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A Marvel Christmas Carol is an American animated television special film set on the continuity of Marvel's Spider-Man: Webbed Champion, airing exclusively on Disney+. As the title suggests, the film is influenced on Charles Dickens's 1843 novella A Christmas Carol.

Premise

Set after the events of the “Legendary Universes” arc in Marvel's Spider-Man: Webbed Champion, the story focuses on Spider-Man and his friends seeking to help Vincent Dawson (a poorly paid, down with his luck library clerk) and his family enjoy a better Christmas night while also getting Vincent's abusive boss Franklin Todd to reform from his greedy ways. And Spider-Man and his friends (with the help of some magic provided by Doctor Strange) do so in the forms of the three Ghosts of Christmas.

Characters

Returning Characters

Introducing Characters

  • Stephen Strange
  • Vincent Dawson
  • Delilah Dawson
  • Cody Dawson
  • Bonnie Dawson
  • Jessica Reilly (unvoiced cameo)[2]
  • Alana Jobson (unvoiced cameo)[3]
  • Jenna Jobson-Reilly (unvoiced cameo)[4]
  • Franklin Todd
  • Eliza
  • Surtur (illusion or vision only)
  • Ymir

Plot

Peter Parker / Spider-Man and the Champions (recently joined by Barbara "Barbie" Morse / Mockingbird, Guardians of the Galaxy member Groot, and Inhuman couple Cloak and Dagger) help the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy stop Ymir and his fellow Frost Giants from wrecking havoc in New York in time to help prepare a Christmas party at the main F.E.A.S.T. Shelter, which is also to be attended to by the rest of their friends and the superheroes. Cassie Lang / Ant-Girl at the moment suggests inviting librarian clerk Vincent Dawson for the party, despite Mary Jane Watson / Tigra and Mockingbird reminding her that Vincent is still having issues with his abusive boss Franklin Todd.

Spider-Man and Ant-Girl go see Vincent, and are shocked to see that despite working hard at the library for even 20 hours per day, he is not as well paid by Todd as he should be. Todd reluctantly gives Vincent a day-off for Christmas Eve, but also replies it will be unpaid, much to Vincent's dismay and Spider-Man and Ant-Girl's disgust. The two begin thinking of an idea to help Vincent and his family and change Todd's ways. Inspired by the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (whom Spider-Man compares Todd to) and the three Ghosts of Christmas, Spider-Man opts on performing a similar idea to succeed. While the rest of the Champions discuss if they should or not take the Dawson family in for the Christmas party at F.E.A.S.T. shelter, Spider-Man, Ant-Girl, Groot, Cloak and Dagger consult the Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Stephen Strange, who (having learned of the Dawsons' condition and also of the young heroes' plan) agrees to help them. Later on, Todd is on his way home until he is confronted by the ghost of J. Jonah Jameson[5], who recalls his sinfulness[6], and tells Todd that because of his cruelty in life, he is doomed to wear heavy chains for eternity ("maybe even longer"). He warns that a similar fate, if not worse, will befall Todd unless he changes his ways. After advising Todd that three spirits will come visit him, and show him the error of his ways, Jameson's ghost is taken away by the "Soul Chain", a ghostly entity with the role to take the guilty souls to be consumed by the Fire Demon Surtur, who warns Todd that unless he changes his ways, he will be next.

Unknown to Todd, the Soul Chain is actually Dagger having taken on a new form in the Dream Realm, where the Champions and Doctor Strange are performing their plan. Todd hesitantly dismisses the incident, but is soon enough met with Cassie, who is taking the form of the light-bending angel-like Ghost of Christmas Past, and Groot, who is acting as the Ghost's faithful Sprite. Cassie and Groot show Todd visions of his past, when he was just as hapless and down with his luck as Vincent is, before he fell in love with a young woman named Eliza, until he became obsessed with his newfound wealth (which he inherited from his late boss), ending his relationship with Eliza. Todd is further haunted by visions of Eliza (still brokenhearted and depressed) having died not too long after she married another man and had children, and with her husband blaming Todd for her death. A remorseful Todd is left to grieve at Eliza's grave alone while Cassie and Groot vanish. They awaken in the Sanctum Sanctorum, where they are glad to have fulfilled their part, with Peter taking his turn.

Still in the Dream Realm, Todd finds himself seemingly at home, where he is met with Peter, who is taking the form of the artistic, merry Ghost of Christmas Present. Peter and Todd navigate around New York City to see the citizens (even superheroes) enjoying their Christmas parties peacefully, and also seeing Vincent's house, learning that he and his family (consisting of his wife Delilah, who strongly reminds Todd of Eliza, and their children) are surprisingly content with their small dinner. Todd takes pity on Vincent's ill son Cody, while voicing regret for having done nothing more than making Vincent experience his own misery. Peter comments that the Dawsons' happiness may be short-lived once there is a "empty chair among the table" before disintegrating, leaving Todd to be taken into a cloud of darkness while the image an insane Loki sadistically asks if there are "no prisons, or workhouses". Peter awakens back in the Sanctum Sanctorum, with Cloak and Dagger ready to do their part.

Wandering around the now dark, silent streets, Todd is confronted by Cloak, who is taking the form of the silent, sinister Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Cloak shows Todd visions of an unknown dead man's coffin being carried away by Rocket and Hulk, with the nearby citizens (even superheroes) mocking the man's death, and/or voicing relief that the man died. Cloak also shows Todd visions of riots taking place near his neighborhood, resulting in the destruction of Todd's library. Gwen Stacy and Anya Corazon are also shown voicing very little sympathy over the dead man, and are instead preferring to comfort the Dawson family over the loss of Cody. Cloak eventually takes Todd to see Rocket and Hulk taking the dead man's coffin to be buried by Wolverine and Drax the Destroyer in a overgrown, frozen grave. Reading the tombstone, Todd discovers that he himself is the dead man, before he is then chained up by Dagger (again in the form of the "Soul Chain") to be consumed by Surtur, as a fully repentant Todd vows to make things right. Before the Fire Demon swallows him, Todd awakens in the real world, now a changed man and determined to correct his mistakes, with the Champions satisfied to know the plan worked.

Peter, Groot, Cassie, Cloak and Dagger enjoy their Christmas party with the rest of their friends and teammates as they watch Todd reconciling with Vincent and his family, and giving them better benefits for the sake of their health. Captain America approaches Peter and (aware of what he and his friends planned for to reform Todd) congratulates them with great respect. The story ends with Kamala Khan (who has been narrating the events from the beginning) having written about the story in her book, and reading it for the children in F.E.A.S.T..

Cast

Easter Eggs and Culture References

There are a number of pop-culture references in the show. Most of them are openly Disney-related, and based on the crossover heroes in the "Legendary Universes" arc. Those include:

  • Stan Lee makes a cameo during the preparations for the Christmas party in Horizon High.
  • TBD
  • TBD
  • Jack Thompson is shown earning from Cassie a toy helmet and laser gun resembling the Baskar helmet and Blaster gun of the Mandalorian from the same name Disney+ web series.
  • Cassie Lang is shown earning from Jack a plush alien resembling Grogu, also from The Mandalorian.
  • The book where Kamala Khan writes about the film's story has a golden emblem resembling the logo of Mickey's head.

Tropes

Sequel

References

  1. Groot is depicted as in his toddler state from Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout
  2. depicted in the film as Aunt May's 24-year-old daughter, and Peter Parker's older cousin
  3. depicted as Max Modell's niece, and as Jessica's lover; she is seen attending the Christmas party on F.E.A.S.T.
  4. she is seen twice; first time during Cloak's act as the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-come, on which Jessica carries her in her arms, and makers sure Jenna does not look at Todd's coffin. Second time is during the Christmas party, where she is being looked after by her mothers as she plays with Teresa.
  5. Following the character's death in Legendary Universes, Part 1: Message from the Unknown
  6. a reference to Jameson's crimes, as depicted in Webbed Champion episodes "On the Tiger's Claws" and "The Parker Errand"