|The Christmas Raccoons|
|Season 0, Episode 1|
|Air Date||December 17, 1980|
|Next||The Raccoons on Ice|
For the album, go to The Christmas Raccoons (album)
The Christmas Raccoons is the first of the four Raccoons specials, as well as the pilot episode and the first overall episode of the series.
The story takes place in a forest located "slightly a ways north" on Earth called the Evergreen Forest. It's "the day before the day before Christmas," but Dan, the chief forest ranger (voiced by Rupert Holmes), just learned that someone is chopping down all of the forest's trees. His children, Julie (voiced by Tammy Bourne) and Tommy (voiced by Hadley Kay) , are concerned, but their father assures them that he'll do whatever he can to get to the bottom of it. The kids, with their sheepdog, Schaeffer (voiced by Carl Banas), go to sleep and dream of winter fun. Meanwhile, in one tree known as the Raccoondominium, the Raccoons (Bert (voiced by Len Carlson), Melissa (voiced by Rita Coolidge) and Ralph (voiced by Bob Dermer)) are preparing for Christmas. Ralph picks up the paper, and he too is outraged to learn about the disappearing trees. Bert, however, doesn't take the matter as seriously. Yet outside, the tree thief is revealed to be Cyril Sneer (voiced by Michael Magee), who is looking for big bucks in his lumber company. His son, Cedric (voiced by Fred Little), tries to talk him out of his crazed plans to destroy the whole forest, reasoning that they already have enough trees. But as Cyril puts it, "I'm Cyril Sneer, a lumber profiteer! Whenever I'm near, trees disappear!" And unfortunately, one of those trees turns out to be the Raccoondominium.
Left without a home, the Raccoons try to find who's behind the destruction of the forest. However, Cyril dropped their tree on the way, where Julie and Tommy find it and declare it the perfect Christmas tree. Ralph sees the kids bring in into their house, and deduces that they must be stealing the trees. Once Schaeffer is left alone in the cabin, The Raccoons make their way inside, where they find the Raccoondominium decorated with ornaments, tinsel, and lights. As the Raccoons try to get their stockings back, some decorations fall onto the floor and Schaeffer, who has been napping nearby, wakes up from the noise and chases them through the forest. Eventually, though, Schaeffer finds out the truth about his family's Christmas tree, as do the Raccoons about his innocence. The animals then team up to find the real tree thief. Once caught, Cyril finally admits that it was he who cut down the trees and that Cedric is innocent. Cyril eventually promises to replant all the trees.
The Raccoons and Schaeffer are pleased that they have saved the forest, but the Raccoons are still upset that they still haven't got a home and Schaeffer shares their sorrow, as he is desperate to help them but he can't think of how to help. They walk back to the cabin and they wish each other a merry Christmas and Schaeffer tells the Raccoons not to give up hope. Julie and Tommy have already returned and as they begin to wonder why some of the decorations have fallen off the tree and where the stockings came from (they belong to the Raccoons), Schaeffer realises they can help and alerts the kids to the window, where the Raccoons can be seen in the cold. Julie and Tommy realize that their Christmas tree must be the Raccoons' home and they phone their father so that the Raccoons can get a new home.
The next day, the kids rush to open their presents, but are surprised to see that the tree has gone. When they ask their father, he tells them that they didn't even have a tree, and the kids realize that it mustn't even be Christmas Day yet and they must have dreamt the events of the previous day. Dan tells the kids that the mystery of the disappearing trees hasn't been solved, but the trees have stopped being cut down for some reason. He reads a newspaper article to them which says that "Overnight, thousands of seedlings were planted but they didn't know who did it." Schaeffer alerts the kids to the window again and they can see that the Raccoons have found a new home in a re-planted tree not far from the cabin.
On December 23, Ranger Dan receives a call that all the trees in the forest are disappearing. Tommy and Julie are concerned, but Dan is doing the investigating. Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, a trio of raccoons (married couple Ralph and Melissa and their friend Bert) prepare their home, The Raccoondominium, for Christmas. Their joy is cut short when they see in the news that all the trees in the forest are disappearing. Nearby, local aardvark millionaire Cyril Sneer is revealed to be the tree thief hoping to make a profit out of the lumber. His college-educated son Cedric tries to talk him out of his crazed plans to destroy the whole forest. Cyril ignores Cedric and chops down a whole line of trees, including the Raccoondominium. However, Cyril loses the Raccoons' tree and Tommy, Julie, and Schaeffer find it and take it home.
Left without a home, the Raccoons try to find who's behind the destruction of the forest. Ralph sees Tommy, Julie and Schaeffer dragging it to the cabin and deduces they are the forest destroyers and follows them. While Tommy and Julie go out, leaving Schaeffer alone in the cabin, the Raccoons sneak inside and find the Raccoondominium decorated with ornaments, tinsel, and lights. As Melissa tries to get their Christmas stockings back, Schaeffer wakes up from his nap and chases the Raccoons through the forest. The chase leads the four animals to Cyril's sawmill, where they find the source of the forest destruction. As Cyril and Cedric head out to cut down the rest of the trees in the forest, the Raccoons and Schaeffer catch the two Sneers. After some convincing that there's a profit in planting trees, Cyril reluctantly agrees to replant all of the trees.
The animals are pleased they have saved the forest, but the Raccoons are still homeless. Schaeffer returns to the cabin, where Julie and Tommy wait for him. Just then, Julie and Tommy see the homeless Raccoons in the cold and realise that their Christmas tree must be the Raccoons' home. Julie phones their father to ask him to find a new home for them. Dan agrees and the group celebrate. The next day Julie and Tommy wake up only to find it is Christmas Eve and they must have dreamed the events of the previous 'day'. However, Dan tells them that the trees have miraculously stopped being cut down. He reads a newspaper article to them which says that thousands of seedlings were planted overnight, but the tree planter is anonymous. Suddenly, Schaeffer, Julie and Tommy see outside the window the Raccoons settling in a newly re-planted tree nearby.
- This is the only time in the whole franchise where the humans (Julie and Tommy) and the Raccoons meet each other.
- This is the first special animated at Atkinson Film-Arts.
- Introduces most of the main characters:
- Ralph Raccoon (voiced by Bob Dermer)
- Melissa Raccoon (voiced by Rita Coolidge)
- Bert Raccoon (voiced by Len Carlson)
- Schaeffer (voiced by Carl Banas)
- Chief Forest Ranger Dan (voiced by Rupert Holmes)
- Julie (voiced by Tammy Bourne)
- Tommy (voiced by Hadley Kay)
- Cyril Sneer (voiced by Michael Magee)
- Cedric Sneer (voiced by Fred Little)
- Narrator (voiced by Rich Little)
- When Melissa throws a snowball at Cyril, she shouts, "Take that!" but her mouth doesn't move.
- When the newspaper Ralph was holding zooms in to the picture, Ralph's paw was peach instead of black.
- Ralph: [reading the paper] It's an outrage!
- Melissa: What?
- Ralph: Thousands of the forest trees have disappeared!
- Bert: [blearily gesticulating] Well, maybe, uh, they've gone on a... Christmas vacation!
- Bert: How do we know there's not a...fire down there?
- Melissa: No smoke!
- Bert: It could be a small fire...
- Bert: Ehhhhh, he doesn't scare me!
- Ralph: If you want to keep it that way, don't wake him up! Melissa, the stockings!
- Bert: Oh ho! I wonder what he's nnat hiding under here...
- Ralph: Bert! Let the sleeping dog lie!
- Bert: Ehhhh, he can't lay a paw on me!
- Bert: Oh no! My ears! I think they're broken! I can't get them to stop ringing!
- Schaeffer: Mine too!
- Bert: The beast talks!
- Cedric: SAVE ME, POP! SAVE ME!
- Cyril: Save yourself!
- Cedric: Pop, we should have stopped at our quota! I told you so!
- Cyril: You ungrateful ingrate! Why do you think I slaved away to make money all these years?
- Cedric: Greed?
- Cyril: Greed? Never! I did it all for you! For you and you precious college education!
- [Bert is moved by this and starts to cry]
- Ralph: Are you kidding?!
- Cyril: I ask you, is it wrong for a father to want to give his son the good life?
- Bert [burying his face in Ralph's chest] It's so sad...
- Cyril: And after all, what are a few trees?
- Ralph: "A few trees?!" A forest is more than "a few trees!"
- Cyril: Who's counting?
- Cedric: Actually Pop, the exact number you chopped down was...
- Cyril: Shut up, you fool!
- Cyril: I'm Cyril Sneer, a lumber profiteer! Whenever I'm near, trees disappear!
- Melissa: [throwing a snowball in Cyril's face] Take that!
- Cyril: [spluttering] You crazy dame!
- Main article: The Christmas Raccoons/Gallery
- Main article: The Christmas Raccoons/Credits