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Western Animation / The Night B4 Christmas

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The Night B4 Christmas is a 2003 animated Christmas Special about a black elf named Elvin who gets fired by Santa after his third day of work, and decides to go to Los Angeles to become a rapper.

The special was poorly received, and rarely (if ever) airs on television, though it aired a few times on Cartoon Network. However, it has been uploaded to YouTube. You can watch it here. The Annotated Series riffed through the whole special, which made it one of its Christmas specials.

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The Night B4 Christmas includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Chekhov's Gun: The "waffles and loaf" that Mr. Saul is shown enjoying is later used as a distraction, allowing Elvin and his friends to escape to the North Pole.
  • Funny Animal: Pup Daddy and Jel-O are anthropomorphic dogs who also happen to be a couple.
  • Furry Confusion: Pup Daddy and Jel-O are anthropomorphic dogs while Mr. Saul's pit bulls are regular dogs.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Evilina and her dad, Mr. Saul, each have one —
    • Mr. Saul does the classic "villain gets the present they never got as a kid and reforms" scenario seen in countless other specials.
    • Evilina's makes much less sense. She just suddenly reforms upon entering Santa's workshop, and everyone just seems to forget that she'd been a spoiled brat literally the entire special. She literally just switches inexplicably from bad to good, without even so much as an apology, and the other characters never bring up her spoiled nature again.
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  • Shout-Out:
    • Elvin's stage name is Slim Shorty.
    • Pup Daddy is a reference to Puff Daddy (aka (P.) Diddy), though the fact that he is an anthropomorphic rapping dog is likely also one to Snoop Dogg. His girlfriend is also named Jello, a likely reference to J. Lo (aka Jennifer Lopez).
    • The record executive's name is Mephistophus Beezelbarabacus Saul (A Contract Demon, another name for the Devil and a semi-mythical king of Judea who supposedly forced demons to build the temple). His modus operandi involves ironclad contracts that only sound good if you don't read them.
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  • Soap Opera Disease: Santa and everyone else at the North Pole comes down with some sort of illness which leaves them bedridden, forcing Santa to cancel Christmas. Everyone gets better when Evilina uses some herbs to create a cure-all serum used by her deceased mother.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening scene shows the characters in Santa's sleigh as he delivers presents, confirming that Christmas will indeed be saved. Evilina is shown in the sleigh, too, spoiling her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Stock Footage: The special re-uses animation a lot, especially in the music video segments. Their two favorites seem to be the gnome working the turntable and Elven pulling himself upward.
  • Trouser Space: Jell-O states that she hid the waffles and (meat)loaf in her pants.
  • Widely-Spaced Jail Bars: The jail cell the music group were placed in is at least wide enough for Elvin to fit through, though he never gets himself out this way.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "B4" instead of "Before."

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