Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas is an Emmy-nominated Christmas television special, featuring characters from the animated television series Inspector Gadget. The special was produced by DiC Entertainment and LBS Communications, Inc., and aired on the ABC network in 1992. A VHS version of the show was released in 2001, but is currently out of production. A DVD version was released in 2004 and is currently available at several online retailers.
The special opens up at the North Pole, where Santa Claus and his elves are working on all the toys that Santa’s gotta deliver. But Dr. Claw has managed to sneak into the factory and is disguising himself as Santa. He’s also managed to install mind-control devices on all the elves, which he then activates, and then captures Santa. Once that’s done, Dr. Claw takes a seat where Santa was and orders the elves to make bad toys, during which he taunts that not even Inspector Gadget will stop him this time.
Meanwhile, Gadget has been going around with his Christmas doings, completely oblivious to the MAD agents attempting to do him in. Later, he visits the local mall Santa, actually Chief Quimby in disguise. The Chief gives Gadget a self-destructing note on what’s going on (and of course, Gadget leaves it to blow up in the Chief’s face).
Gadget, along with Penny and Brain, heads off to the North Pole, taking with him the assumption that Dr. Claw hasn’t made his move yet. Upon entering the factory, Gadget firmly believes there’s nothing wrong. He doesn’t even get suspicious when he’s staring the Santa-disguised Dr. Claw right in the face. Penny and Brain, on the other hand, aren’t so easily fooled. But when they try to tell Gadget about it, he’s sideswiped by that claw-thingy from earlier and thrown onto the conveyor belt with all the weird toys the elves are manufacturing. When this doesn’t finish him off (thanks to Brain’s meddling), Claw instead has Gadget dropped down the manhole he dropped Santa through at the beginning. There, Gadget comes upon the real Santa Claus, but arrests him, thinking this Santa is the fraud.
Brain, on the other hand, was watching all those events there, and he reports them to Penny, whom the elves have trapped in a jack-in-the-box (she manages to escape that in a rather obvious fashion). Brain, meanwhile, manages to snatch the keys away from Dr. Claw, who decided to put them on Mad Cat’s fake reindeer antlers, as the villain broods over the fact that Santa never brought him a sled when he was a kid. When Brain opens the cell where Gadget has been interrogating “the fake Santa” using lines of The Night Before Christmas for reference, the Inspector mistakes Brain for “the fake Santa’s” accomplice, lassos the both of them and heads off to tell “the real Santa” on them.
As Gadget helps “Santa” load the broken toys onto the sleigh, Brain springs himself and the real Santa loose, and then follows Penny to the control room that Dr. Claw has left vacant. Penny immediately deactivates the mind control on the elves, but Dr. Claw quickly gets into his jet and prepares to take off with the sleigh full of broken toys. But the real Santa shows up with half of his reindeer and foils him by unhooking the sleigh from the MAD Jet. Then for good measure, Gadget, still not realizing he’s been hanging out with his nemesis the whole time, ties the hook to a candy cane prop. Then the reindeer break up the ice behind the the MAD Jet, sending him drifting into the distance. After the Chief makes his obligatory appearance to congratulate Gadget and company for saving Christmas, Santa gives them a ride in his sleigh.
Erica Horn – Penny
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