Jeff Labrecque
December 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Simpsons Christmas 2

Current Status
In Season
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner

We gave it a B-

With season 5 of the cartoon masterpiece recently released on DVD too, finding only this Christmas bonus (or as stingy Mr. Burns would say, ”Christmas boni”) in your stocking might be a disappointment. Not only are there just four episodes in The Simpsons Christmas 2 (plus an animation feature) but just one, ”’Tis the 15th Season,” qualifies as a real Christmas show. The others are charmingly Simpsonian, but digging up eps with genuine Christmas cheer was clearly a struggle for the creators. In ”Homer vs. Dignity,” Mr. Burns hires Homer as his personal ”prank monkey” until Homer finally finds his backbone during the Thanksgiving Day parade. The snowed-in students of Springfield watch a ”classic mirthmaking” Christmas film in ”Skinner’s Sense of Snow,” and in ”Dude, Where’s My Ranch?,” Homer’s frustrated attempt to pen a Christmas carol yields a chart-topping anti-Flanders anthem, covered by William Shatner. Halloween, as any Simpsons fan can attest, is the show’s favorite holiday, and this DVD feels more trick than treat.

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