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| Holiday Hi-Jynx
|| October 5, 1998
| United States
|| December 11, 1999
|| Team Ota
|| 園田英樹 Hideki Sonoda
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Assistant director
|| 浅田裕二 Yūji Asada
| Animation director
|| 酒井啓史 Hiroshi Sakai
| Additional credits
Holiday Hi-Jynx (Japanese: ルージュラのクリスマス Rougela's Christmas) is a special episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on October 5, 1998, along with Snow Way Out!, and in the United States on December 11, 1999. It was initially intended to be the 39th episode of the Pokémon anime, airing in Japan on December 23, 1997, but was rescheduled following the EP038 incident.
Ash and his friends run into a scared and lonely Jynx who has a boot belonging to Santa Claus but can't find its way to the North Pole. Team Rocket is convinced that Jynx really is Santa Claus and Jessie wants revenge from something that happened in her childhood. Can Ash beat the odds and return Jynx to its Master before Team Rocket gets a hold of it?
The episode opens on a cold, snowy night, with a castle on a cliff in the distance. It is Christmas, and kids everywhere are waiting for their presents from Santa. All, including the resident of this castle, which is none other than... Jessie?! She pretends to be asleep, and the door to her room slowly opens. Santa has arrived! Before he can begin to lay down presents, however, he is trapped in a net, and unable to move. Jessie and Meowth are enthusiastic about their capture, and cannot wait for the real Santa to come to be trapped, this test decoy having been James in a Santa suit.
This plot is the realization of Jessie's revenge against Santa for having stolen her favorite doll ten years earlier. She flashes back to the night she stopped believing in Santa, when she waited awake for him. But instead of a jolly old elf down the chimney, a Jynx appears and does nothing but take her doll, broken moments earlier by Jessie in her waiting enthusiasm. James and Meowth doubt Jessie's story, but Jessie is insistent that this occurred, and that Santa is a Jynx.
Meanwhile, in the southern part of the Kanto region, Ash and his friends are scouting out a Jynx which holds a single boot. Ash attempts to capture it, however, it does not work, and its Lovely Kiss manages to defeat Pikachu. Brock deduces that it must have a Trainer and Misty, seeing the inside of the boot, figures out that it belongs to Santa. After Jynx telepathically tells its story to the group, they agree to help it get back to the North Pole to Santa. Jessie, on the other hand, sees Jynx as Santa attempting to con the twerps just as she had been 10 years ago, and plots to follow them so as to find Santa's lair and exact her revenge.
Ash calls out his Squirtle, and Misty calls out her Goldeen, Staryu, Starmie, and Psyduck. All of the Pokémon help pull their homemade raft toward the North Pole, except Psyduck, who cowers at the thought of having to swim (Misty instead lets Psyduck ride with them on the raft.) The Pokémon, however, quickly become tired, and so Ash volunteers to pull them the rest of the way. He, as well, becomes tired, and hears a voice. Confused, he asks his friends if they said anything, but they haven't. The voice speaks again, and Ash is caught in a wave, while the others drift away on the raft. Ash is plunged underwater, and finally the source of the voice reveals itself to him: a Lapras! The Lapras brings him above the water and reveals its telepathic powers, as well as the fact that it was sent by Santa to get Jynx back to the North Pole. It offers to bring them the rest of the way there, and they accept. Soon, they arrive, but before they can enter Santa's workshop, Team Rocket in their Gyarados submarine nab Jynx and trap the twerps and Lapras under a net.
Team Rocket enter Santa's workshop, then proceed to steal all of the presents, holding Santa, as well as Ash and co., who have confronted them, hostage. Jessie gives her reason for doing this to Santa, and the Jynx which "stole" Jessie's toy is revealed to have it, having taken it to Santa so he could repair it, and not being able to give it back because Jessie had stopped believing. Despite this, Jessie still plans to steal all of the presents, and Team Rocket makes their getaway. Lapras freezes the submarine with its Ice Beam, but Ash, using Charmander, accidentally unfreezes it by using Fire Spin. Team Rocket seems to have won, but Santa has all of his Jynx use Psywave to bring back the submarine, shake the presents out of it, blow up the submarine and send Team Rocket "blasting off again".
That evening, Santa begins his yearly journey around the world, using a Ponyta as his steed, and flies away. Ash regrets not having told Santa what he wanted, but Lapras tells him that he already knows. Santa's Jynx then presents Ash, Misty, Brock, and Pikachu with gifts, as it begins to snow.
Team Rocket lie in a bed together, having been defeated once more, but Jessie has hung a stocking in the hopes that she might get some presents. The other two believe it to be futile, but just then, a Jynx appears in their window. They stare in shock at it, and it uses Lovely Kiss to put them all to sleep. Santa wishes a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
- Ash attempts to capture a Jynx, but fails since she belongs to another Trainer.
- For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the timeline of events.
Who's That Pokémon?: Pidgeotto (US and international), Jynx (Japan)
After the hiatus caused by EP038, the show moved from Tuesday to Thursday. The original schedule was as follows:
|| English title
|| Japanese title
|| Planned broadcast
|| Actual broadcast
|| Holiday Hi-Jynx
|| December 23, 1997
|| October 5, 1998
|| Snow Way Out!
|| January 6, 1998
|| October 5, 1998
|| The Battling Eevee Brothers
|| January 13, 1998
|| April 16, 1998
|| Wake Up, Snorlax!
|| January 20, 1998
|| April 23, 1998
|| Showdown at Dark City
|| January 27, 1998
|| April 30, 1998
|| March of the Exeggutor Squad
|| February 3, 1998
|| May 7, 1998
|| The Problem with Paras
|| February 10, 1998
|| May 14, 1998
|| Princess vs. Princess
|| March 3, 1998
|| July 9, 1998
|| The Purr-fect Hero
|| May 5, 1998
|| July 9, 1998
When episodes of the dub are aired in order, this episode and Snow Way Out! are placed between It's Mr. Mime Time and Showdown at the Po-ké Corral, as this is the point at which the episodes aired raw. This causes confusion from viewers due to Ash using Charmander instead of Charizard and Misty still having her Starmie and Horsea (and not having her Togepi). Chronologically, these episodes go either directly before or directly after Pikachu's Goodbye. Due to not airing when initially intended and being advertised as such by Kids' WB!, it is considered by Bulbapedia to be a special episode.
Removal from rotation
This episode was pulled from rotation shortly after it was aired due to the fact Jynx was accused of being a racial stereotype of African-Americans by Carole Boston Weatherford. It can still be obtained on VHS and in the Indigo League Volume 3 DVD Pack Set, and has been made available on Cartoon Network Video. However, the episode has not re-aired in syndication, likely due to Jynx's appearance. Moreover, despite appearing on Cartoon Network Video, this episode was skipped on Pokémon.com's "Pokémon TV" video service, (and as of April 2013, removed from Pokémon.com entirely) nor has it been made available on Netflix. When the Indigo League Volume 3 DVD was reissued, the episode was removed. It is also not included on the Indigo League Complete Collection.
The English dub became available on Cartoon Network On Demand wherever available on cable providers in late March of 2012, and has been added into the rotation on Boomerang as of 2011. No restrictions were placed on this episode in other countries airing the English dub or a dub based on the English dub, but the episode isn't mentioned on any local versions of Pokémon.com. However, this episode is banned in South Korea. The Japanese Netflix lists an English blurb for the episode despite it being banned. "As children all over the world eagerly await Christmas, so does Team Rocket. It turns out they plan to catch Santa Claus and grab all of his presents!"
A screenshot from the original episode.
- This is the only main series episode where the title card is read by Jessie in the dub. Jessie also reads the title card for Training Daze, a side series episode. Ash read this episode's title card in the Japanese version.
- When an episode's preview is shown in the Japanese version, it usually ends with the words, "Everybody, get Pokémon!" In this episode's preview, however, Ash said, "Everybody, get a present!" This is likely due to the Christmas theme of this episode.
- On December 23, 2012 — the 15th anniversary of the episode's originally-planned broadcast date — it aired on Pokémon Smash! and was edited to make all of the Jynx's skin purple instead of black. This version has not been dubbed, though, thus it is still banned in the United States. The Japanese versions of Amazon and Netflix have the edited version while Hulu has the original version.
- Jessie's doll is called "Acha Ningyou" in the Japanese version, and is a parody of Bruce Lee.
- Multiple times throughout the episode, the inside of Jynx's mouth was mistakenly colored white, instead of the usual red-pink.
- During the group's battle with Team Rocket later in the episode, Ash's hat continuously changes between forwards and backwards.
- In the remastered version that aired on Pokémon Smash!, Jynx's forearm appears white instead of red when it stands next to the tied up Ash, Misty, Brock, and Santa Claus.
- This episode being dubbed out of continuity creates a continuity error concerning Ash's Pokédex. In the dub, Ash's Pokédex is voiced by Eric Stuart as it has always been since Who Gets to Keep Togepi? In the dub, the Pokédex's different voice was explained in-continuity to be part of the Pokédex upgrade Ash received in said episode. However this episode takes place chronologically before the above episode, meaning Ash wouldn't have received the update yet.
- When the closed captions mention Jessie in the episode, her name is misspelled as Jessy.
- Jessie throws Weezing's Poké Ball and tells it to use Sludge. However, Weezing is James' Pokémon.
- In the Japanese version, Santa wrote his name in katakana on the inside of his boot. The English dub replaces this with a photo of Santa surrounded by a snowflake border.
- Santa calls Jessie and Ash by name in the dub, but in the original, Santa refers to everyone as "children" instead.
- Santa's reason for not giving Jessie her doll back is different in both versions: in the English version, Santa tells Jessie that he couldn't return the doll because she stopped believing in Santa, which made him powerless to visit her. In the Japanese version, Santa says that he tried to return it, but Jessie had already moved away.
- In the dub, when the Jynx all use Psywave, they only chant their names over and over. In the original, they continuously say "Psycho" (the move's Japanese name is Psychowave). This may highlight how Jynx speaks a language similar to human speech.
In other languages