"Dickens of a Christmas" is the Christmas episode of Back to the Future: The Animated Series. As suggested by the title, it is a parody of the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol, but also features elements of another Dickens novel, Oliver Twist.
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After hearing everyone complain about the July heat, Doc takes his family and Marty to London in the year of 1845 to cool off and to celebrate a "Dickens" Christmas. Arriving on Christmas Eve, Doc entrusts his pocket watch (with the key to the DeLorean hooked on it) to Jules. When Clara, Doc, and Marty go inside Fedgewick's Toys, Reg, a young pickpocket, steals it from Jules, so he and Verne pursue the thief. They are caught by Murdock, the Fagin-like leader of the pickpockets, and are forced to join the group. While Doc and Marty go to look for them, Ebiffnezer Tannen (an Ebenezer Scrooge-like ancestor of Biff Tannen), who holds the mortgage on the toy shop, throws the shopkeeper, his family, and Clara into debtor's prison.
Doc and Marty rescue the boys and decide to teach Ebiffnezer a lesson on humanity by having Marty dress up as the ghost of Christmas (with flying effects created by the hoverboard). Ebiffnezer has a change of heart and releases everyone from debtor's prison. However, at the end, Ebiffnezer eventually tumbles to the scheme, and his ranting and raging cause him to fall into a giant vat of figgy pudding. It is Christmas, after all.
The episode was made available on VHS by MCA/Universal Home Video in 1993. The VHS tape also contained the episode "Swing Low Sweet Chariot Race". Both episodes were also released on a Laserdisc which also included the episodes "Forward to the Past" and "Verne Hatches an Egg".
The episode made its DVD debut on the Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series DVD set, which was released both as its own DVD set, as well as in a bundle with new 30th Anniversary Edition DVDs and Blu-rays of the original movie trilogy, on October 20, 2015. The first two discs of the Complete Series set were later re-released as the individual Back to the Future: The Animated Series - Season I DVD set on June 14, 2016. The episode received its own single-disc DVD release, which also includes the episode "A Family Vacation", on October 18th.
|Dan Castellaneta||Dr. Emmett Brown|
|Mary Steenburgen||Clara Clayton Brown|
|Thomas F. Wilson||Ebiffnezer Tannen|
|David Kaufman||Marty McFly|
|Josh Wiener||Jules Brown|
|Troy Davidson||Verne Brown|
- Back to the Future Wiki: Dickens of a Christmas
- "Dickens of a Christmas (Back to the Future)" at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- "Dickens of a Christmas (Back to the Future)" at TV.com