The 12 Best Advent Calendar Animations
Ah, December. The time of merriment, hot borovan, and running to the Advent Calendar only to scream in frustration when you fail to get the Winter Theme. Let's face it, though - we all love the Advent Calendar, if for no other reason than the fact that we love getting free items that we can sell back at a small profit. And, because we're all greedy little Snorkles – I mean, we visit it each day, I'm sure you've taken note of the animations shown.
Some make us laugh, some put us in the holiday spirit, and still others just confuse the heck out of us. They've been there since the very first Advent Calendar, and don't seem to be leaving anytime soon. TNT has been nice enough to compile all of them into a nice little archive, and I've been nice enough to compile the best ones into this pretty little list for you (in no particular order). So grab your Fancy Mug of Neggnog, sit back, and enjoy the festivities.
Y13, Day 7
Every year, there's at least one Advent Calendar animation dealing with whatever plot/event/plevent occurred that year, and at first, this animation just seems to be filling that quota. But if that was the case, it wouldn't be on this list, now would it? No, the reason this made the cut is because the more layers of history and fridge brilliance you apply to it, the sweeter it gets. It's like the Advent Calendar's version of a caramelized onion or something.
You see, Krawk Island's obviously not the first land to get destroyed - heck, Neopia's lucky if it can go one year before another place gets destroyed and has to be refurbished. And what was another land that got smacked upside the head by Mother Nature?
Maraqua, of course.
Which is where Kois come from.
You get where I'm going with this, right?
That Koi most likely knows what it's like to have one's home destroyed, and it felt the need to offer a fellow refugee a hand (er, fin). And on top of that, pirates were the ones who destroyed Maraqua, and yet this little Koi is still willing to help out.
You may commence your awwwing.
Y14, Day 15
Dang, this has the best animation of any Advent Calendar I've ever seen. It's both expressive and fluid, and the colors are lovely. Seriously, to whoever animated this, major respect.
...Wow, I almost sounded serious there for a second. Anyway, this made the list not because it looks amazing, but it's funny. And it's not only funny, but it's amazingly funny. The setup, the timing, everything is flawless. And not to mention the expressions. I mean, you have the fishing Hissi's "What-was-in-that-sandwich-I-ate" face:
And everything in this frame:
Y5, Day 12
Y9, Day 31
After a long period of careful debating (read: the author just threw a coin the air and bet on heads), the decision was made to include these two in the same section. They were published four years apart, but they both have jokes dealing with site problems, and that's good enough for me.
And let's face it, everyone can relate to those moments of panic and frustration when the Down for Maintenance Pteri flies overhead, which is what makes these two work so well. (Well, that and perfect comedic timing.) Images break, the site goes down, and you're left feeling quite disappointed with the world... Or you're hyperventilating into a paper bag. Both are acceptable reactions.
Either way, it's hard to feel jolly when the servers decide to have an existential crisis on you.
Y12, Day 13
Quick, identify the animation that doesn't fit with the others on this list! (It's this one. Obviously.) For one, instead of being funny or cheerful, this one's rather... melancholy, like some sort of clever analogy that I'm not smart enough to think up. It's also part of a trilogy, with the storyline continuing each year - and it could continue, depending on what TNT has planned for this Advent Calendar. (And before someone writes a corrective Neomail, yes, there have been a few animations that connect, but the storylines didn't link together like this. Hush.)
So not only is this the animation that started it all, but it's just well presented. Short, solemn, with a slow, somber song playing the background to round the whole thing off. And despite being shorter than its successors, I feel like this one perfectly sums up Magax and Nox's relationship as a whole. The way the present is just thrown onto Nox's gave and the ensuing sigh almost seem to indicate that Magax knows he shouldn't be here, but at the same time he sort of felt he had to come.
Or I'm reading far too much into the entire thing. Whichever.
Y14, Day 27
This one's overlooked by most people, which is a real shame. There's almost a "follow your dreams"-type moral in there, which is very nice, if not particularly "Christmasy". And if that doesn't work for you, the whole animation just gives a sense of happiness and kindness that does scream "CHRISTMAS!!11!1
Not to mention it is comical in ways I'm pretty positive it was never meant to be.
I mean, the Quiggle is literally a door-to-door ornament salesmen. Like, does this happen often in Neopia? Around Christmas time random people just go up to your house and try and sell you unattractive Christmas ornaments? Do Neopians buy all of their Christmas decorations this way? "Hello Ma'am. Can I interest you in a lovely garland this evening?
And then he doesn't even seem to acknowledge the fact that he's sitting next to Lord Darigan. You know, the ruler of that giant citadel in the sky? Had a major war in the Meridell vs. Darigan wars? Nearly destroyed Neopia with the help of an orb? None of this rings a bell? And Fyora only knows what Lord Darigan's thinking about there.
Also, bonus points for this face:
Y13, Day 17
Not everyone celebrates the holidays in the same way. Some people hang up wreaths or light candles, some people spend the day with their families, and some people exchange giant mutant petpetpets with each other. And it really is just lovely to see two professors in the same field enjoying something they both love. You just know that Clodbottle took that mutant Mootix home and now treats it like a giant pet and that Fairweather is making all sorts of scientific discoveries with his Mootix. You just know.
And to be fair, Mootixes are worth almost a million NP. These guys might be onto something.
Y9, Day 18
This one is simply cute. Just two good friends enjoying the winter and the fog on the windows it brings. How can you not like that? It gives off a lovely, cozy feeling and will most likely bring back memories of snow days spent with your friends (or spent with your computer, but you get the point). I think most of us would be lying if we said we've never drawn pictures on foggy glass or left messages to others before, so it's plenty relatable. And because it's not specifically Christmas-themed, you can enjoy it and its wonderfully jaunty music any day of the winter. What's not to like?
(It's worth nothing that there appears to be the outline of a Christmas tree in the right reflection off the glass. Either TNT's getting really good at subliminal messages or the author is slowly going insane from watching all of these.)
Y7, Day 15
This is a ridiculously simple animation, but I still feel like it deserves a spot on this list. Keep in mind that this was made before pirate Krawks were made middle-class citizens thanks to the Forgotten Shore, so this Krawk would have been one of the most expensive pets available at the time. I like to think this is that same pirate Krawk shown in the Money Tree advert that pops up on the homepage from time to time, the one standing next to the blue Kacheek in rags. It has money to spare, so it's passing it out to those in need. And look how happy he is as he does it! Pure joy from helping others - I think that's exactly what Christmas should be about.
Well, that and neggnog.
Y14, Day 23
This is another animation that's brilliant simply for putting two characters who relate to one another in the same scene. C'mon, it's the Cybunny who has an entire event centered around masks and the... creature of unknown origin who never takes off his mask. How much more perfect can you get?
And while there have been animations centered in the Haunted Woods during Christmas, this one really brings the two holidays together in the best way. Show up with a mask of some sort and instead of candy, you get a present? I think everyone can get behind that.
And capping it all off is the Tombola Man's complete confusion over what just happened. He has no idea why a random Cybunny just gave him a present and he will probably never find out why. People will see him standing at the edge of the beach for hours at a time, completely silent as he stares out into the sea, wondering.
Wondering why a random Cybunny gave him a Christmas present and promptly walked away.
Y9, Day 12
There's never any explanation as to why a small cluster of Meepits ended up caroling in front of that poor Wocky's house. So why is there a small cluster of Meepits caroling in front of that poor Wocky's house?
I don't know, but it sure is funny.
Heck, the fact that this situation is so odd is what makes this so funny. This isn't like some animations where it's so weird that you don't know how to feel about it - there's enough of a comprehensive story that you can laugh at just how odd this all is. I mean, there's a giant group of Meepits harmoniously caroling to a random Wocky who's probably going to need therapy for years after this. How can you not laugh at that?
Also, may I direct your attention to the prize given out this day, and, more importantly, its description:
Meepit Carols - r101
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la *BITES YOUR FACE*
Y7, Day 14
Now, let's make one thing clear here: no one likes playing the Coconut Shy. You attempt to knock a coconut down, fail to get an avatar, rip your hair out, and repeat ad infinitum. And that might not be so bad on its own, but then there's Leeroy. That greasy, wart-covered son of a gun with his annoying little high pitched giggle, who most likely enjoys spitting on Baby Wockies in his free time. We've all wanted to wipe that obnoxious smile off his face, and this animation is so kind as to do that in the most awesome way possible. Yes, it's nothing but self-fulfillment, and smiting your enemies isn't exactly the best Christmas moral ever, but we're allowed to treat ourselves once in a while. And it is very, very satisfying.
Also, let's not forget about the animation from the previous year, in which a poor Kacheek attempts to win at the game and most likely fails to eat supper that night. Karma in the form of a snowball-machine welding Zafara is the most awesome kind of karma there is.
Y14, Day 31
To the average watcher, this is going to be confusing as heck. There's a time machine and really bad art and a clock tower and flashing text and then a giant chokato and it falls on everyone and man why did I eat that fishing Hissi's questionable sandwich?
However, let's take a look back 11 years ago to Y3's New Year's animation. Look familiar?
Yep, that Draik time-traveled back to the New Year's animation from Y3 and looks just as confused as the rest of us while watching it. (And no, there's no explanation for the original animation. All I can tell you is that Neopia used to be weird back then.) As someone who had to watch through every single animation from the beginning in order to write this article, you have no idea how incredibly satisfying to end on. It's clever, a treat to older Neopian's/historians/people with no lives like me, and it even makes fun of just how strange Neopia used to be back then. And at the time of writing, this is the most recent animation. How incredibly fitting.
The very long list of runners up that didn't quite make the article but by Fyora they came close:
Y6, Day 24, Y7, Day 7, Y7, Day 8, Y7, Day 29, Y8, Day 7, Y8, Day 11, Y8, Day 31, Y10, Day 28, Y11, Day 10, Y11, Day 13, Y13, Day 1, Y13, Day 6, Y13, Day 14, Y14, Day 8, Y14, Day 13, and Y14, Day 26. *phew*
I hope you enjoyed this list, and if not, well, no skin off my back. Enjoy your neggnog and Advent Calendar items, and remember: If caroling Meepits show up at your door, just walk away.