"The Night Before Cave Christmas" is the Christmas episode of the video game-based cartoon Super Mario World, based on the Super Nintendo game of the same name, and notably also the last episode of the series in production order (though it was the sixth episode to air). The title is a reference to the classic poem The Night Before Christmas.
While on a picnic with his friends, Mario takes notice of Yoshi and Oogtar fighting over a barbecued mammoth rib, and after an attempt to stop it results in the two tearing it in half and splattering some barbecue sauce on his face, he complains that all Oogtar ever does is squabble with Yoshi. Luigi and Princess Peach then note to him that the other cave-people have also been acting rather grouchy to each other recently. Mario decides that they should introduce the cave-people to the concept of Christmas in order to get them be nicer to each other, despite Luigi pointing out that it's the middle of August. He then proceeds to explain Christmas to Yoshi and Oogtar, with Oogtar taking particular interest in Santa Claus and the presents he delivers, but not being keen on the fact that he only brings them to good children.
Soon, Mario begins decorating Dome City and wishing a merry Cave Christmas to the cave-people watching him. He then gets the others to cut down some Christmas trees and decorate them. During all this, Bowser spies on them and ponders what his nemesis is up to. After he and his son Roy Koopa spy on the good guys some more and overhear the details about Christmas, Bowser comes up with a plan.
The Mario Bros. and the Princess begin to make presents for the cave-kids, during which Oogtar sneaks into their workshop, eyeing everything greedily until Luigi finds him and throws him out. Later, after they finish making all the toys, Mario goes to try on his Santa Claus outfit. During this, Oogtar sneaks into the workshop again, intending to get the best toys for himself. Just as he's rummaging through the bag though, he sees Bowser approaching and hides in the toy sack. Bowser, intending to steal all the toys and give them to the Koopalings, snatches the bag, taking Oogtar with him. When Mario comes back, he finds the toys are gone, and Peach figures out that Bowser is the thief because he dropped one of his scales. Angered by this, Mario vows to go to Bowser's Neon Castle and reclaim the toys, and with that, sets off in a sleigh with Yoshi, who has a pair of Magic Wings on, as his reindeer.
Over at his castle, Bowser opens the bag of toys and finds Oogtar. Demanding to know what Oogtar was doing in there, Bowser gets into an argument with him over who the toys belong to, which results in Oogtar opening a present Bowser intended to give Roy. When he sees the present is a Bob-omb, Oogtar throws it to Bowser, and it explodes in the Koopa King's face. Furious, Bowser grabs Oogtar and ties him up over a pit with a hungry dinosaur and leaves a candle to burn the rope Oogtar is tied to.
When Mario and Yoshi arrive at the Neon Castle, they hear Oogtar's cries for help and break through a window to go rescue him. Along the way, they are chased by Mecha-Koopas, Thwomps, Dry Bones, and Chargin' Chucks before reaching the room where Oogtar is being held. Using the cape-flying ability he gained by picking up a Cape Feather during the chase, Mario flies in and rescues the caveboy. Upon being ordered to, Oogtar, who thinks he's addressing the real Santa, confesses to his attempt to steal the presents earlier and promises to be good. With that, Mario gathers the stolen presents and loads them onto his sleigh, and he, Oogtar, and Yoshi manage to escape just as Bowser and the Koopalings find that the stolen presents are missing.
Upon returning to Dome City, Mario drops Oogtar off at his house and puts him to bed, but not before Oogtar reveals he has had an epiphany and figures that being rescued from the dinosaur was enough of a present. When Oogtar falls asleep, Mario leaves him a present before heading off to deliver the presents to the rest of the cave-kids. Later in the morning, Oogtar, having learned the spirit of giving, visits Mario while he's resting to give him a present.
- A few clips from this episode were used in Nintendo commercials aired in Spain during the Christmas season in 1992.
- When Mario shows off his Santa suit, a Pacific Rim Productions slate appeared in place of him at the very last frame. This error occurred on the overseas animation studio's part.
- When the Princess is placing the presents in the bag, the cels weren't lined up properly, resulting in the presents being placed behind the bag.
- Mario's cape doesn't disappear in the shot where his cape-flying ability wears off.
Prior to 2007, "The Night Before Cave Christmas" was notably the only episode of Super Mario World to be commercially released on video in the United States; it was available on the 1994 VHS release Super Mario Bros. Super Christmas Adventures!, which also included the Christmas-themed episodes of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Over a decade later, this and all the other Super Mario World episodes were made available on Shout! Factory's Captain N and The New Super Mario World: The Complete Series DVD set, released on November 13, 2007. "The Night Before Cave Christmas" was also included on the single-disc DVD Super Mario World: Yoshi the Superstar!, released by NCircle Entertainment in 2009. It was then included on NCircle's Super Mario World: The Complete Series DVD set, released on October 8, 2013.
|Tracey Moore||Princess Peach|
|Harvey Atkin||Bowser Koopa|
|Gordon Masten||Roy Koopa|
- Super Mario Wiki: The Night Before Cave Christmas
- "The Night Before Cave Christmas" at TV.com
- "The Night Before Cave Christmas" at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- "The Night Before Cave Christmas" at the Internet Movie Database
|Video Game Adaptations|
|Nintendo||"A Christmas Story" • "Koopa Klaus" • "Santa Claus Is Coming to Flatbush" • "The Night Before Cave Christmas" • "Holiday Hi-Jynx" • "Christmas Night" • "Stantler's Little Helpers" • "The Kongo Bongo Festival of Lights" • "Delibird's Dilemma"|
|Bandai Namco||Christmas Comes to Pac-Land • "Happy Holiday and a Merry Berry Day" • "Santa Pac"|
|Other video games||"Just Like Old Times" • Sonic Christmas Blast • "For Whom the Jingle Bell Tolls" • The Division|