Click hear to hear the introductory song (500Kb Zipped Wav file)
Click hear to hear the ending song (730Kb Zipped Wav file)
Little Gems - Ziggy's Gift
Ziggy is at home in his bathroom when he hears an article on the television news about a charity worker scam involving bogus Santas collecting money. Whilst reading through his newspaper he comes across an advert seeking Santas and so decides to apply for the job. He leaves the apartment, gathers his sledge and takes his faithful companion. On his way to the office, Ziggy gets splashed with snow by a careless driver carrying Christmas trees, one of which (a very small one) falls off and lands in the road. Ziggy collects it and puts it on his little sledge that he is pulling behind him. He runs into a police officer who takes an instant dislike to him and is told to move it along. We also get introduced to the thief who is hiding inside a dustbin. The thief helps himself to the police officer's wallet.
Ziggy arrives at the employment office and a large sign on the door reads "Santas needed - apply within." Ziggy is met by a large man (who at first looks suspiciously like the newsreader off the television). As Ziggy goes inside, the wind blows off the Santas Needed sign and underneath a sign saying "Fly-By-Nite Loan Co" is revealed. The man pretends that there are numerous people after the position and hands Ziggy a Santa outfit to wear. He also gives him a small cauldron for the collections and tells him to return all the money he collects. Outside, the policeman picks up the sign and wonders about the significance of it.
Ziggy, his dog with sledge in tow head outside and begin to collect money for charity. The thief though, is soon on Ziggy's trail especially as the cauldron Ziggy has been given appears to have some sort of power to help people. Ziggy comes across another group of charity workers who are collecting money. Ziggy takes out his wallet, it is empty but instantly the cauldron glows yellow and a small bundle of cash appears which he donates. The thief sees this and must get his hands on the cauldron. At every turn, his attempts to steal the cauldron are thwarted and so decides to go undercover by stealing his own Santa outfit.
Whilst collecting, Ziggy comes across a shivering kitten who adopts Ziggy and rides on the sledge with them. Ziggy and company soon come across several large crates containing live Turkeys. Ziggy reaches into the cauldron and buys their freedom. The thief discovers that the cauldron appears to only work for Ziggy. Ziggy continues walking through the town helping people wherever he can. We soon see a police wagon containing the crooked Santas as well as the ring leader. The police officer rings in to state that he only has one more to catch - the little guy Ziggy whom he believes is the last of the gang.
The officer eventually catches up with Ziggy outside a foster home. He tries to arrest the little Santa and becomes entangled with the thief who has been grabbed by the dog and kitten. Inside the foster home the children are watching the events. The trio stop fighting and start carol singing instead. They all then go in for some hot chocolate. The children then all go up to the thief as he has the large sack. He slowly takes out presents from the empty sack and give them to the children.
The kitten makes a real impact on the children and decides to stay with the orphans. The thief suddenly realises what giving actually means and realises his wrong doings. He actually likes handing out presents to the children. He even makes a generous gesture to the policeman and gives back the wallet he stole earlier. The policeman realises his mistake too and lets Ziggy go. Eventually while everyone is playing with or opening their presents, Ziggy and his little dog leave the orphanage having done some great deeds. Ziggy and the little dog trudge slowly through the streets to return to their home.
And so ends a truly wonderful little animation, one of the best Christmas animations to come out of that era. A lovely piece of theme music brought these great characters to life and made the whole cartoon a joy to watch. No violence, bad language, CGIs, special effects were needed, just the superb talents of the animators, the composer and the voice overs. It's a shame they don't make them like this anymore. Probably the best short Christmas animation ever, yet we do not see it very often, in fact I do not believe it has been on British television for over 10 years (which begs the question - why ?).