ALIENS FIRST CHRISTMAS
Original Air Date: NOVEMBER 12, 1991
Set in the year 2027, three humans originally from Earth now live on the planet Zolonia. Unfortunately for the Peoples family, Christmas is not celebrated on Zolonia.
Ah, yes. November 12, 1991. I remember it fondly. Actually, I was just 1 year- old and about to experience my second ever Christmas and have zero recollection of the whole situation. However, that did not stop the fine (Canadian) people at Perennial Pictures from showcasing the second pilot episode of their planned Aliens Next Door series on the Disney Channel, where it aired only once.
Soon after its initial airing, Aliens First Christmas was cast into public domain purgatory. Unfortunately, the proposed series, Aliens Next Door, was never green-lit to exist as a regularly televised program. Today, copies of both pilot episodes may be found in bargain bins and/or dollar stores.
Directed by Jerry Reynolds and Russ Harris, Alien’s First Christmas was just one of a handful of similarly (cheaply) produced specials by the two men including Jolly Old St. Nicholas, O Christmas Tree, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bell Rap, and something called The Three Fishketeers. Reynolds and Harris also lend their writing, music, and voice-acting talents to Alien’s First Christmas.
Zolonia, in all its purple and orange glory
In order to adjust to their new surroundings, the Peoples family decide to decorate for Christmas in the traditional Earth sense.
The Peoples. They’re people. Except for the space-dog.
Roger Peoples frantically runs around his backyard, shouting orders to some sort of cosmic UPS worker who is carrying a large box.
Ah man, he’s so fat, sad, and adorable
Hearing the commotion, the human’s neighbors Mavo and Charlick Zox step outside to investigate the situation.
The Zox couple, continuing the TV trend of a sexy wife and her chunky-yet-funny husband
Roger begins to get frustrated and demands to have the box lowered.
Wait for it…
Wait for it…
Despite almost being crushed to death, the Peoples are excited to receive their new shipment of Christmas decorations.
“No, I’m not Elroy Jetson”
Apparently, Roger doesn’t believe Zolonian electricity will be able to power the Earth-native decorations correctly and decides to create a special generator contraption.
“Yep, this looks safe and practical”
Despite the doubts of both his wife and his neighbors, Roger connects a strand of Christmas lights up to the machine and powers it on.
“Fuck you. I know what I’m doing.”
Within seconds, the machine goes haywire.
Did anyone really expect this to work?
Everyone seems to write off this incident until shit really hits the fan.
Sparks emit from the monstrosity and destroys the box of decorations before ultimately destroying itself.
Christmas is ruined
Tears are shed. Fran declares that Christmas is ruined.
The explosion temporarily causes everyone to become African-American/African-Zolonian
In one of the most depressing and humorous lines of dialogue ever spoken (closely following Stu Pickles’ famously dark “I’ve lost control of my life” line from Rugrats), Roger laments over the fact that he “blew up Christmas.” Shortly after, Elroy Benny sits inside his home, hating his own existence.
“One day I shall have my revenge”
In an attempt to cheer up her son, Fran brings in a tray of Christmas cookies. Yet, thanks to the damn Zolonian ovens, the cookies are basically rocks.
“I think there’s acid in these”
So after his generator failed, Roger is determined to salvage the holiday and sets out to find gifts for his family.
What’s more ridiculous: The pinball mode of transportation or that tree?
Roger travels to the Zolonian Mall in hopes of finding presents.
Once again, looks safe and practical
Roger discovers two gifts he finds adequate: A purple hat for his wife and a green ball for his son. Too bad he’s in a Zolonian pet shop and both of these things are alive. To top it off, these specific animals are mortal enemies. Roger doesn’t know this, though.
“Yes, my family will definitely forget that I ruined Christmas when they see what wonderful goods I have purchased for them!”
Sneaking back home, Roger contemplates how to get the presents inside without his family noticing. Meanwhile, Fran brings a second batch of “cookies” to her son. Although the cookies actually look like cookies this time, Benny reacts in a more disgusted manner than when he ate the rocks.
“She never brings me cookies…”
Roger continues to ponder on how to sneak the “hat” and “ball” inside.
“I am a poor consumer”
Before he hatches an idea, the beasts escape from his grasp and chase one another across the yard.
Not a hat at all
The “gifts” run away leaving Roger empty-handed. He then dissolves into a tantrum of manic rage, depression, and laughter.
“I am crazy”
Next door, the Zox couple feels sorry for the Peoples. Mavo comes up with an idea to give their neighbors an Earth Christmas experience.
Just a normal evening with the Zox family
Time passes and Mavo and Charlick come up with some ideas.
Something about this home makes me feel uneasy
Charlick decides to dress up as “Santa Clocks” as Mavo begins work on decorations fit for a “Hairy Christmas.”
The Zox couple is really into role play
Showing great perseverance, the Peoples family join together and sing Christmas carols outside. Just because there are no decoration, gifts, edible treats, or smiles doesn’t mean it’s not Christmas.
“I get knocked down, but I get up again…”
Too bad their other neighbors are trying to sleep and get pissed at the singing. One neighbor in particular decides the most rational thing to do is sick a rabid space-dog on the Peoples.
The Peoples climb a tree, narrowly escaping the jaws of death.
“What a dick”
Elsewhere, the Zox couple has managed to sneak inside the Peoples’ home and decorate the interior with festive objects.
The showpiece of their efforts is a “spine tree.” A little dark, perhaps, but let’s roll with it.
THAT USED TO BE SOMETHING’S SPINE
As Mavo and Charlick are ready to gloat over their friendly gesture, Mavo trips over a books and discovers pictures that reveal the truth behind the Christmas decorations.
Embarrassed, Mavo finds that she and her husband have misinterpreted the whole situation. Before she is able to tear down their ornamentation, the Peoples return home.
“Pine tree? That’s not logical.”
Mavo gives an excuse to Roger in order to prevent the Peoples from discovering what a horrible person she is.
“Bitch, step aside”
Where’s Charlick you ask? He’s in the backyard digging hole using a garden hoe, exclaiming, “Ho Ho Ho.”
Roger sees through Mavo’s bluff and goes inside his home. Despite being upset, the Peoples are flattered by their neighbor’s attempts. Then, it begins to snow outside.
Snow? On Zolonia? How could this be?
Rushing outdoors, the families stumble upon more cheer. There is a large Christmas tree, decorated magnificently.
Not made of bones
Apparently it doesn’t normally snow on Zolonia, illustrated by Mavo shivering like a madwoman.
Not sure if cold or having meth withdrawals
Roger finds presents for everyone underneath the magical tree, even Mavo and Charlick.
“Now my family won’t abandon me!”
Despite not knowing where the tree and gifts came from, everyone is overjoyed.
“I hope I get The Jetsons DVD set this year!”
But who could have caused all of this joy and magic?
Santa and his reindeer fly overhead, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.
“Thanks, you crazy old man!”
Thus, the Christmas spirit is salvaged. Even on distant planets, Santa proves he possesses unlimited power.
Benny gets revenge on his father via snowball
Cue laughter amongst the characters as the camera pans upward into the snowy sky.
Santa could care less about the other homes on Zolonia
All in all, Alien’s First Christmas manages to showcase the Christmas spirit and the bonds between family and neighbors in a decent manner. In retrospect, the whole thing just seems to be missing polish in terms of animation and a sense of plot progression. Although it may be far from being considered a holiday classic, AFC was still able to put the wheels in motion in terms of my own holiday spirit and I look forward to viewing more specials throughout the month.
Aside from Roger at one point explaining Christmas as a religious Earth holiday, no other mention of Christ is evident.
Although it took nearly the entire runtime for the actual Santa to show up on screen, Mr. Kringle ended up saving the day and solidifying the holiday spirit. Charlick’s depiction of “Santa Clocks” may be earnest, yet ultimately leaves something to be desired.
Where it may lack in any sort of WOW factor, AFC is still able to at least slowly inject the yuletide fever into my veins and persuade me to dive right into more various aspects of the holiday season.
MORE CARTOON CHRISTMAS SPECIALS!
YESTERDAY’S XMAS SPECIAL
A VERY SPECIAL FAMILY GUY FREAKIN’ CHRISTMAS
LAST YEAR’S DEC. 21ST XMAS SPECIAL
ED, EDD N’ EDDY’s “JINGLE JINGLE JANGLE”
2010’s DEC. 21ST XMAS SPECIAL
GEORGE AND THE CHRISTMAS STAR
2009’S DEC. 21ST XMAS SPECIAL
A CLAYMATION CHRSITMAS CELEBRATION