|Episode of Hey Arnold!|
|Season 1, Episode 20|
|Air date: December 14, 1996|
|IMDb • TV.com|
Don Del Grande's
Arnold's Christmas is the first ever half hour episode and holiday special of the Hey Arnold! TV series.
This episode is also referred to as A Hey Arnold! Christmas.
Arnold attempts to locate Mai Hyunh through government records, but is rebuffed by the city archivist, Mr. Bailey. Eventually he and Gerald work out a deal; they do all Mr. Bailey's Christmas shopping and he will give him the information. They nearly complete the list, but fall short in getting a pair of Nancy Spumoni snow boots. Without the critical item he refuse to give the boys the location of Mai.
Meanwhile, Helga searches the city frantically for a perfect present for Arnold, but is unsuccessful due to his fixation on to complete Mr. Bailey's shopping list. Learning of the final item she rebukes his quest and faith in Christmas. However, when given a pair of the popular snow boots by her mother, she is able to get Mr. Bailey to search the records through an impassioned speech on Arnold needing a Christmas miracle.
On Christmas Day Arnold is down trodden over not getting Mai and her father back together. Mr. Hyunh is understanding, but depressed. At that point the door bell rings and Phil answers it, only to find Mai Hyunh. Mai comes in and is reunited with Mr, Hyunh. Far out of sight Helga wishes Arnold a Merry Christmas.
Reception to this episode was highly positive. It is often considered one of the most emotionally powerful episodes in the entire series, and remains a fan favorite over a decade after its debut. In 2010, Hometown Station AM placed this episode at #8 in its Top 15 Christmas Specials.
- This is the first episode to make mention of a real life event such as the Vietnam War.
- Though it was a Christmas Special, it originally aired 11 days before Christmas Day.
- The character of Mr. Bailey may possibly be a reference to George Bailey - the protagonist played by actor James Stewart in the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life. Stewart was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in this film, now turned into a holiday favorite.
- Unlike most other Christmas specials, especially non-cartoon ones, nobody in this episode sings a Christmas carol. Although Big Bob and Miriam sing half of the chorus of "Jingle Bells" and there are a few instrumental jazz versions of carols; including "Jingle Bells" over the closing credits.
- Grandma plays "Yankee Doodle Boy" on the piano.
- Although it is never explicitly stated in this episode, Mr. Hyunh is from Vietnam. Various clues give this away such as him mentioning the "war in the North". The Vietnam War started when the North section of Vietnam became communist and declared war on the South half, which was capitalist. The scene when Hyunh gives Mai to the American helicopter leaving the city mirrors the real life famous image of the helicopter taking refugees out of Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City) after the South was conquered by the North. Hyunh mentions he had to wait 20 years to come to America. It wasn't untill liberalization of the Vietnamese Communist Government in 1995 (20 years after the Fall of Saigon) that people could leave the country.
- Vietnamese translations: Mai says "dad" to get My. Hyunh's attention and he later says "My goodness, I missed you so much" the rest is inaudible.
- The inscription on the Federal Office of Information reads in Latin, "Cave, quivi sumus". In English, this loosely translate to "Watch out, we are bringing"
- According to Mr. Hyunh, candy is bad for his stomach.
- Martin Johanssen tells of how he was in the Vietnam War in the episode "Veterans Day".
- This is one of two episodes where Olga doesn't cry (the other being Helga on the Couch).
- Stock footage from "Snow" is used.
- Mr. Bailey would also appear in Hey Arnold!: The Movie.
- The animation in this episode is different from previous episodes.
- How did Mr. Bailey know Arnold and Gerald were 9 years old?
- After Oskar was caught having written his name on all the slips, there is no scene showing that they have rewritten them.
- Arnold and Gerald meet Helga in the electronics store but, Arnold and Gerald are trying to find snow boots, not electronics.
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