The Toy That Saved Christmas is the sixth episode of the VeggieTales animated series and the first holiday special in that series. It was released in October 1996 on VHS. Unlike it's predecessors it does not feature an opening/closing countertop. Like the other holiday episodes, it also has no "A Lesson In..." subtitle.
The opening sequence features the Veggies at a theater filming "The VeggieTales Christmas Spectacular" in the "first ever" network broadcast. Entertainment includes Junior Asparagus in the Holy Land sing "While By My Sheep" and Archibald Asparagus singing "Ring, Little Bell" (with help from Larry the Cucumber) while Bob the Tomato, Pa Grape, and others search for the feature film that the Veggies had planned on showing. Just when the network is about to cancel them in favor of Bonanza, the film can is finally located by Jimmy and Jerry Gourd (who mistook it for a pizza) and the episode begins.
The main story opens with Grandpa George telling a bedtime story to his granddaughter Annie about Wally P. Nezzer, the owner of a toy company, disguised as Santa Clause, who is spreading the word via television commercial that the meaning of Christmas is to get more and more toys. After seeing this, the Dinkletown kids were whining about wanting more toys. He explains to his assistant (Mr. Lunt) that this is a strategy to create demand for his toys in order to boost sales. The toy in question is called “Buzz-Saw Louie,” the only toy featuring an actual working buzz saw built into his right arm.
On Christmas Eve, while most of the Veggie children are filled with a mad desire for the new toy, Larry, Bob, and Junior go sledding. They happen upon a lone Buzz-Saw Louie toy that has questioned Mr. Nezzer’s values and escaped the factory to find the true meaning of Christmas. Bob suggests that they go see Grandpa George. George explains to them that the true meaning of Christmas is not to get, but to give, the way God gave us Jesus, the greatest gift of all. The children are heartened by the news, but puzzle about how to tell the rest of the Veggies before Christmas Day.
The story is interrupted by a Silly Song entitled "Oh Santa!". Larry is staying up late awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, eager to give him some home-made cookies. Instead of Santa, however, he is visited first by a bank robber (Scallion #1), then by a Viking (played by Pa Grape), and finally by an agent of the IRS (played by a Peach). They all take refuge is his home and eat his cookies (except for the IRS agent who Larry evidently considers too loathsome to invite inside). Santa finally shows up, but rather than being jolly he angrily chases after Scallion #1 and Pa Grape for stealing his "Belt" and "Hat". Larry is left without any cookies, and no Santa or friends.
Returning to the story, the characters' solution is to sneak into Mr. Nezzer’s toy factory and use his television studio to broadcast the message to all the surrounding towns. The plan is a huge success, except that Mr. Nezzer finds them out and threatens to get rid of them. He ties them to a sled and is about to send them downhill into a deep ravine when the other Veggie families intervene. Laura Carrot shows him kindness by giving him a gift, and he quickly repents the errors of his ways. However, the sled with Bob, Larry, Junior, and Louie is accidentally sent on its fateful course in the process but the Dinkletown kids were begging for more toys.
A chase scene ensues in which Mr. Nezzer and a half dozen Penguins attempt to save the doomed Veggies. The tables turn, however, when Buzz-Saw Louie is able to divert the sled’s course, leaving Mr. Nezzer alone racing toward the ravine. Louie again springs into action, using his buzz-saw to rally the Penguins and save Mr. Nezzer just as he is about to plummet to certain death. Then, Buzz-Saw Louie puts the buzz-saw for good use making furniture.
Back in the theater, Bob learns from Pa Grape that the network apparently didn't watch their special (Pa hints that they were watching the Rudolph special instead). Regardless, he closes out the usual line, "God made you special and he loves you very much".
- Can't Believe it's Christmas
- Grumpy Kids
- Oh, Santa! (Silly Song)
- While By My Sheep (Christmas Spectacular)
- Ring, Little Bells (Christmas Spectacular)
- In Wally P. Nezzer's studio, the couch from Love My Lips and some pictures from the Forgive-O-Matic can be seen.
- In a preview of The Star of Christmas from Jonah Sing Along Songs and More! on VHS, the "Can't Believe it's Christmas" song from this episode can be heard.
- The Fib from the then unreleased Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space cameos as George's hood ornament on the delivery truck.
- A picture of Junior and his parents from Tales from the Crisper appears in Junior's living room when he and his friends are watching the commercial for Buzz Saw Louie.
- The snowman has its head back on when the Veggies are running away home from Junior's house.
- The bear that Laura gives Mr. Nezzer at the end is a brown version of Mr. Snuggly from Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space. (In fact, when Mr. Nezzer chooses where to send the boys, he mentions Bumblyburg, where Larry-Boy lives.)
- This is the first episode to not feature the VeggieTales theme song.
- Watch the bed of George's mail truck as it begins its journey toward Dinkletown. Lying on its side is a purple box - a chocolate bunny box from Rack, Shack & Benny.
- As the penguin washes the dishes, the Christmas song "Feliz Navidad" plays quietly. In fact, it almost sounds like Larry the Cucumber's rendition of the tune from the album "A Very Veggie Christmas!"
- This episode later aired on TV in a special called "The VeggieTales Christmas Spectacular".