This is such a wonderfully creepy episode of television.
Starting with a robotic snowman who narrates the tale: Mr. Sludgy!
|Mr. Sludgy: because only snowmen narrate the Christmas specials!|
It all starts where the technically jobless, penny-less Zim and the amazing GIR are begging for money. Since it's December, Zim and GIR are not really gaining any profit due to all the Santa Claus' out on the street and the general influence St. Nick has over the FILTHY HUMANS!!!
It is then that our green friend hatches a plan to become Santa and use his new authority to take over Earth (which of course has been his goal to begin with). The only person who doesn't believe that Zim is Santa is his rival Dib who thwarts all of Zim's plans, and is the only one who sees through him.
Dressed as Santa, Zim eventually gets the humans to gather in a Colosseum, where they worship him, and he attempts to have them build him (Zim) a weapon. When Dib attempts to expose him, Zim has his followers throw Dib in Jingle Jail for his attempt to hurt Santa.
The human's desire to follow Santa, and fall into their...well, commercialism leads to complete dedication:
Unbeknownst to Zim, his Santa suit is slowly but surely making him happy. The dialogue he has within his head is one of my favorites. Zim goes through all the "Christmas-Heart-Growth" tropes and "discovers the meaning of Christmas."
Instead, the Santa suit ends up sky-rocketing into space and Zim tries to cover it up saying that Dib killed Santa, setting Santa's followers upon Dib's trail, while Zim and GIR look on in their "clever" Easter Platypus costumes.
The episode--and sadly, the series--ends with Sludgy telling the children that Santa in fact did not perish, but comes back every Christmas and tries to destroy the Earth.
What I love about this episode is that there's not really a resolution. The show is random but still clever. There is a pretty clear critique on consumerism and how quickly people will convert to a mob mentality. Also, Dib and Zim actually don't have a Christmas truce between them. Zim just uses the holiday as a way to further his own plans, and Dib saves the day.
It wouldn't have been true to the show and their characters--or the spirit of the show--to be any different.
Also, this is one of my favorite cartoons of all time! And G.I.R. is amazing! So...I kind had of to pick it.