The Toy That Saved Christmas
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|The Toy that Saved Christmas|
|Directed by||Phil Vischer
|Produced by||Chris Olsen|
|Written by||Phil Vischer|
|Music by||Kurt Heinecke
|Edited by||Mike Nawrocki|
|Big Idea Productions|
|Distributed by||Everland Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||October 1996|
|Running time||30 minutes|
The Toy that Saved Christmas is the sixth episode of the VeggieTales animated series and the first holiday special in that series. It was released in October 1996 on VHS. Unlike its predecessors it does not feature an opening/closing countertop. Like the other holiday episodes, it also has no "A Lesson In…" subtitle.
The opening sequence features the Veggies at a theater filming "The VeggieTales Christmas Spectacular" in their "first ever" network broadcast. Entertainment includes Junior Asparagus in the Holy Land singing "While By My Sheep" and Archibald Asparagus singing "Ring, Little Bell" (with help from Larry the Cucumber) while Bob the Tomato, Pa Grape, and others search for the feature film that the Veggies had planned on showing. Just when the network is about to cancel them in favor of Bonanza, the film can is finally located by Jimmy and Jerry Gourd (who mistook it for a pizza) and the episode begins.
The main story opens with Grandpa George telling a bedtime story to his granddaughter Annie about Wally P. Nezzer (Mr. Nezzer), the owner of a toy company, who is spreading the word via television commercial about his newest toyline, “Buzz-Saw Louie”, the only toy featuring an actual working buzz saw built into his right arm and a trigger in his nose that makes him tell kids to get more toys. After seeing the commercial, the previously content kids of Dinkletown begin whining to their parents about wanting more toys. Mr. Nezzer explains to his assistant (Mr. Lunt) that this is a strategy to create demand for his toys, which will result in him making lots of money. As many Buzz-Saw Louie dolls roll off the production line, one of them inexplicibly comes to life. That night, Louie wonders if there's more to Christmas than materialistic greed and escapes the factory to find the true meaning of Christmas.
The story is interrupted by a Silly Song entitled "Oh Santa!" Larry is staying up late awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, eager to give him some home-made cookies. Instead of Santa, however, he is visited first by a bank robber (Scallion #1), then by a Viking (Pa Grape), and finally by an agent of the IRS (played by The Peach). All the visitors are invited into Larry's house and get a cookie (except for the IRS agent). Santa (Bob) finally shows up, but rather than being jolly, he angrily chases after the bank robber and the Viking for stealing his belt and hat.
On Christmas Eve, while most of the kids are filled with a mad desire for the new toy, Larry, Bob, and Junior go sledding. They happen upon the escaped Louie, who explains his story and asks the Veggies for help. Bob suggests that they go see Grandpa George who reads the Nativity of Jesus from Luke Chapter 2: verses 8-14. In this, George explains to the group that the true meaning of Christmas is not to get, but to give, the way God gave us Jesus, the greatest gift of all. The kids are heartened by the news, but puzzle about how to tell the rest of the Veggies before Christmas Day.
Bob, Larry, Junior and Louie decide to sneak into Mr. Nezzer’s toy factory and use his television studio to broadcast a message of the true meaning of Christmas to all the surrounding towns. The plan is a huge success, except that Mr. Nezzer discovers the group and decides to get rid of them by tying them to a sled and sending into a deep ravine when the families of Dinkletown intervene. Laura Carrot shows Mr. Nezzer kindness by giving him a gift and he quickly repents the errors of his ways. However, the sled with Bob, Larry, Junior, and Louie is accidentally sent on its fateful course. A chase soon ensues in which Mr. Nezzer and a half dozen of his penguin workers attempt to save the doomed Veggies. The tables turn, however, when Louie is able to divert the sled’s course, leaving Mr. Nezzer alone racing toward the ravine. Louie again springs into action and the penguins and Veggies are able to save Mr. Nezzer just as he is about to plummet to certain death. The story concludes with everybody in Dinkletown, including Mr. Nezzer, getting together to celebrate a Christmas party. Next-door to the party, Buzz-Saw Louie is hard at work in his new house, putting the buzz-saw for good use making furniture.
Back in the theatre, Bob learns from Pa Grape that the network apparently didn't watch their special (Pa hints that they were watching the Rudolph special instead). Regardless, he closes out with his usual line, "God made you special and he loves you very much".
Cast of Characters
VeggieTales Christmas Spectacular
- Mr. Nezzer as the announcer
- Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber as the hosts
- Pa Grape as the director
- Junior Asparagus singing "While By My Sheep"
- Jimmy and Jerry Gourd as stage crew
- Archibald Asparagus singing "Ring, Little Bell"
- Larry as himself
- Scallion #1 as a bank robber
- Pa Grape as a Viking
- The Peach as an IRS agent
- Bob as Santa Claus
The Toy that Saved Christmas
- Grandpa George as the narrator and mailman
- Annie as George's granddaughter (debut)
- Bob as himself
- Larry as himself
- Junior Asparagus as himself
- Mr. Nezzer as Wally P. Nezzer
- Mr. Lunt as Mr. Nezzer's assistant
- Buzz Saw Louie as himself (debut)
- Laura Carrot as herself
- Lenny Carrot as himself
- Dad Carrot as himself
- Mom Carrot as herself (debut Cameo)
- Baby Lou as himself (debut Cameo)
- Dad Pea as himself (debut)
- Mom Pea as herself (debut Cameo)
- Percy Pea as himself (debut)
- Li'l Pea as himself (debut)
Due to the format of the show, this episode does not contain the usual "VeggieTales Theme Song" and "What We Have Learned", although the "VeggieTales Theme" is still present. It also contains the following songs:
- Can't Believe It's Christmas, sung by the Veggie kids
- Grumpy Kids, sung by Buzz-Saw Louie
- Oh, Santa! (Silly Song), sung by Larry, Bob, Scallion #1, and Pa Grape
In the VeggieTales Christmas Spectacular special
- While By My Sheep, Sung by Junior Asparagus
- Kling Glöckchen/Ring Little Bells! Archibald Asparagus (Phil Vishcer) and Larry the Cucumber (Mike Nawrocki) (the upcoming CD, Noah's Christmas Tunes, also Features Archibald and Larry's rendition of the song with vocals by Tim Hodge, Matt Vogel, Samuel Vincent, Jason Marsden, Mr. Lawrence and Jeff Bennett)
- Official Website
- Airtime Listing on TBN
- Veggietales at Qubo.com
- Ultimate Veggie[dead link]
- The Toy that Saved Christmas at the Internet Movie Database