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Western Animation / The Spirit of Christmas

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South Park at its crudest...animation, that is. The comedy would get much cruder over the years.note 

The Spirit of Christmas is a series of two Christmas shorts created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The two shorts are entitled Jesus vs. Frosty and Jesus vs. Santa, which were released in 1992 and 1995 respectively. The [in]famous animated series South Park spawned from these shorts.

In Jesus vs. Frosty, four boys who vaguely resemble the South Park main characters build a snowman, which comes to life when they put a hat on its head; unfortunately, it's Ax-Crazy, grows tentacles and kills proto-Cartman and proto-Kenny. The remaining two decide to ask Jesus (depicted as a baby with an adult Jesus' head) for help; he throws his halo like a boomerang at the snowman and knocks its hat off, rendering it lifeless.

In Jesus vs. Santa, the style is much closer to South Park, with the boys all having their eventual names and looking like themselves. Here, an adult Jesus descends from the sky and asks they to take him to Santa Claus; sure enough, the local Mall Santa is the real thing, and the pair begin to fight about whether the true meaning of Christmas is religion or giving. Ultimately, the boys get advice from Brian Boitano and help the two reconcile.


The shorts can be seen here and here; the latter can also be seen on the South Park The Hits: Volume 1 DVD, and, as a Mythology Gag, was featured in the plot of the episode "A Very Crappy Christmas." (Jesus vs. Frosty was briefly alluded to in "Simpsons Did It Already.")

Jesus vs. Frosty (1992):

  • Bearded Baby: Baby Jesus just has adult Jesus' bearded head on a baby body.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: A lot of the short's elements are dramatically different from how the show is nowadays.
    • Stan mentions "his sister in Minnesota", implying that Shelley didn't live with him.
    • Cartman has Kenny's name.
    • The actual Kenny is The Nameless in this short, and audibly speaks in an unmuffled voice despite still wearing his orange parka here. Both boys are portrayed as the victim of the They Killed Kenny Again Running Gag instead of just Kenny.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Cartman, Kenny, and Stan's character designs look the same as today (albeit with different colors), but Kyle's is completely indistinguishable; he's shown wearing a green jacket and a yellow cap, rather than his modern day orange jacket and green ushanka.
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  • No Name Given: All of the boys except proto-Cartman, who's named "Kenny".
  • Snowlems: The snowman that the boys build comes to life as an evil killer who has tentacles.
  • Spoof Aesop: Christmas is about presents. Nothing else in the short even builds up to this.

Jesus vs. Santa (1995)

  • An Aesop: Brian Boitano reminds the boys that Christmas is the one time of year when everyone tries to get along and be good to each other.
  • Death Glare: Jesus when Stan and Kyle start rooting for Santa.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Wendy makes a cameo as a nameless girl sitting on Santa's lap.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The kids are surprised to see that Jesus is in the town of South Park. In the actual series, Jesus lives in South Park and everybody seems not to see this as particularly interesting.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: The boys' devotion to Brian Boitano, who randomly appears when they mention him.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    Stan: It doesn't matter if you're Christian, or Jewish, or atheist, or Hindu. Christmas is still about one very important thing.
    Cartman: Yeah, ham!
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The boys when Jesus first appears before them.
    • Kenny just before he gets decapitated.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Cartman's Establishing Character Moment is mocking Kyle for being Jewish.
  • Off with His Head!: Kenny is killed when a stray blast from Santa Claus ends up accidentally decapitating him.
  • Skewed Priorities: As far as the boys are concerned, meeting Jesus Christ and Santa Claus is nothing compared to meeting the Brian Boitano.
  • Spoof Aesop: According to Stan, Christmas is about one very important thing: presents.
  • What Would Brian Boitano Do?: The boys ask themselves this, and Boitano appears to break up the fight between Jesus and Santa.
  • You Are Fat: Cartman's weight is repeatedly mocked, but this is the crowner:
    Kyle: You're such a fat fuck, Cartman, that when you walk down the street, people go, "GODDAMMIT, THAT KID'S A BIG, FAT FUCK!" Trivia