothing to do with Christmas. This could have happened at any time of year. Why did this happen with both “Holiday Episodes” this year? Overall, this episode isn’t unwatchable, and it has good ideas, but the execution is very lacking.
The story is lackluster as they tease some development that doesn’t actually happen. It doesn’t really say anything about KC or her life. She clearly learns stuff but it’s not that interesting. When it ends, it ust kind of…ends.
It’s all an excuse to do a clip show, but it’s not ta very good one. It’s just odd that they would do it like this. It could have worked but as it it is, it’s just kind of average. Not horrible, but it is sadly an easy skip. Stick to the first Christmas episode, even if it’s not perfect.
The Christmas Curse [Best Friends Whenever]
Season 2, Episode 11
Writer: Eric Dunlap
Airdate: December 4, 2016
Christmas Cliches: Christmas Scooge, Santa Ex Machina
Shelby and Cyd are excited to plan the annual neighborhood Christmas party, which takes an unexpected turn when Daisy joins the festivities. Meanwhile, Barry plays Santa after the twins take the mall Santa captive.
This episode was decent, although it’s another one I don’t have much to say about. It has the typical message about how there’s no “perfect” Christmas and such but it does in a fairly amusing way.
Oh, and I should answer your first question: Daisy is a princess from the past who is here due to convoluted plot stuff I have no time no explain. Yeah, this time travel show gets confusing, what a shock.
The subplot is a bit weak since it’s an excuse to get Barry to be Santa to get him in the spirit. That’s fine but Brett and Chet tying up Renaldo is a bit…off. They do kind of feel bad in the end but it’s just kind of odd.
I can forgive it since I like Barry’s side of it. I love the pat where Barry spends his day just pointing out plot holes in old Christmas movies. Barry would be great at Honest Trailers. …Wait..
The main plot, while kind of cliché, is solid. I’ve seen the curse plot tons of times, but there’s plenty of amusing bits and a nice ending. With the set up I thought they would do the “friend gets them something they don’t like but they won’t admit they hate it’ cliché but thankfully, they avoid it.
Granted, it’s odd how they drop it once the curse starts, but ah well. There’s really not too much to say otherwise. It goes in the direction you’d expect, but it manages to be amusing with some nice moments at the end.
It’s basic-ish but it works for what it is. Yeah, sorry I couldn’t say more but it took me awhile to say this much. It’s on par with the first Christmas Episode, although I may like that one slightly more, I don’t know.
I suppose this is another one I recommend if you can tolerate the show. There’s enough there for you, even if it’s nothing amazing or anything. It’s a nice episode, and sometimes, that is all you need.
Agh, Hambug [Bizardvark]
Season 1, Episode 17
Writer: Vincent Brown
Airdate: December 11, 2016
Christmas Cliches: None
Vuuugle is having a Christmas party; unfortunately, Liam won’t allow Bernie to attend since he is not a Vuuugler. After a plan for Paige and Frankie to have Rosanna Pansino sneak him in a cake fails, Liam suggests that Bernie gets 10,000 subscribers of his own in order to join. Meanwhile, Dirk is having a hard time trying to figure out what to get Horse Face Guy for Christmas
This episode was decent. That’s right, another decent episode from this show. Perhaps it’s improving? Who knows, I just know this wasn’t too bad. From what I’ve seen, Bernie is very much the Butt Monkey of the show (even the intro doesn’t let get a word in!) but that actually works in this episodes favor.
Some of his torture is rather contrived or dumb, but some works because that’s the point and there’s a happy ending. He goes through a lot of crap in this, to the point of having a freakout that goes viral.
He gets tons of subs from it but loses them when he reacts badly to the mean comments. No comment. I could easily see this going badly but they manage to make it all work for the story, again, mostly due to the ending.
It’s another story where sitting through torture works because the ending makes it all worth it. Without spoiling it, things don’t go exactly how they planned but they still make the most of it, which leads to a fairly heartwarming ending.
It’s not an amazing story but it works to give Bernie a break and it ends up embracing the Holiday Spirit. As far the comedy goes, there are some amusing bits, like how they do the jumping freeze frame…which Bernie tries to do later and fails.
Then there’s the ending to the subplot. No spoilers but the punchlines makes up for how weak the plot was up to that point. Not much had actually happened in it but the punchline makes up for it,as I said.
Also, there’s some guest star that no one’s ever heard of….She’s kind of hot though.
Overall, this was decent enough. It’s not great per say but for what I was expecting, it was nice. It had a solid story that gave Bernie a break and was quite sweet, and some decent enough jokes thrown in.
On it’s own it’s nothing too special, but for what it is, I did actually enjoy it. Would I recommend it then? Eh…if you can tolerate the show,sure. The ending makes certain moments worth it.
But I wouldn’t say it’s a must watch. I just happened to enjoy it. Still, the fact that I liked it due to the story makes it one to look into if you want. This was surprisingly a decent way to end our lineup.
And those were the Disney 2016 Christmas Episodes. Overall, about par for the course. Slightly weaker I suppose, but it’s what I expected. I didn’t dislike that many at least, and most of them were Christmas-y enough.
The weakest was KC, which is shocking since we had a Bunk’d episode here. It had nothing to do with Christmas and was an excuse to have a lame clip show. Kind of sad. The best was Best Friends Whenever, I suppose. It was solid enough and wasn’t too bothersome.
Animation wise…well by default Elena wins. It also wins overall, but that 2nd Future Worm Episode wasn’t too bad I guess. Yeah, not too many of these blew me away, but I still got surprises. I was not expecting to like that Bizardvark one.
So yeah, a fairly average batch but it was mostly solid, so that’s good. Although I should point out that as much I liked the animated stuff, I liked both of Nick’s Animated Tv Episode offerings even more this year.
Not sure how to feel about that, but you’ll hear about those some other time. There’s not much else to say, really. This was a fine way to help bring in some Christmas Cheer, even if they weren’t all great.
Join me on the 23rd or so for my official Holiday Review Post for the year. We’ll be taking A Look at Live Action Nick Christmas Episodes. It should be …fun, to say the least.