|“||'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town,
Turtle Santa drove like crazy to not let the kids down.
Instead of a sleigh, a truck full of toys,
Destined to be the presents for good girls and boys.
But evil thieves wanted to steal the toys at all cost!
Poor, poor Turtle Santa; all hope was lost!
— Michelangelo's opening narration
"The Christmas Aliens" (also known as "Michelangelo's Christmas Rescue") is the Christmas episode of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. It was first released on VHS and DVD on October 19, 2004, and later aired, as the twelfth episode of the show's third season, on the Fox Box on Christmas Day of the same year. It is an adaptation of the comic book story of the same name (originally published in the one-shot comic book Michelangelo #1), and the second Ninja Turtles Christmas special, with the first being the 1994 live-action video We Wish You a Turtle Christmas.
Michelangelo is out enjoying the holiday season by walking through Central Park. Some kids accidentally peg him with a snowball, and as payback Mikey asks one of the children to lend him their sled for a bit. The boy complies and Mikey takes off down the hills, doing various crazy tricks until he finally crashes. The kid reclaims his sled and compliments Mike on his skills. As the Turtle brushes off the snow, he finds a stray kitten and decides to bring it along with him.
Back at the Turtles' Lair, Splinter and the rest of the Turtles are preparing for their holiday party. April O'Neil and Casey Jones arrive - the latter of the two is having quite a struggle hauling the tree into the ninjas' dwelling. Raphael finally offers his buddy a hand and they place the tree on its stand and the guys begin to decorate it. As the decorations are brought out, everyone realizes that Mike isn't around. Leonardo holds up a train engine ornament and wonders if Mikey is at the toy store yet again.
Mikey is indeed at the toy store again, standing on the sidewalk and admiring all of the cool toys - particularly the red hot Little Orphan Alien doll, which is so popular that it is completely sold out and highly sought after. Mike holds the cat up and pets its belly, deciding to name it Klunk. Mike then hears something down a nearby alley and, after putting Klunk inside his coat for protection, finds that three armed Purple Dragons - Sunny, Spike, and Two-Ton - are stealing a truck full of "Lil’ Orphan Alien" dolls that are supposed to go to an orphanage. As Mike attacks the three thugs, Spike shoots at him, but he jumps out of the way.
The gangsters start driving off, but Mikey grabs hold of an electrical cord dangling from the open doors on the back of the vehicle. Mike holds onto the cord and "water-skis" down the streets and across the tops of parked cars until the punks abruptly stop the truck. The momentum shoots the Turtle underneath the vehicle. Now in front of the stopped truck, Mike dodges more gunshots as he leaps onto the hood, barely escaping yet more shots. Spike and Two-Ton get out to search the back of the vehicle. When they look into the back of the truck, Mike leaps out and knocks both of them cold. Sunny takes off, but Mike manages to leap and grab an open door and slowly begins moving to the front of the truck. The Turtle is able to reach the cab and grabs the driver. As he gets behind the wheel, Mikey tosses the last thug out onto a parked police car - which radios in for assistance. Mikey checks on Klunk and the kitty is fine, but it's not over yet - the villainous Sunny called for backup and a hot rod full of Purple Dragons is headed straight for the stolen truck!
As the two vehicles are headed straight for each other, one of the Dragons takes out a rocket launcher. It seems that the thugs have the upper hand in this game of chicken, but Mike just pins the gas and heads straight for them. As the hoods realize that Mike’s not stopping, they veer off just in time.
Back at the Turtles' Lair, we see the party guests arrive. It’s the Silver Sentry, Angel, the Professor and some other homeless folks. Casey (with the help of Raph and Angel) uses some mistletoe tricks to try to get a kiss from April. Unamused by the tactic, April just slaps the bemused Jones. Then Gen, Usagi and the Ultimate Daimyo enter through a shimmering portal.
Back on the streets, the Purple Dragons are catching up to Mike and his nervous cat. As they fire their rocket launcher, Mike uses a parked tow truck’s ramp to tilt the vehicle onto two wheels and escape the missile. Mikey then hits the brakes, causing the hot rod to attempt another evasive maneuver - but this time the ice is too much for the driver and he loses control. The car flips upside-down onto some parked cars. Unfortunately, Mike soon finds himself being pursued by the police, thinking he's one of the Purple Dragons. The officers have set up a a roadblock ahead. With no way out, Mike hits the gas and heads for the blockade at full speed - apologizing as he goes. Mike blasts through the roadblock and now has a few less police cars giving chase.
Inside the Turtles' Lair, the group is having arm wrestling matches with the Silver Sentry. Casey loses badly, and then Casey and Raph team-up to try to defeat the super hero - but both are sent flying across the room. April sits down to give it a shot, despite Casey telling her she shouldn't bother. To everyone's surprise, though, April wins, the force of her thrust sending the Silver Sentry flying into a brick wall, which crumbles with the impact. April stands and scoffs at Casey as she walks off. In the kitchen, April presents the Silver Sentry with a batch of her special cookies - the bribe she offered him to throw the match.
Michelangelo hits some snowdrifts to create some piles upon the following squad cars. This causes a pileup, giving Mikey time to pull off the road and finally evade the police.
Back at the lair, everyone is growing more and more impatient. April states that Michelangelo only has five more minutes before they'll begin their feast. Mikey finally appears and introduces everyone to his new friend Klunk. Raph growls at Mike, who explains where he was and how they can all help make this holiday better.
The last scene of the episode is at the Brown Street Children's Home, where we see that the entire party has come dressed as elves (with Splinter as Santa). The heroes are handing out the "Lil' Orphan Alien" dolls and playing with the overjoyed children. Casey is standing beneath some mistletoe when April walks up casually and plants a kiss on his cheek. Mikey looks up at the camera and exclaims "Happy Holidays, everyone!"
Prior to its first televised airing, the episode was originally featured as a direct-to-video episode on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Michelangelo's Christmas Rescue DVD and VHS, released on October 19, 2004. The video also contained the episodes "Things Change", "Nano", and "The Shredder Strikes!, Part 1" (the second half of the two-parter was oddly left out).
After the Ninja Turtles franchise was acquired by Viacom, a new DVD of the Christmas episode, titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Christmas!, was distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment on October 13, 2015. This DVD also included the episodes "The Way of Invisibility" and "Fallen Angel".
"The Christmas Aliens" was also made available to watch on the official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Facebook page on December 14, 2018.
- The scene where Raphael trims the Christmas tree with butterfly swords is adapted from a similar scene in Leonardo #1.