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"Ed Edd n Eddy’s Jingle Jingle Jangle": The Best Present a TV Has Ever Given Me

by on December 1, 2004

Ed, Edd n Eddy will always have a peanut gallery throwing bricks at it. They don’t understand it. They don’t want to understand it. They don’t watch it so that they can justify their totally inaccurate claims about the series. If, on the other hand, you’re the least bit curious about how much the show is improved, then by God, you should be required to watch the new Christmas Special, dubbed “Jingle Jingle Jangle,” this Friday night at 8:00 PM E/P. If you’re not pleasantly surprised or at least content with what you see, then you probably will never get on the list of people I respect or acknowledge. You’ll just be painting a bullseye on your own head. Which is quite impressive if you think about it; it would require a considerable amount of dexterity and precision.

This special is not about jawbreakers or get-rich-quick schemes, but Eddy is still the same old egomaniac. When he sneaks a peak at his presents early and they all turn out to be clothes, Eddy panics and starts a devious campaign to get presents from the other kids in the cult-de-sac, while Ed and Double D try to convince him of the other, less materialistic virtues of Christmas. Every single character is well-represented in this special, which runs at a whopping twenty-seven minutes, and there are no new characters or parents introduced. I won’t spoil any plot points, but despite what you may expect, the ending is typical EEnE, trust me.

Ed, Edd n Eddy‘s dialogue has never been that funny, though its characterization is incredibly strong. What Ed, Edd n Eddy has that other cartoons don’t have, though, is animation. Good animation. And this Christmas special propels Ed, Edd n Eddy to the top of the tree. I wish I could study every conceptual drawing and every storyboard of this show. There is no cartoon on TV today with poses as alive and eccentric, animation as flowing and well-timed, or boarding as brilliant, and there hasn’t been since the original Ren and Stimpy. That’s right, I said it: this show is better than Ren & Stimpy’s Adult Party Cartoon. I don’t care about what some Spumco employee will say. This show is what comedic cartoons should aspire to look like. You can hate the original character designs all you want, though this special rarely stays on model because they try to make every pose as expressive or stylized as possible, but they animate so well and the craft is so perfect that only an idiot would still call it ugly. I don’t need to call every single one of you idiots. You will have made your own case. I can just grin from behind the monitor.

To the existing Eds fans: there is no change in character designs, none of the sudden gawdiness typical of digital coloring, no new characters. Nothing that you didn’t want changed has been changed. It’s still the same show only even better.

What you see as the weakest point of the special depends upon two factors: Your favorite character, and your taste in music. If you don’t like the Kankers or any of the other characters, who are mostly spotlighted equally, you may be bored during their individual scenes. Unlike past episodes every character has their own subplot and they only interact with Eddy rather than with the group until the very end of the episode. The music ranges from commanding to unnecessary. The musician actually appears in the opening credits so I was expecting good things. Ultimately, though, I came away underwhelmed. At points, somewhat moody and emotive piano ballad numbers switch right into the usual goofy silly jazz typical of the show, producing a jarring effect.

The very first airing of the show is paired with The Grinch and “Fa La La La Ed” in an hour block, leaving time for the full special, but I just don’t know about future airings. I have to wonder just which four minutes Cartoon Network will cut if they decide to shorten this special to twenty-three minutes for rerun purposes. Will they cut out a character’s entire scene? Will they cut out Eddy’s “moment of realization?” I hope they leave the special as is and simply live with a couple of lost minutes of ads.

Anyone who understands this show or appreciates its visual aspects will be grateful they watched this special. It’s great to see old faces return to form. You have no reason not to watch this special, since in general holiday specials are terrible, like “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” and “Night B4 Christmas,” and this one soars high above the crowd. The only reason you wouldn’t watch is if you, I don’t know, are trapped in the 1940s or simply choose to be intolerant. Or if you don’t care about the animation in cartoons. In either case don’t come near me. The rest of you, do come near me; we shall watch and behold together.

“Jingle Jingle Jangle” airs this Friday at 8 PM E/P on Cartoon Network.

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