X-Men had a Christmas Special: It was Sappy

Chris Piers   December 22, 2015   Comments Off on X-Men had a Christmas Special: It was Sappy

Have Yourself a Morlock Little X-Mas

It was late December, 1995 and Fox Kids decided that for the 62nd episode of X-Men, it was due for a Christmas episode. So one was thrown together and while the characters don’t really behave in believable ways, overall it’s a sweet feel-good story. There’s no supervillains to fight. There’s not really any conflict between the X-Men. If anything, it’s too saccharine sweet. It isn’t as bad as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Christmas special or the Robocop episode, but it is pretty ridiculous like the Rambo Christmas episode. Let’s dive in.

X-Men decorate a tree

It begins in the X-Mansion with several X-Men decorating an absolutely enormous tree that I can’t figure out how they got inside. Jubilee, Rogue and Cyclops are singing Christmas carols but Jubilee thinks Cyclops is singing terribly. I don’t know why she’d care. I’ve never judged a friend or family member at a party for singing badly. But Jubilee is young, dumb, and full of… firecrackers. Ah, the ’90s. When Avi Arad produced all the Marvel entertainment. You kids don’t know how good we have it now with Kevin Feige until you’ve witnessed the Generation X and Nick Fury TV movies.

Wolverine doesn't like Christmas

Jubilee asks Wolverine to take Cyclops’ place singing. Which is absolutely ridiculous since everything out of Wolverine’s mouth is an angry growl. But hey, she’s trying to get him in the Christmas spirit. Wolverine just about bites her head off saying he doesn’t want to partake in any of that nonsense. Now, he never seems to have a reason to be extra upset or mad at Christmas, but he constantly says he doesn’t want to join in. I think he’s just acting immature because if that’s how he really felt he could read a book in his room or ride his motorcycle or fight some ninjas. Instead he’s sitting in the room, just waiting to be begged to join in.

Rogue and Jubilee put a star atop the tree

Rogue tells Jubilee not to worry about grouchy old Wolverine and flies her up to place the star atop the tree. Delightful.

Gambit cooks Christmas dinner

Meanwhile, in a pointless side plot seemingly designed only to keep the rest of the voice actors busy, Jean Grey and Gambit are cooking Christmas dinner and arguing. Gambit says the food (no idea what it is) needs more spice. Because he’s Cajun. How Cajun? Well, on top of his ridiculous accent he’s opted to wear a sassy little scarf. Wait. That may not be Cajun. That might just be weird. Gambit is weird.

Jean Grey rules the kitchen

When Gambit says the food needs more spice, Jean FLIPS OUT. She begins talking in a regal voice and yelling at Gambit about invading her kitchen. She’s seriously only the tiniest sliver toned down from going Dark Phoenix. Over adding some spice. She declares that it’s HER kitchen. Very empowering.

Gambit can't lift the pepper

Then, when Gambit still wants to add some actual flavor instead of letting Jean crank out some bland, WASP-y mayonnaise of a dinner, Jean uses her telekenetic powers to prevent Gambit from lifting the pepper.

Gambit falls in the kitchen

Then Jean lets go and Gambit falls backwards, knocking the soup (?) all over his head. I assume he’s dealing with third-degree burns from this. Don’t worry, Jean. Your lack-of-flavor dinner is completely intact and your teammate is in the hospital. Christmas win!

Beast creates cranberry sauce in his lab

While all that’s going on, Beast is doing his normal routine of working in a lab upside down. He put on a lab smock but gravity made it fall down. Beast is the smart one of the team, by the way.

Storm and Professor X think about Christmas

Professor X and Storm spy on everyone on monitors and talk about how happy they all seem. I gotta say, they probably wouldn’t be that happy if they knew you guys were watching them all the time. That’s just creepy. Also creepy? Storm’s outfit. Suddenly there’s the sound of an explosion and warning bells begin going off.

Rogue and Cyclops break a door

Rogue punches down a door in the mansion to investigate. Who gets to fix that? Because it was completely unnecessary. You see…

Beast made a mess in his lab

The explosion was Beast’s lab experiment. And while it looks like he’s a bloody mess, it’s actually what he was mixing that exploded. And what was he mixing. Cranberry sauce. I don’t know what Beast was adding to that sauce, but I think the X-Men lucked out that it exploded because if it was that volatile, there’s no way it’s good for your stomach, mutant powers or not.

Wolverine is a grouch

Wolverine acts somewhat sensibly, saying they’re all acting like idiots and he’s going out to be by himself. But then Jubilee begs him to do some Christmas Eve shopping with him. What? Christmas Eve?! That’s way too late, Jubilee. Hope the X-Men enjoy their wonderful gifts of gas station beef jerky and losing lotto tickets.

Jubilee shops in the mall

Cut to the mall and apparently Wolverine went shopping even though he says he hates it. He’s just a complaining machine. Jubilee is having a great time and Storm is… there. Wolverine says he can’t wait to get out of there. So they do!

Jubilee and Wolverine ice skate

And then Jubilee skates with Wolverine at Rockefeller Plaza even though Wolverine says he hates it. He’s so over-the-top dickish this episode that it cracks me up. It’s like taking Grouchy Smurf out on the town. Every third word is “hate.”

An ambulance flies above skaters' heads

Because the X-Men are incapable of having a normal day, an ambulance then crashes off the road and is about to flatten the ice skaters. Storm calls on the wind (in her uniquely pretentious way where she announces it so loud there are people in Jersey that hear about it) and she blows the ambulance out of the way.

Morlocks break into an ambulance

Two weirdos jump out of the ambulance, while sirens approach. These are Morlocks, mutants who look weird so they can’t fit in in society. So they live in the sewer instead of, say, a small town. Ape has the power to make his hands larger so he rips the door off the ambulance. Keep in mind, they were driving it so it’s probably not locked.

Morlocks steal medical supplies

Analee grabs a bunch of medical supplies (helpfully labeled as such with big red crosses) and Jubilee asks what’s wrong. She wants to help because she’s a good person.

Leech is kicked out of a hospital

Analee explains that one of the Morlock kids, Leech, is sick. They went to the hospital but the people there were super racist and literally refused him service. It’s… hard to believe. I mean, it’s not like doctors in the real world help people with strange skin conditions or growth deformities. Oh wait. Yes they do.

Storm thinks she should help the Morlocks

Storm says she believes the Morlocks and they’ll go help. Which is not only the right thing to do but Storm is actually supposed to be the leader of the Morlocks. She just doesn’t, you know, live with them or bother to check in on what they need. It’d be like if you said you were King of the Homeless but never bothered to volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Storm walks through the sewers

Ape and Analee lead the three X-Men into the sewers. They literally have to walk through piss and shit. No wonder Leech is sick. The only impressive thing is that all of the Morlocks aren’t suffering from dysentery. Oh, and don’t worry, Jubilee is still carrying her packages around.

Storm and Callisto check on Leech

Callisto, the leader in all but name, grouchily shows the X-Men to Leech. He’s sick or injured in a way that is not in any way clear. He is just lying down in pain. The writers can’t bother to define what’s wrong with him.

The Morlocks have a bad Christmas tree

Jubilee takes a look at their Christmas tree. It’s worse than Charlie Brown’s. You’d think they could do better than a single shattered ornament but I guess not. These people are living the absolute worst existence possible. Why couldn’t they live at the mansion? In the comics, the Morlocks were fairly radicalized and angry at people so they didn’t believe in Xavier’s peaceful coexistence mission but none of that gets mentioned on the cartoon. They just look like dirty people that love living in filth.

Wolverine checks on Leech

Storm orders Wolverine to take Leech back to the mansion where Beast can help him with medical care. Wolverine takes one look at the kid and declares it’s too late for that and that moving him would be fatal. What happened to this kid?!

Jubilee comforts a Morlock

Another Morlock kid is scared at Leech being sick so Jubilee comforts her. This is Mariana whose scaly skin and big eyes and blond hair seem to be inspired by the Marvel character Marrina Smallwood. Marrina was a character in the X-Men universe, but she wasn’t a mutant. She was actually an alien who joined Alpha Flight, Canada’s superhero team. She also married Namor, the Submariner. But then she went crazy and killed a lot of people and got killed herself.

The Morlocks look like weirdos

Mariana isn’t the only Morlock concerned. Also worried about Leech are Hillbilly Zombie, Analee, Gum Face and ’80s Pirate.

Wolverine readies a blood transfusion

Wolverine says he had medical training in the Army and grabs an enema kit. Oh, I’m sorry, apparently it’s a blood transfusion kit. Storm says she needs him to try to do a transfusion but Wolverine angrily says it won’t work. And in a way, he’s probably right. First of all, they’re counting on the healing power of Wolverine’s blood to heal Leech. But Leech’s power is to cancel out any other mutant powers near him. And if they have different blood types, I guess they’d both die.

Jubilee and a Morlock girl look at the Christmas tree

Jubilee tries to shield the kid from all the shouting while Storm orders him to at least try and she’ll contact the mansion to have Rogue fly Beast to them. It’s a pretty good plan. Too bad they don’t have a teleporter on the team.

Wolverine gives Leech his blood

Ape turns into a table so that Wolverine can lay beside Leech and give him some blood. Slug Butt, ’80s Pirate, Callisto, Gum Face and Strong Hobo watch on, intently.

Beast checks on Leech

Then Beast shows up and declares Leech is fine. So I guess Wolverine’s blood worked, and quickly. I bet Beast’s fur must smell pretty bad after he got out of the sewer.

Storm grants leadership to Callisto

Storm demands Callisto hand her the leadership stick, which looks like some umbrellas glued together. She has Callisto kneel, stand right back up and then hands the stick back to her. The animation is literally reversed. Storm declares Callisto is the leader. Maybe you shouldn’t have taken the job in the first place, Storm.

Beast holds Leech

Everyone’s happy. Beast picks up Leech.

Wolverine strokes Leech's face

Then Wolverine takes a minute to almost smile and gently stroke Leech’s face.

Leech opens Christmas gifts

Storm declares they should all have dinner. Then Jubilee says most of the presents she got are food so they can share that. But when Leech and Mariana open the presents, they’re playing with toys. Did Jubilee get toys for her fellow X-Men? That’s… some poor present buying.

Jubilee hugs Wolverine

Jubilee hugs Wolverine and he kinda accepts it. What a great Christmas.

Gambit and Jean Grey fight over the kitchen

It’s not as great a Christmas back at the mansion. Jean and Gambit are still fighting over the food and Cyclops just sadly and quietly stands in the corner.

Professor X gets a Christmas phone call

Professor X gets a phone call from Jubilee and tells her that while he’ll miss them tonight, he thinks them hanging with the Morlocks is a really nice thing. And that’s it. Kid was sick, blood transfusion worked and everyone got happy. A real Christmas miracle.