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Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (TV special)

'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer' is an animated direct-to-video TV special, directed by Phil Roman, produced by SFM Entertainment, made for the cost of running a small household fan for four hours, and released in 2000. It airs every year on Cartoon Network and recently on The CW network during the Christmas season. Since The WB network produced this special, The CW has the broadcast rights to this special and Time Warner owns the copyrights.


The show begins by introducing Jake Spankenheimer, the main character, along with his family, most notably Grandma Spankenheimer, who owns a small general store in the town of Cityville. The store also happens to be the only piece of property not owned by Austin Bucks, the town's richest man, whose company specializes in making Christmas easier and less involved for the town's overly busy residents. Grandma, however, tells Austin Bucks that his method of trying to make Christmas easier is not really for the best and refuses to sell. This runs afoul of Cousin Mel, the family's gold-digging relative, who is attracted to Austin's good looks but even more so, his money.

Jake loves the holiday season, as does his grandmother, though most of his family is not as excited about it. Jake and his older sister, Daphne, also quarrel over Santa Claus' existence, as Jake's parents try to (gently) break the news to him that Santa is not really real. Meanwhile, Cousin Mel comes up with a plan to sabotage Grandma's famous fruit cake recipe, secretly adding a disgusting ingredient with hopes that they won't sell, forcing Grandma to sell the store to Austin Bucks. Grandma then takes the fruit cakes and her other baked goods with her when she leaves the house on Christmas Eve night, but as she leaves Santa flies by overhead and his reindeer, suddenly out of control, crash into her. Jake sees out the window, but the family refuses to believe him. The next morning, however, Grandma is missing, and the police find an imprint of her in the snow, along with her belongings; Cousin Mel also finds a piece of paper that she quickly hides from the others. However, no one can tell where Grandma is herself.

Almost a year passes without Grandma, and during this time, Cousin Mel comes up with a new plan to sell the store to Austin Bucks, by tricking Grandpa Spankenheimer (who is somewhat senile) into giving her his power of attorney. She then plans to sell the store to Austin Bucks, but when Jake objects, Bucks agrees to give him another week in order to find Grandma before going through with the deal. Adamant in his belief that Santa ran over her, Jake e-mails Santa, and soon Quincy, Santa's "head elf," comes to take Jake to the North Pole. It turns out that Santa had run over Grandma, but had then taken her back to his home for medical treatment. Unfortunately she now had amnesia, and until receiving Jake's e-mail Santa had been unsure of who she was. However, when Jake explains the situation back in Cityville, Santa, Quincy and the amnesiac Grandma agree to go with him to stop the deal.

When they arrive in Cityville, however, Cousin Mel and her attorney, I.M. Slime ("you said it, not me,") quickly come up with a plan to kidnap Grandma, and after Santa explains to Austin Bucks what happened, Jake and Quincy discover that Grandma has gone missing again. Cousin Mel and I.M. Slime then accuse Santa of being behind her disappearance, and he is put on trial for kidnapping, leaving the scene of an accident and "sleighicular negligence." The two then plot to sue him, deducing that someone who can pay for billions of presents must be incredibly wealthy.

Jake becomes suspicious that Cousin Mel may have been involved in Grandma's second disappearance, and follow her to a cabin in the woods where she and I.M. Slime have been keeping Grandma. They rescue Grandma, and also find the piece of paper Cousin Mel had found at the site of Grandma's accident---a note from Santa explaining what had happened---and a vial of the ingredient Cousin Mel had added to Grandma's fruit cakes, which turned out to be "reindeer-nip." They then manage to restore Grandma's memory by feeding her some of her own famous fruit cake, and rush to the courthouse to prove that Cousin Mel had been behind everything that happened to Grandma. Confronted with the evidence, Cousin Mel is forced to confess, and she is placed under arrest. Austin Bucks then approaches Grandma again, this time offering to franchise her store throughout the country.

The show ends with Grandma accidentally picking up the tainted fruit cake instead her own recipe, with the result that Santa hits her again as he's trying to fly back to the North Pole.


  • Elmo Shropshire ... Narrator, Grandpa
  • Alex Doduk ... Jake Spankenheimer: The central character in this movie. He and his grandfather are the only ones in Citiesville that still believe in Santa Claus, and is determined to find his grandma, stop his cousin, and save Christmas.
  • Susan Blu ... Grandma: The owner of the Spankenheimer Department store. She is accidentally hit by Santa's reindeer and disappears; which results in temporary amnesia.
  • Michele Lee ... Cousin Mel: Jake's greedy, moneygrubbing, attractive, and yet evil cousin. Like in the song, she is called " Cousin Mel ". She hates Christmas and intentially hid the evidence of Grandma's wearabouts so that she could inheret the rights to the family store and sell it.
  • Maggie Blue O'Hara ... Daphne Spankenheimer: Jake's sister.
  • Jim Staal ... Santa Claus: The jolly old man in the red suit.
  • Cam Clarke ... Austin Bucks: A monoplozing store tycoon that wants to buy the store from the Spankenheimers, but near the end of the special, decides instead of buying out the Spankenheimers, he decides to franchise the Spankenheimers' store. Differing somewhat from a usual theme, Bucks is not the main villain---he is completely unaware of Cousin Mel's plots and, in fact, gives Jake ample opportunity to prove his story, despite not really believing it.
  • Kathleen Barr ... Additional Voices
  • Venus Terzo ... Additional Voices


  • The song "Grandpa's Gonna Sue the Pants off of Santa" was a song written by Dr. Elmo Shropshire and Rita Abrams, and originally performed Dr. Elmo Shropshire.
  • The song "Grandma's Killer Fruitcake" is another song written by Dr. Elmo Shropshire and Rita Abrams, and originally performed Dr. Elmo Shropshire.
  • The song "Grandma's Spending Christmas with the Superstars" is another song written by Dr. Elmo Shropshire and Rita Abrams, and originally performed Dr. Elmo Shropshire.
  • The song "Feels Like Christmas" is yet another song written by Elmo Shropshire and Pam Wendell, and instead of it being sung by Elmo Shropshire, it is sung by the person who sung "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" for the film.
  • Several of the character models appear to have been recycled from Histeria. I.M. Slime looks strikingly like network censor Lydia Karaoke. Santa's head elf looks quite a bit like Bill Straitman. The jury foreman resembles an older, thinner Lucky Bob.
  • The fictional product "reindeer-nip" has the same effect as catnip. It's strongly implied--by yellowish odor lines coming off the cake and its foul taste--that it might actually be the urine of a pregnant female deer, often used to attract the male and to conceal a hunter's scent.
  • The female cop seems to be heavily influenced by a character in the film Fargo, in appearance and her heavy Minnesota accent.
  • When the state's district attorney-general Hartung tells the police to arrest Cousin Mel, the crimes spoken against her are obstruction of justice and almost ruining Christmas.
  • This movie was made by a team of animators famous for their work on Captain Planet and the Planeteers and Action 52.

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