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Western Animation / The Town Santa Forgot

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Looks like it's Santa who'd "better watch out", doesn't it?
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The Town Santa Forgot is an Emmy-nominated Christmas Special that started off as a poem written by Charmaine Severson, titled Jeremy Creek. The Animated Adaptation was produced by Hanna-Barbera and originally aired December 3, 1993, on NBC. Narrated by Dick Van Dyke, it has since been made available on VHS and been shown annually in Cartoon Network (before its Network Decay) and Boomerang's Christmas marathons.

The main character (and titular character of the original poem) is a Spoiled Brat by the name of Jeremy Creek, who always wants every toy he sees and is prone to throwing tantrums if he doesn't get it. Eventually, his parents get sick of it and tell him they're not buying him any more toys. Jeremy then writes a mile-length letter to Santa Claus, in which he lists every toy he can think of, and mails it in the middle of June. When Christmas Eve arrives, he goes up on his family's roof to watch for Santa, but to his dismay, the big guy passes him by without leaving anything.

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What Jeremy doesn't realize, though, is that when Santa received his letter, he assumed that, since no one kid could possibly want so much stuff, that Jeremy Creek was in fact the name of a place. And it was - to be more exact, it was the name of a swamp town that Santa had never before visited (hence the title). Thus, he had in fact brought the toys Jeremy wanted to the kids who live in the swamp town. When Jeremy finds out about this through a TV report on Christmas Day, he is at first outraged by this. But upon hearing how much the kids of the swamp town are willing to thank whoever wrote to Santa about them, it makes him feel better than any gift ever could. Following this, the now-nicer Jeremy shares his toys with the rest of the kids in his neighborhood and even joins Santa on his annual gift-giving journey every year (until he eventually outgrows his seat in the sleigh).

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Tropes present:

  • An Aesop: It's better to give than to receive.
  • Balloonacy: One of the toys Jeremy asks for is "a balloon with a chair that can rise in the air"
  • Batman Gambit: Santa reveals to Jeremy that he knew all along that he was the one that sent the letter and that he went to that city on purpose to teach him a lesson.
  • Free-Range Children: No adults are shown in the town of Jeremy Creek besides the news crew.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Santa assumes the name Jeremy Creek must refer to a place because certainly no kid could be that greedy. Subverted in that Santa knew all along.
  • Greed: Jeremy's character flaw, naturally. The kid practically had a store's worth of toys, and he still wasn't satisfied.
  • Humble Hero: Jeremy keeps quiet about being the one who brought toys to the town. Aside from humility, there's also the fact he did it by accident anyway.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Santa has this reaction when it's revealed that the town Jeremy Creek was not on his usual route, so he's been missing it every Christmas.
  • Narrator All Along: An older Jeremy is the narrator of the story.
  • No Indoor Voice: Jeremy's screaming can cause earthquakes and at one point woke up the entire neighborhood.
  • Pushover Parents: Jeremy's parents. They'd always cave in to his screaming and whining for toys, and basically seemed to let him walk all over them in general. Thankfully, they eventually grow sick of him by being such a brat and stop catering to him.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Jeremy goes from one of the most spoiled kids in all of media, to sharing all the toys with everyone.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Happens when Santa and his reindeer zip out of Jeremy Creek's neighborhood after not stopping at his house, accompanied by an Animesque shining sound.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The animated version of the story is shown as a story that an old man is telling his grandkids. It's revealed at the end that the grandfather is, in fact, Jeremy Creek himself.

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