|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.|
A Story of Joyful Giving
October 6, 2009
Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving is the thirty-sixth episode of VeggieTales and the third Christmas special of the series.
Everyone at town center is very happy Christmas is coming, especially Junior after getting two gold coins from his grandparents. Just then, Laura's dad shows up with his delivery truck breaking down, and he persuades Gus to repair it. However, because of his grouchy ways, Gus doesn't help out and closes his auto shop. Both Laura and her Dad are saddened about this, because that means he'll lose his job and they won't get a Christmas tree. Junior suggests that Santa can help out, but Bob doesn't really think that's going to work. He then decides to tell everyone at the center about the story of Nicholas, the origins of Santa.
The story starts at ancient Greece (which is now part of Turkey) and focuses on a small boy, who lives with happy and caring parents. However, he didn't understand why his parents like to help a lot towards others. Later that afternoon, Nicholas was fishing by the pier with his father when they spotted Gustav. The grouchy gourd fired one of his employees and the employee's daughters were worried about what happened. Nicholas' father gave the fired employee free fish, much to Gustav's appalled. Later that night, Nicholas' parents had a call from someone who was sick and needed help. Nicholas was worried that something might happen to them,which his predictions were right when he heard his parents died from the illness. Nicholas was left with wealth, but with no family with the exception of his servant Octavius.
Gustav came back and asks Nicholas on how he'll run the fishing business because his dad is gone. He decided to do the same thing by giving fish away, but one of Gustav's henchmen stole the basket of fish away from Nicholas and everyone was asking for some. With no other way, he runs away to a ship and sailed off to escape the calamity. Nicholas decided to head to Bethlehem, so he can find out about what his parents were talking about helping others. He eventually figured out when he spotted the church where Jesus was born, and a nun told about the goodness about helping others and realized that’s the reason his mom and dad gave too.
Nicky came back to his hometown afterwards, only to find it's been run by Gustav who is now mayor.He later told Octavius about what happened, and the servant knows about it as well. They decided that to help others is to sneak the fish inside their clothing. As they're doing so, the daughters of Gustav's former employee were caught by giving toys away. As punishment, Gustav sentenced them that they'll have to pay three gold coins, or else they'll be thrown in jail.
Nicholas decides to help the daughters out, but he needs to be very stealthy as the Roman guards might spot him. So both he and Octavius decided to be in disguise, and it worked for the most part until Larry makes it worse by making the story have snow. Because of the snow, Gustav and his army were able to track down both Nicky and Octavius. Things get worse as the pepper and gourd bumped into Bob and Larry, and they get stuck in a cart with sheep being dragged. Just as they're about to fall off the cliffs, the sheep decided to pull the cart with our heroes, and managed to safety cross. The old folk thanked Nicholas (who is still in disguise) for helping out his daughters, and the story ends with Nicky and Octavius hopping giving themselves nicknames.
Back in the town square, Junior was thinking how he can help his friend Laura. He then had an idea, and asked Jimmy, who then told Larry to see if they can help. The small asparagus went to Gus' shop, and gave him his gold coin to help pay the repairs for the truck to get fixed. He resisted as he needs more than just one coin, but soon the other town folks helped out thanks to Bob. Gus asked to Junior why he's doing such generous things, and his response is that we need to help others. Meanwhile, Larry and Jimmy decided to get a Christmas tree for the Carrot family, and had to do it in Santa's way. The Carrot family were surprised that they got the truck fixed, as well having a Christmas tree. The Veggies felt happy to help out.
- Bob the Tomato
- Larry the Cucumber
- Junior Asparagus
- Petunia Rhubarb
- Pa Grape (Captain Pa)
- Laura Carrot
- Mom Carrot
- Dad Carrot
- Grandpa George
- Mr. Lunt (Octavius)
- Annie Onion
- Gustav (Tow Truck Person, Gus)
- Nicky the Pepper
- Epiphanus and Tona
- Archibald Asparagus
- Jimmy Gourd
- The French Peas (Roman Guards)
- Hope It's Gonna Be Christmas
- I Can Love
- Helpful Humanitarian Songs with Mr. Lunt: Donuts for Benny
- Nicholas, Nicholas
- Helpful Young Saint Nicholas
- Up on the Rooftop
- I Can Love (Reprise)
- Give This Christmas Away
- Main article: Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving/Home Video
- Christmas is about giving, not receiving. (This moral is also used in "The Toy That Saved Christmas")
- The Sea of Galilee is Israel's largest freshwater lake.
- According to Brian Roberts, this was the hardest episode to work on as there's hardly any information on the real St. Nicholas, as Bob points out at the end of the show.
- This is the first episode for several things:
- This is the last episode for a few things:
- The last time Petunia has permanent visible teeth until VeggieTales in the House, although they would appear in the title card and make a small cameo appearance (probably by mistake) in Where Have All the Staplers Gone?.
- The last episode of VeggieTales of the 2000s.
- The last episode of VeggieTales to not feature the VeggieTales Theme Song.
- The last episode to have Robert G. Lee as a writer.
- Some of the nicknames Octavius tried to give to Nicky are Halibut, Nickerdoodle, Nickelback, Nickybopper, and Nick Junior. (See Real-World References)
- There were a few differences between pre-production and the final version:
- The show's original title was "Saint Nicholas: A Veggie Christmas Story."
- Originally, Nicholas ran away because everything at his town reminded him too much of his parents.
- Laura's dad was just going to lose his job, and the other decided to help them by getting gifts. Brian changed it because he wanted to show Christmas is more than just gifts. Also, because of this, he decided to bring Gustav into the town segments to give him some sort of redemption from the story.
- Gustav's rant about dropping fish was longer.
- After the story ended, Bob told everyone about how the legend of Nicholas passed on.
- Extra dialogue from George was cut.
- The small girl pea who ran away was voiced by Sarah Vorhees.
- In reality, Saint Nicholas saved three girls from being forced into prostitution, which is why he gave each of them sacks of gold coins on each night. This element of the real Saint Nicholas did carry onto this VeggieTales film, but was retooled to make it family-friendly.
- Like most of the episodes after The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's, the episode is made in 16:9 (widescreen), but is formatted into 4:3 (fullscreen) on the DVD release. This was fixed in the Netflix version.
- The scissors are cutting the fabric, despite the fact that it's not closed in.
- Despite the guards not spotting Nicky the first time, a wanted poster of him was made.
- When the father tells Nicky the good news, Gustav is further away from the fish market. But in the next shot, he is closer.
- As stated in the commentary, there's no explanation why the stocking is by the fireplace, or why nothing's sticking it.
- The DVD credits oddly made it onto the Russian voiceover, even though no DVD releases are known to exist.
- Without a canopy to cover the bed, a pickup truck wouldn't be the best choice for a delivery vehicle as the packages would fall out if the truck made a sharp turn or went up a steep hill.
- The back cover states Larry suggests on writing a letter to Santa for Laura's help. However, it was Junior who suggested it.
- Nicky's pupils are slightly off in the wanted poster.
- When the cart was going uphill, Larry's toga vanished. But came back in the next scene when Larry asked Nicky about his Christmas list. Also, Octavius' hair is missing.
- Because the interior was reused from St. Bart's, the entrance has the London background.
- Bob says "You roll your dice, you move your mice. Nobody gets hurt." This was added by Brian Roberts.
- This is the second time Mr. Lunt crossdressed.
- Nicky's first costume is reminiscent of Larry-Boy's costume.
- The daughters' home is the same as Billboy's in Lord of the Beans.
- The pea guards' helmets are re-colors of the ones from Josh and the Big Wall!.
- Dad Carrot's truck is a re-color of the truck used in Going Up!.
- Nick Jr. is a television block owned by ViacomCBS, and later channel owned by MTV Networks Kids & Family Group.
- Nickelback is a Canadian rock band that was formed in 1995.
- Because Big Idea was owned by Classic Media at the time, some mentions of the Rankin/Bass specials are made:
- The mentions of the reindeer games, Hermey the Elf and the titular deer are from the 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special.
- Giving reindeer magic corn so they can fly is from Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town.
- Gustav is partially based on the main antagonist from this special, Burgermeister Meisterburger.
- Toys "R" Us (spelled as Toys-R-Us in the subtitles) is a toy retailer that closed down in America, but is still open in other countries.
- Octavus' disguises are based off of DC comic book superheroes. These included:
- Wonder Woman
- Green Arrow (this could also be Robin Hood, whom this comic book character was based after)
- Gustav's glowing eyes when he plans to catch the "thief" is similar to Aladdin, where the Peddler's eyes glowed before he starts the story.
- The scene where Nicholas is jumping off the cliff with the sheep is a reference to E.T.