Woodland Critter Christmas
"Woodland Critter Christmas" is episode 125 of the Comedy Central series South Park. It originally aired on December 15, 2004. It was the last episode of the series to have a Christmas theme for ten years until 2014's "#HappyHolograms".
|"Woodland Critter Christmas"|
|South Park episode|
|Episode no.||Season 8|
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Written by||Trey Parker|
|Original air date||December 15, 2004|
Dante Alexander, Dakota Sky and Spencer Lacey Ganus as the mountain lion cubs
In the episode, Stan gets tricked by a group of satanic woodland creatures into killing a mountain lion to allow them a safe summoning of the Anti-Christ.
This episode, like many routine Christmas specials, has an anapestic rhyming narration akin to a storybook. It begins in the forest, where Stan discovers a group of talking animals building a Christmas tree. They convince a surprised but apathetic Stan to help make a star for it, after which he goes home. That night, they wake him in his room and explain that one of the animals, a porcupine named Porcupiney, is pregnant with the creatures' savior. Though drowsy and annoyed, Stan agrees to help them build a manger for the baby. As he finishes, however, another problem appears in the form of a mountain lion, which apparently eats every pregnant Critter to prevent their Savior's birth. Exasperated, Stan goes to its mountain home and manages to kill the beast, but is dismayed to find that the lion was the mother of three talking, now-orphaned cubs. He is further horrified to learn that the Woodland Critters are actually Satan worshipers and that their "Savior" is the Antichrist. They celebrate Stan's victory by sacrificing Rabbitty the Rabbit, devouring his flesh and having an orgy in his blood.
Stan tries to ignore the impending apocalypse, only to be wheedled by the narrator into trying to stop it. Unfortunately, the Critters are ale to rebuff him with their Satanic powers, which will apparently grow stronger as the Antichrist's birth approaches. Since the Critters claim that only a mountain lion can prevent that, Stan (heeding the narrator's instructions) returns to the mountain to enlist the orphaned cubs. Since they're too small to take on the Critters, however, they can only stop the birth by learning to perform abortions, which the narrator forces Stan to do over his objections. Meanwhile, the Critters are searching for an unbaptized human host for the Antichrist to possess once it's born. They discover Kyle, who is Jewish, and kidnap him.
Stan and the cubs return to the forest in time to discover that the Antichrist (a hairless, jabbering little creature) has already been born, with Kyle tied to a Satanic altar to receive it. Santa Claus arrives and, when he learns what is happening, pulls out a shotgun and slaughters all the Critters. He explains that the Antichrist will die without a human host to inhabit, but Kyle, now free from the altar, suddenly decides to allow the Antichrist to possess him. He announces that he will conquer the world in the name of the Jews, allowing them to finally take control of Christmas once and for all.
The scene suddenly cuts to Mr. Garrison's fourth-grade class, revealing that the entire episode up until now has been a story read by Eric Cartman for a school assignment. Kyle objects to its obvious anti-Semitism, and Mr. Garrison, fearing complaints from Kyle's mother, forces Cartman to stop. However, the rest of the class wants to hear the ending and plead with Kyle to let Cartman continue. Kyle objects that the ending is obvious---Santa Claus will simply kill his story counterpart and save Christmas. Cartman says that that is not the ending, and as the other kids persist, Kyle angrily allows Cartman to continue.
Back in the story, Kyle begins to react with horror at how evil the Antichrist feels and begs the others to exorcise it before it takes control. Thinking quickly, Stan has the lion cubs perform an abortion on Kyle's anus, removing the Antichrist, which Santa unceremoniously smashes with a sledgehammer. Santa gives Stan a special Christmas wish, which he uses to resurrect the mother mountain lion. Everyone then goes home to a happy Christmas. The narrator (i.e., Cartman) concludes, "they all lived happily ever after...except for Kyle, who died of AIDS two weeks later," with an image of a sickly Kyle dying in the hospital. The episode ends with "The End" while Kyle can be heard shouting "Goddamn it, Cartman!" in the background.
According to this episode's mini-commentary, this episode was one of the most difficult to make. After making the feature film Team America: World Police and the 13 other episodes in South Park's 8th season all in 2004 (a year which Trey Parker and Matt Stone describe as "The Year from Hell"), Parker, Stone and the show's other writers were completely drained of ideas. The staff tried to come up with an idea, but nothing came up through Thursday and Friday which is considered a huge drawback with South Park's rushed production. On Saturday afternoon the staff decided to just do the idea of parodying John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together holiday special, which had been in gestation for some time. The critters participate in Satanic behavior like the possessed crew of the 1997 movie Event Horizon, which also inspired Stone and Parker to create the characters. With some doubt, the show developed into an episode involving a rhyming narration and ending with it being a story by Cartman. The episode was also in the style of Christmas stories such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
"Woodland Critter Christmas", along with the thirteen other episodes from South Park's 8th season, were released on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on August 29, 2006. The sets included brief audio commentaries by Parker and Stone for each episode. IGN gave the season a 9/10.
On November 13, 2007, the episode was released on the compilation DVD Christmas Time In South Park. The episode is also included as a bonus on the DVD for the standalone film Imaginationland: The Movie.
- TV.com. "South Park: Woodland Critter Christmas". TV.com.
- Parker, Trey (March 2006). South Park: The Complete Eighth Season: "Woodland Critter Christmas" (Audio commentary)
|url=(help) (DVD Disc). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- Schorn, Peter (August 26, 2006). "South Park: The Complete Eighth Season DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- Monfette, Travis Fickett and Christopher (26 February 2008). "South Park: Imaginationland (Uncensored Director's Cut) DVD Review".