GIDGET’S TALESPIN REVIEW

 

 

Jolly Molly Christmas


Rating:  4 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials


Summary

 

Rebecca wistfully recalls childhood memories of Christmas (the lights, toys and candy and most of all, the snow).  She says to Molly, “That’s what I’d really like for Christmas… to see it snow.”  Unfortunately, it never snows in Cape Suzette.

While she goes shopping, the rest continue to decorate the tree until Molly accidentally drops her last candy cane, shattering it.  Baloo tries to comfort her by telling her to put a piece under her pillow for the Peppermint Fairy, the Tooth Fairy’s cousin.  Tying a string on his finger to remind him to put a candy cane under her pillow that night, Baloo soon falls asleep.

 

The following morning is Christmas Eve; the Cunningham girls spend the night at Higher for Hire (no nooky for Baloo that night!) while the guys sleep in the armchair downstairs.  Rebecca runs downstairs in a panic (she has to exchange Molly’s gift) and shakes Baloo awake, leaving him in charge of Molly until she comes back from the store.  Suddenly he notices the string on his finger and eventually realizes that the ‘Peppermint Fairy’ hasn’t shown up yet.  Just as he’s trying to slip the candy cane under Molly’s pillow, she opens her eyes and accuses him of lying to her about everything, including Santa Claus.  So Baloo foolishly hatches a scheme to prove Santa’s existence:  Take Molly to the ‘North Pole’ to meet him in person.   Kit, against his better judgment, accompanies them on the Sea Duck.  Louis finds himself talked into redecorating the bar as Santa’s workshop and disguising his waiters as elves and reindeer before the girl arrives.  But the ruse works; Molly is enchanted and tells ‘Santa’ that she wants snow for her mother.  The collective (though unspoken) feeling in the room is, ‘oh crap! Now what do we do?’

Baloo then remembers that the Rebecca asked him to deliver cargo --- several crates of soap flakes.  What better way to convince Molly that Santa made it snow than to grab the flakes and sprinkle it outside? Louie is not a happy Santa, but agrees to keep Molly entertained until Baloo and Kit return with the ‘snow’.

When he returns to Higher for Hire, Rebecca is waiting for him.  Where did he and Kit go?  Where’s Molly?  And where is he going with her sudsy-wudsy soap flakes?  Thanks to Kit, Baloo escapes an ear-blistering tirade and Rebecca and Wildcat fly back with them to help sprinkle the flakes.   That’s soap, not dandruff. ;)

Don Karnage overhears a radio conversation between ‘Santa’ (Louie) and ‘Undercover Elf’ (Baloo) that the ‘biggest and best Christmas present of all is on the way’ and assumes that it’s something valuable.   He attacks the Duck and the gang is forced to dump the soap flakes out the back in self-defense.  Soap gets in the engines of the pirate planes, causing them to sink into the ocean.  Lightning strikes the wing, making it tip.  Rebecca nearly falls out, but Kit saves her by grabbing her shirt and hauling her back inside.   Though Wildcat closes the hatch, all the soap crates fall out, lost forever.  Now what are they going to tell Molly?

Meanwhile, Louie’s customers are furious that Louie’s Place is locked up on Christmas Eve, (they always spend it there---sad, isn’t it?) and hearing the enforced merrymaking inside (Louie and his ‘elves’ have been singing Jingle Bells for hours so Molly will still think she’s in Santa’s workshop).  They break the door down and demand to know why Louie locked them out. 

 

Molly:  “This is no Louie.  This is Santa Claus!”  Louie’s beard falls off.  The customers (a rough crowd at best), roar with laughter at her naiveté.   Shocked and embarrassed, Molly snatches her letter from Louie’s coat pocket and runs out of the building in tears.  Louie is deeply sorry and chastises the boneheads.  “Now what you guys go and do that for?”

Molly wanders the beach, feeling desolate and betrayed.  “A lie!  It was all a lie!” she sobs as she throws her letter to the winds.  But the letter is now on a special journey…

The H4H gang land at Louie’s, and a search for Molly begins.  Baloo and Becky call Molly’s name (like parents).  But Molly doesn’t hear them.  She sees something shining in the sky.  By the time they find her, she’s still looking up.  A lone snowflake lands on Rebecca’s nose, followed by hundreds, then thousands, until Louie’s island is covered by a blanket of snow.  We are never shown just what Molly saw in the sky, but whatever --- or whoever it was --- it was a miracle.  A little girl’s faith is restored. 


Quibbles and Bits

When Molly drops her candy and cries in dismay, “My last candy cane!”, why doesn’t she just take the one from the bough of holly on the wall (the very one Baloo was going to put under her pillow)?  Besides, so what if it’s in pieces?  Now it’s bite-sized.

Cody: Well, it did fall on the floor. Would you want to eat anything that had fallen on the floor in Baloo’s house? Oh—I’ve got a quibble with something else! Becky says that she used to see snow as a little girl, which means she probably lived somewhere up north. But in The Time Bandit, when she’s in front of the firing squad and the radio personality is telling her life’s story, he says that she was born in Cape Suzette where she “attended a private school.” If she lived in Cape Suzette as a child, how could she have seen snow?
Gidget:  Maybe she spent the holidays with northern relatives? 

 

Molly says to Baloo, “I bet all that Santa Claus stuff you told me was baloney too.”  The kid’s about six years old and hasn’t heard of Santa until she met Baloo? Didn’t Rebecca mention the Jolly One’s name at all?

Cody: (as Rebecca) Now, Molly, we’re going to be logical about all this. I give you presents on Christmas, not some fat bear dressed in a red suit, okay?
Gidget (as Molly):  But what about that red bellhop’s uniform you made Baloo wear when he made that first cargo run?  (Plunder and Lightning)

 

Rebecca goes to the store for a second time (just to exchange Molly’s present) and comes back with several large boxes.

Cody: Yeah, makes her out to be a shopaholic, doesn’t it?
Gidget:  I’m surprised she didn’t make one of the guys accompany her so they could carry all those packages.  “Come along, Sunny Jim.  The white sales beckon.”

Cody: LOL! That reminds me of that comic in Disney Adventures, “Voodoo Baloo” where they finish a job and Becky goes shopping while Baloo grumbles about her using him and Kit as pack mules.
Gidget:  I know!  It offends me as a feminist (all women just loooooove shopping! --- rolls eyes), but I can never resist it when she tortures him that way.  And in the same comic, when she blackmailed him into flying a dangerous saber-toothed bobcat to an island by threatening to fly the Duck herself --- using the manual --- he says sullenly, “You play dirty pool, lady.”

 

Molly calls out the pilot’s window to assure Wildcat that she’ll put in a good word for him… as she leans out further, her head is dangerously close to the spinning propeller. (remember what happened to the big bald guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark?)

Cody: Oh, that’s a major quibble. Why didn’t they go ahead and slice her head off? That would have been so much better.

Gidget (as Rebecca):  I’m free!  I’m free!

It bugs me that Baloo would destroy cargo just so Molly would believe in Santa.  It’s sweet, endearing and yet…ARGH!  I wouldn’t blame Rebecca for strangling him --- if she could just get her hands around his neck in the first place.
Rebecca:  “Oh, curse these dainty paws of mine!”

Cody: She could always use the tinsel. But you’re right. Molly’s got to find out sometime, and don’t most kids stop believing when they’re six? That makes Molly seem like she’s three. Not that she doesn’t act like a three-year-old most of the time, anyway.

Gidget:  Um… (coughs) I believed until I was twelve.  My parents didn’t have the heart to ruin Christmas for me.  I was crushed when they finally told me some time afterward!  I cried.

Cody: Aww…L

Gidget (motherly voice): Yes, Gidget, there really is a Santa Claus.  (Peanuts Sally voice) I’ve been robbed!



Neat Little Details

The way the guys decorate the Christmas tree is rather fun to watch:  Baloo shoots the ornaments at the tree with a slingshot, Kit hangs tinsel by jumping on a pogo stick around it and Wildcat, well… he causes the lights to short-circuit and go out.

 

The way Kit frantically waves ‘nononononono!!’ at Baloo as he promises Molly that she’ll meet Santa in person and the ‘d’oh!’ gesture  (smacking his forehead)

Cody: LOL! My favorite part of this ep!

Gidget:  Yeah, I enjoyed seeing him hit himself too!

Cody: Hey!

 

Louie is always fun to watch when he mixes a drink (juggles the fruit in P&L, Part 2, for example).  While Baloo phones him to ask him to play Santa, he’s busy with his trusty blender.  Here, it’s so packed full of fruit that he can’t close the lid.  So he hits the lid with a mallet until it fits.

Cody: Whatever works! But I don’t think I’d be eating anything at his place. Who knows when the last time he washed his feet was.

 

Molly blushes as Louie showers her with attention.  It’s so cute!

“Don’t tell me!  Molly, right? (kisses her hand, making her blush) And a cool Yule to you, too!”

Cody: Too bad she didn’t spontaneously combust.

Gidget:  What if she did? (as Rebecca):  Molly Elizabeth Cunningham!  Just look at this mess!

 

When Waldo reads Molly’s letter requesting snow for her mother, Louie sticks his (ew) fingers in Molly’s ears.  “’Scuse me, Punkin. (then to Baloo) “You said I had to be Santa Claus, not Jack Frost!”


Wildcat, Louie and Don Karnage have the best lines:

Louie:  “Let’s see… Holly… Dolly… Polly… Molly!  Hey, this kid’s triple Grade A numero uno good!”

 

Louie as scat-singin’ Santa Claus:

-wears shades

-during his ‘debut’, ‘Santa’ can barely squirm down the chimney (does Louie’s Place have a chimney?  I don’t remember one)

-Louie Claus: “Heidi-heidi-ho-ho-ho!  Doo-waaaaaah!”

Baloo hisses to him:  “Ix-nay on the ive-jay!”

Cody: Oh, I loved that part! Louie makes one cool Santa.

 

When Baloo wants to go back for the soap flakes to use as ‘snow’, Louie is indignant: “What do you mean, ‘keep her Santafied for a couple of hours’?… No way!  You are lookin’ at one ree-tired Santa!”

 

Louie: “Okay, Molly, while we’re waitin’ for the snow --- it’ll be here any minute now, I bet (nervous chuckle) Santa and the elves’ll lay the jingle bells on ya, what’d you say?”

Waldo:  “We are?”

Louie (grimly):  We are.

One of the customers who break down Louie’s door is one of the bears from the Disney attraction, ‘Country Bears Jamboree’.  

 

Louie’s toys:

-“You’re gonna love this…(plays with a paddle-ball) Wang! Wang! Wang!

-a Louie-in-the-box (an opening coconut with Louie’s head on a spring)

-an old gramophone (sings some scat) “Of course, you can make your own soundtrack.”

Cody: And the whole time, you could just see him thinking, “Ohh, Baloo owes me big for this one.”

 

Louie’s decorations:

-old patched socks are hung by the chimney with care

-a banner that says Seasons Greetins

-the tiki masks are wearing Santa hats

 

Louie’s monkey staff  (sounds kinda dirty, doesn’t it? C: Yep. J) rarely have dialogue or even names (except Mongomery, the pianist).  Here, Waldo (a chimp) has brief exchanges with Louie and reads Molly’s letter aloud.

And an observation from Scarlet:  Basically, this is one of the very rare instances where we get to see Karnage wearing something besides his uniform. (Other exceptions include the yacht captain's outfit in "Jumping the Guns," the gondolier outfit in P&L, and the equally infamous bathing suit in "Ransom of Red Chimp.)
When DK comes out to yell at the pirates for waking him up with their so-called singing, he's wearing a purple bathrobe with a gold K emblem on it (and nothing underneath! }-)

*ahem*

 

 

Funny Stuff

Molly catches Baloo trying to slip a candy cane under her pillow in the morning:

“Did the Peppermint Fairy forget somethin’?”

Baloo tries to stammer out an excuse but she cuts him off:

“There’s no Peppermint Fairy.  You lied to a little kid!”

“I’ll bet all that Santa Claus stuff you told me was baloney too.”

Wildcat:  “Oh no, Mollycat.  Santa Clause hates baloney.”

Cody: I just felt like slapping Molly in this scene. She acts so stupid! She acts like she’s never been lied to before. I do like Wildcat’s line, though.

 

Rebecca scurries off to do some last minute exchange and wakes up Baloo, including peeling his eyes open as she talks very rapidly---almost in one breath:

“Wake up, Baloo---it’s an emergency!  The store gave me the wrong present for Molly, can you believe it?  I asked for a nutcracker, not a vegetable-slicer! Now you tell Wildcat to load that shipment of soap on the plane and you take care of Molly till I’m back, okay?”

Cody: She said “nutcracker.” Hee, hee. Seriously, though, what parent would give their six-year-old a nutcracker? Whatever happened to dolls and toy cars and stuff?

Gidget:  Molly was bad this year.  Maybe a nutcracker is the equivalent to a lump of coal.

 

Baloo’s ‘thinking’ expression as he tries to remember why he tied a string on his finger (for several seconds) turns to horror as realization finally dawns.

 

Wildcat pushes the crates of soap flakes on a dolly along the wharf.  “Okay, Mr. Soap Flakes, you all ready to go on a biiiig trip…!” Then Baloo accidentally knocks him over in his rush to fly to ‘the North Pole’.

Louie’s jaded expression as he conducts Jingle Bells.

 

After two hours of singing Jingle Bells, Louie and his ‘elves’ run out of steam; cut to air pirates singing same song off-key around a ratty ‘Charlie Brown’ tree.

 

 

Karnage:

Karnage (irate): “Will you shut up with the jingle belling!  Visions of plunder were dancing through my head --- and you woke me up! What is your problem?”

 

Mad Dog: “We’re not getting’ nothin’ for Christmas.”

 

Dumptruck:  “Yeah, on account of we’ve been real bad.”

 

(when they consider being good for next year)

Karnage:  “What do you mean, ‘next year you’ll try to be good’? You fooligans, bad is good!  But, let us not be the hasty puddings.  You want Christmas presents?”

 

Pirates:  “Yeah.”

 

Karnage:  “Is it not the season of giving?”

 

Pirates:  “Yeah.”

 

Karnage:  “Then, my plundering pirates, we shall make people give presents to us!

 

Pirates:  Yeah! (run off cheering)

 

Karnage (pleased with himself):  “I am not usually so generous, but Christmas only comes once a year.”

Cody: Oh, yes. So generous, giving them permission to steal.
Gidget:  Is that anything like license to kill?  J  (James Bond ref.)

“Yes, Don Karnage, there is a Santa Claus!”

 

“Did you hear that, my merry marauders?  The biggest and best Christmas present --- we hit the jacketty-pot!”

“You will fill our stockings with our biggest and best present of all --- or we will blast you to tinsel!”

Cody: That’s a great Karnage line.

 

Wildcat
(tearfully):  “They took Molly to the North Pole to see Santa Claus and left me here! (shakes a snowglobe)  “How do you work this thing?”  And at the end, when he shakes the snowglobe, the snow falls.  He sees it through the glass, then all around him.  “Hey!  I finally made it work!”

Cody: You think he thinks he made it snow? (Wildcat, thinking) Hey, I can give up this mechanic-gig and hire myself out as a weatherman.

Gidget:  That’s like him answering the call of nature and thinking he made it rain.  :p


Rebecca to Baloo:  “What are you doing with my sudsy-wudsy soap flakes?”
Baloo:  “Well, we were gonna sprinkle ‘em outta the plane and---!”
Rebecca:  “WHAT?!”
Kit (coming to the rescue):  “Molly asked Santa snow for her mom---you know, for a Christmas present?  Papa Bear was just trying to make her Christmas wish come true.”
Rebecca (truly touched):  “Oh, Baloo!

Cody: Guess Becky does care about more than making a fast buck. J

Gidget:  She has her moments.  It also doesn’t hurt that Baloo uses Molly as an excuse for his misdeeds.  EG: Plunder and Lightning, Molly saves his bacon:

Molly:  Baloo threw out the mangoes to save me from the pirates.

Gidget:  Yeah, Molly.  Just you.  Baloo wasn’t trying to save himself, Kit or his ‘baby’, just you.
Gidget (as Baloo):  What’s with you, buddy?  Never seen a pair of mangoes before?  ;)

 


Rebecca radios Karnage:  “Now see here, Don Garbage!  It’s Christmas Eve!  This present is for my little girl!”  (ooh, that’s telling him  -- rolls eyes)
Karnage:  “Ah, she has a point on her head.  I would practically be stealing candy from a baby. (pause)  I love that!  Attack!” (his nose squeaks as he rubs it)

Gidget:  Confound that Vaseline!


          

Commentary

 

The lightning storm and dogfight sequence is great…action-packed and dazzling.  It’s funny when Baloo tries to sneak a candy cane under Molly’s pillow, only to be caught like a burglar.  When Molly throws her letter to Santa away, I was reminded of the old cartoon, The Night Before Christmas (about a smartass mouse named Albert who writes a nasty letter to Santa, telling him he’s a fraud, signing it ‘All of Us’ (meaning he and his smartass friends).  Santa thinks that means that entire town of Jenkinsville doesn’t believe in him, so everyone gets their letters to Santa back, marked ‘Return to Sender’.  Albert’s father takes him on a nocturnal tour of the town, showing him all the broken-hearted kids in hospitals and orphanages who won’t have a Christmas --- all because of his thoughtless actions.  One of the kids they see is a young boy standing at the top of a cliff with a drawing (no, don’t jump!).  Father Mouse tells Albert that the child, Jimmy, is the best artist in school and drew that picture when he thought Santa cared.  Not anymore.  Jimmy tosses the drawing off the cliff, where it floats down and gets swept away in the sea.  Molly’s gesture is almost identical to that scene.

Cody: I’m not much of a Christmas person (yeah, yeah. Just call me Scrooge) and I really hate those cutesy, Santa-promoting propaganda shows that they put on at that time of year.


Gidget:  Hey, you’re Scrooge and I’m the Grinch.  I love Halloween…why didn’t they make a Halloween episode?  Or Valentine’s Day?  I was always so disappointed when the Disney Afternoon just showed ‘Her Chance to Dream’ on V-day.  I love HCTD, but Rebecca’s mooning over the wrong guy!

 

I think this is one of Molly’s best episodes.   Before you Mollyphobes come after me brandishing torches and tweezers, let me explain.  It teeters dangerously close to cloying, but doesn’t quite go overboard with the schmaltz.  Come on, imagine all the saccharine slime Webby of Duck Tales would have spread all over this episode.   Molly is shown as a truly sweet-natured child in her desire to please her mother with a seemingly bizarre gift.   It’s a lovely gesture.  When Louie’s beard comes off, revealing the hoax, it’s bad enough.  But when those jerks all start laughing at this poor little kid whose world has just imploded (from her viewpoint) it’s positively heartbreaking.  I get so mad at them for it… they’re more thoughtless than cruel, but still… GRRRR!!!

Cody: Okay, okay. Webby would have made this ten times worse. You’re a lot more generous than I am, Gidge. I’d give it a 2, because it’s so Molly-centered. The only Molly-episode I really like is Molly Coddled. She’s cunning and never saccharine when dealing with Covie. I like Kit’s part in this one, though. That “nonononono” with the frantic waving, then smacking himself when Baloo offers to take Molly to the North Pole is great.

Kit: (thinking) Why do I put up with this moron?

Joanna:  He does comes in handy when you forget your beach umbrella.

Gidget:  And this is one the few episodes where most of the ‘Elite Eight’ is shown (I think the other one was A Wing and a Bear).  I love the look of wonder on their faces as they see the rare miracle of snowfall.   Sort of a Spielbergian moment (where everyone looks up at the sky, openmouthed and awed, like the kids in E.T., Hook and The Goonies and several others)

Know what I’d like to see?

Molly (indicating the snow):  “Merry Christmas, Mommy.”

Rebecca (unimpressed):  “Wow… snow.  Great.  Now where’s my real present?”

Kit to Baloo:  “Wait till Molly gets a load of that nutcracker.”


Baloo:  “I thought it was a vegetable slicer.”

Kit:  “Whatever.  Molly will just play with the box it came in, anyway.”

Wildcat (wistfully):  “Lucky.  I always wanted one of those.”

Kit:  “A nutcracker?”

Wildcat:  “No… a box.”

Cody:  Now that would be a fitting end! I like the way you think!

Gidget:  Hey, I’m more than just a pretty face, as Aunt Louise would say.  ;)


July 2001 (originally written)

December 2001 (Updated with Cody’s two cents)

 


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