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Western Animation: The Christmas Tree
"The Christmas Tree" is a Christmas special that takes place in an orphanage run by the evil Mrs. Mavilda. She steals the orphanage's funds and tricks the mayor into thinking she's a good manager. The kids are so miserable they latch onto a pine tree as a mother figure. But their lives change with the arrival of a caring assistant.

The film can be seen in its entirety here.

This animated special provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: The time period is quite vague. They seem to be aiming for about the 1920s, but blatant anachronisms keep turning up, such as Mrs. Mavilda's henchman Mel watching a television set. Perhaps they were trying for a Retro Universe, but that's probably giving the creators too much credit.
  • Bears Are Bad News
  • Black and White Morality: "You always win when you are good."
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution One that Ms. Mavilda miraculously survives from.
  • Chewing the Scenery: When Mrs. Mavilda is firing Judy, she chews it so hard that the voice actress's mic almost blows out.
  • Childhood Memory Demolition Team: Mrs. Mavilda wants to destroy the tree just to show the kids who's boss.
  • Covers Always Lie: On the DVD cover, the tree is indoors.
  • Deus ex Machina: Santa striking Mavilda down with lightning and somehow having rescued Judy's daughter offscreen is about as blatant as you can get.
  • Disappeared Dad: Mr. Kindle has a job that requires him to spend months away from his family. He doesn't come back until Christmas Eve.
  • Dull Surprise: Barring the above scenery-chewage, the voice deliveries qualify as this across the board.
    • Also near the end when Pappy tells his parents that he lost Lily, they don't look shocked or sad.
  • Easily Forgiven: Not only is Mrs. Mavilda not sentenced for child abuse in the end, she retains a job at the orphanage (albeit as Judy's assistant)! All because of her lightning-induced Heel-Face Turn.
  • For the Evulz: Mrs. Mavilda is downright gleeful about losing the children's money gambling, to the point where it seems like she almost prefers it to winning.
  • The Gambling Addict: Mrs. Mavilda
  • The Good Guys Always Win: The aesop outright states this.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Mrs. Mavilda somehow survives the Bolt of Divine Retribution that strikes her before she can cut down the tree.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Mrs. Mavilda following her being struck down by the Bolt of Divine Retribution.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: The children at the orphanage collectively take care of a black dog named Licorice.
  • Large Ham: Mavilda is an especially noticeable one, given that she's also pretty much the only person in the world she inhabits that shows any emotion whatsoever.
  • Limited Animation
  • Noodle Incident: Mrs. Mavilda: (Talking about Judy) What if I make that good girl into a bad one? Yeah! I'll make her into a thief, just like I did with the girl that worked with me before!
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Mrs. Mavilda seems to trot out the same kids and outfits every year.
  • Only Six Faces: The only distinguishing marks for the children are their hair and clothes. All of them have the exact same face.
  • Orphanage of Fear: It's clearly some kind of con setup, with money only being spent on food and electricity while Mavilda pockets the difference.
  • Orphanage of Love: Once Judy gets promoted.
  • Shock and Awe: Weirdly, Santa. He decorates the tree and gives the children new clothes with a noticeable electrical crackle. In a more traditionally elemental and slightly more sinister vein, Mrs. Mavilda is conveniently struck by lightning just before he makes his appearance. You really don't want to get on this guy's naughty list.
  • Storybook Opening: A textbook (storybook?) example. The storybook doesn't have words or even word-shaped scribbles, just colored blocks.
  • Thief Bag: The mayor pays Mrs. Mavilda in bags of money.
  • Undisclosed Funds: The orphanage is paid in bags of money. Not any checks or statements or even an actual amount listed, it's just described as bags of money.
  • Vocal Evolution: The Mayor starts out with a very similar voice to Ray and the narrator, but then suddenly changes to having a much higher-pitched and more nasal voice for the film's climax.

A Wish for Wings that WorkChristmas SpecialThe Moo Family Holiday Hoedown
Christmas In TattertownWestern AnimationDestination Imagination

alternative title(s): The Christmas Tree
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