Short Film Showcase – Jesus vs. Santa (1995)

Jesus vs. Santa (a.k.a. The Spirit of Christmas), 1995.

Written, Directed, Produced, Animated and Voiced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

After seeing the original 1992 version of The Spirit of Christmas, Fox executive Brian Graden commissioned Trey Parker and Matt Stone to create a follow-up which he could use as a video Christmas card to send to friends. The resulting film (known as Jesus vs. Santa) features a more-refined and familiar animation style along with named versions of Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Stan, who find themselves mediating an argument between Jesus and Santa Claus over the true meaning of Christmas (which is of course presents).

The short was initially distributed to Graden’s friends in December 1995 and went on to generate interest as a bootleg before coming to the attention of Comedy Central, who hired Parker and Stone to develop the film as a series, South Park, which debuted in 1997. That same year Jesus vs. Frosty also received the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Animation.

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