Act One

(Opening shot: the city skyline during the day, with snow falling. During the following verses, pull back slowly into the suburbs; the entire landscape is blanketed in white.)

Narrator: 'Twas the city of Townsville, and all through the town,

All the townsfolk are stirring as snow's falling down.

It's bitter and freezing in the dead of December,

But there's reason for joy, if you can remember.

For it's this time of year that our story unfolds,

When our hearts are the warmest, despite all the cold.

(Pokey Oaks Kindergarten comes into view.)

Yes, it is Christmas, just two days before,

And all through the town, none can wait anymore...

For the timely arrival of one certain fat guy...

Who brings us all goodies from out of the sky.

Full of anticipation are these urban folks,

None more so than the students at old Pokey Oaks.

(The camera stops pulling back during the last two lines, then cuts to a close-up of Ms. Keane's desk inside. One of her pupils reaches into view and sets an apple on it; the gift has a red ribbon tied around it and a misspelled tag attached: "Mary Krismas Ms Kene.")

Ms. Keane: (from o.c.) Thank you, Billy.

(Pull back. She sits behind the desk, which is decorated like a gingerbread house and piled high with apples, and kids are lined up with similar offerings. The blackboard behind her reads, "Homework: Have a happy X-mas!" During the next line, the named kids file past and give her their apples.)

Ms. Keane: Well, thank you, Kristen. Thank you, Clara.

(Elsewhere, three kids are stringing popcorn garlands for a small potted Christmas tree. One of them is Julie Bean, but she is eating the materials. Another kid winds up a Santa Claus doll and lets it loose on the floor; camera follows it.)

Santa doll: Ho ho ho! Ho ho ho! Ho ho ho!

(Cut to a close-up of drawings taped on a bulletin board and pan across them. They are arranged in a rough line and depict Santa's team of reindeer.)

Bubbles: (from o.c., to "Deck the Halls")

Christmas time is in a few days, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

(As she continues, the camera reaches her taping up the sleigh picture and pulls back.)

Santa'll give me lots of toys, yay, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

(She jumps up an octave on the last "la." Turn down to Buttercup at the desk in front of the board. She has pages spread out before her and looks rather annoyed.)

Buttercup: Bubbles! I'm trying to concentrate!

Bubbles: I'm only trying to spread some Christmas cheer.

(She floats down as Blossom walks over to them with a small gingerbread house in hand.)

Buttercup: Well, can it! I'm busy. (We now see that her pages are headed "GIMME.")

Blossom: Doing what?

Buttercup: (stacking them up) Writing my wish list for Santa.

Bubbles: Are you crazy? You're only giving him two days to prepare - and that's even if he gets it on time!

Buttercup: Oh, yeah? When did you send yours, smarty-pants?

Bubbles: December 26.

Buttercup: Hah! That's after Christmas.

Bubbles: December 26, last year. (She blows a raspberry.)

Buttercup: Oh, no! What if I don't get my official Red Raider carbine-action two-hundred-shot range-model air rifle?

Princess Morebucks: (from o.c.) Hah!

(This catches the girls off guard. Pull back to show her standing at a distance, in her civvies and with her back to us.)

Princess: Who would want a stupid old BB gun? (They gasp.)

Girls: Princess!

Princess: Besides, you'll shoot your eye out. (Cut to her.) Since my daddy buys me anything I want, I only have one thing on my list for Santa: to be a Powerpuff Girl!

[Note: Buttercup's choice of gifts and Princess' response to it are take-offs on Ralph Parker's predicament in A Christmas Story.]

Blossom: Don't hold your breath, Princess.

Princess: What?! Why?

Bubbles: Because Santa has his own list, and he checks it twice. It says who's naughty and who's nice.

Princess: So?

Bubbles: Duh! You're naughty. (Princess gasps.)

Princess: Nuh-uh!

Blossom: Yeah-huh.

Princess: Nuh-uh!

Buttercup: Yeah-huh.

Princess: Nuh-uh!

Bubbles: Yeah-huh!

Princess: Prove it! (The girls rise out of their seats in time with the next three lines.)

Blossom: You bought the city and legalized crime!

Buttercup: You hired Mojo to try and destroy us!

Bubbles: You gave us a bomb for our birthday!

Buttercup: You teamed up with three felons and went on a crime spree!

Bubbles: You tricked our friend Robin into stealing, and then you tattled on her!

[Note: References to "Bought and Scold", "Mo Job", "Birthday Bash", "Meet the Beat Alls", and "Superfriends", in that order.]

(On the next line, zoom in on Princess, putting the girls o.c.)

Blossom: You're a spoiled brat who's greedy and jealous, and you don't care who you step on to get what you want! (A beat of silence.)

Princess: And your point is...?

(The girls groan disgustedly and drop back into their seats, just ahead of the school bell. As everyone else heads for the door, Blossom holds her position for a moment before following them.)

Blossom: The point, Princess, is that you better change your ways, or all you're ever gonna get from Santa is a big fat lump of coal in your stocking.

(Close-up of a boiling-over Princess on the end of this. The o.c. sound of the Santa doll snaps her out of it. Pull back to show the toy walking slowly towards her; when it is within striking distance, she boots it hard enough to break it and send springs flying. At the door, Ms. Keane wades through a knot of cheering kids who have put on their cold-weather gear.)

Ms. Keane: Okay, kids...ooh! Hold your horses.

(Reaching the knob, she pulls on it and is rewarded with a large drift of snow that spills in through the doorway, burying the kids. She looks out; cut to just outside the door as she pokes her head around the frame for a better view. The entire building is hemmed in by several feet of snow. However, the area nearest her starts to smoke and melt, and after a moment the surface recedes to show Blossom clearing the path with the help of her eye lasers. She is now clad in full winter kit, including a pair of bright red earmuffs.)

(When she stops firing, pull back down the newly cleared sidewalk to the sound of cheering, then cut back to the door. The girls float out, all dressed for the cold - Buttercup sporting a green and white striped cap, Bubbles a scarf and toboggan - and are followed by their classmates at ground level.)

Ms. Keane: Bye-bye now. Merry Christmas. Happy holidays. Be nice for Santa.

(Close-up of Mitch Mitchelson as he heads out. His coat is the same shade of orange as the shorts he usually wears, and he has on a black hat and scarf. The latter shows the same message as his regular T-shirt: "MITCH ROCKS." After a moment, he approaches another girl who takes no notice of him, stops, and makes a snowball to throw at her hat, which looks like the perfect target - but before he can throw it, Ms. Keane speaks up.)

Ms. Keane: Remember: he's watching you.

(The would-be pitcher's face falls and lets the snowball drop to the sidewalk before walking away. Back to the doorway, the camera placed so that Ms. Keane is seen from the waist up. Princess is the last to leave; she is decked out in a white fur coat and hat. As she passes, there is a crunch and the woman recoils in pain.)

Ms. Keane: Ooh!

(Pull back; she is standing on one foot - apparently the little brat trod on her toes. As the other kids look on, some in anger, others in muted fear, she walks straight through them to her limousine at the curb. The driver is holding the door open for her. Head-on view of that door, with her directing a vicious look at the camera from the passenger seat; when the door is closed, we see the recipients of that glare: the girls. The limo speeds away; cut to Princess inside.)

Princess: Spoiled?! Greedy?! Bratty?! Naughty?! Naughty?! (Pull back to the driver's seat.) Driver! Do you know what those rotten awful Powerpuffs said to me today?

(The driver tries to think of an answer that will not get him fired on the spot.)

Princess: They said I was naughty! Can you believe that?

(He coughs a bit, easing the word "yes" into the sound.)

Princess: Me? Naughty? I'm not naughty, am I?

Driver: (sweating) Well, uh...I'll...oops!

(He jabs at a button on the dashboard. Behind him, a tinted-glass partition slides up and blocks the passenger area from sight and hearing.)

Driver: Seems my finger has slipped. (to himself, wiping forehead) Whew. That was close.

(He drives in blissful silence for a moment, but the ringing of the limo's telephone draws his attention. Ever so slowly, he extends his hand downward, picks up the receiver, and lifts it to his ear. The force of the next words causes him to recoil briefly.)

Princess: (over phone) Well? You didn't answer my question!

Driver: (imitating static) You're-you're-you're breaking up!...I'm going through a...unnel...alk...late...

(The last of this, meant to sound like a cell phone signal dropping out intermittently, would normally go something like this: "I'm going through a tunnel. I'll talk to you later." There is a loud pounding on the partition, after which Princess sticks her head out the rear driver's-side window. She can be seen through the front one now, and she is holding the receiver on her end of the limo.)

Princess: (through glass) No, we're not! I'm in the car, you twit!

(Close-up of its rear license plate "MORBUKS" and pull back as it rolls up the drive to Morebucks Manor. Inside, Princess sits at one end of a long dining room table and stirs a bowl of soup. At her elbow is a bell to summon servants; after a moment, she rings it and the camera pulls back to the other end of the table. Delicacies are ranged along its length, and an elderly fellow carrying a tea tray stands with his back to her.)

Princess: Servant, tell me. Do you think that I'm naughty?

(His eyes dart nervously about before her next word shakes the entire room.)

Princess: WELL?

Servant: (stammering) I think my...biscuits are burning.

(He dashes o.c.; his mistress fumes and knocks her soup bowl aside. Cut to the exterior of the manor's upper floors. It is now nighttime, and the snow is still falling. Inside, Princess is tucked in for bed and still quite out of sorts. Pull back to show a hefty woman standing across the bedroom, with her back to the girl: a nanny or governess.)

Princess: Nanny!

Nanny: Yes? (forcing a smile) Sweetheart?

Princess: Am I naughty? (Tense pause.)

Nanny: Time for bed! Lights out.

(She runs o.c. The lights go out as the door to the hall slams. Princess glares after her for a moment.)

Princess: Wait! I need another pillow! (Pause; silence.) Fine! I'll just go get it myself!

(She jumps down from her bed and crosses the room to the linen closet. When she opens it, however, instead of pillows and blankets, a torrent of coal spills out and fills the room almost to the ceiling. Liberally smudged with its dust, the occupant emerges from the vast heap and spits out a chunk.)

Princess: Naughty, huh? I'll show you who's naughty!

(She bats at a piece and sends it flying toward the camera to black out the screen. A door opens, admitting a shaft of light from outside and Princess standing within it - we are now in another dark room. Piece by piece, she dons black clothing, then picks up a piece of coal; extreme close-up of each cheek in turn as she uses it to smudge dust on her face, in the same way that football players apply black pigment beneath each eye to reduce glare. Pull back to show her fully suited up, head to toe, and ready for a little covert action.)

(Cut to a pan down the hallway. Princess, just out of view and following the camera, kicks the coal along in front of herself. Overhead view of her.)

Princess: And all these years I thought that coal in my stocking came from Daddy's coal mine!

(The chunk reaches a staircase and bounces down; she follows.)

Princess: Who does that blimp think he is, denying me presents?

(Close-up of the bottom steps; the coal tumbles down them and shatters on the floor. She groans from o.c. and descends into view; follow her to the front entrance on the next line.)

Princess: Well, this time I am gonna be a Powerpuff Girl! (The manor's exterior; she throws the doors open and steps out.) And I'm sure not gonna let some elf with a weight problem stop me!

(A string of motorized carts - the sort that might be used to ferry passengers and crew around an airport - pulls up at the steps that lead down from the doors to the front walk. She stomps down, climbs into one, and is whisked away. Pull back and follow her along the drive. The procession consists of three connected carts - with the limousine driver piloting the lead one, Princess seated in the center one, and the last one piled high with suitcases. During the following lines, the driver stops near an airplane and she gets out and boards it.)

Princess: Hah! Well, I'll show him - and I'll show those Powerpukes who's naughty and who's nice!

Narrator: She entered her jet, to her man gave a yell,

And away Princess went, with a plot, I can tell.

Princess: To the North Pole! And step on it!

(She slams the hatch shut. Cut to the manor's exterior and pull back to a long shot as the plane takes off. Pan to the city skyline as the Narrator continues.)

Narrator: And left no one aware of the web she would weave...

(Dissolve to one corner of the exterior of the girls' house and pan to center the structure.)

Not even the girls, preparing for Christmas Eve.

(Close-up of Blossom in the living room. She is braced for a showdown.)

Blossom: Okay. On the count of three.

(Cut to Buttercup, also down there and ready to go.)

Blossom: (from o.c.) One... (To Bubbles, also ready.) ...two...

(Pull back. All three are in a line by the stairs, as if about to run a race.)

Blossom: ...three!

(They zip off in different directions. In the kitchen, Blossom opens the cabinets in no time flat and stops at the counter with a mixing bowl and some ingredients, which she pours in. Buttercup flashes into a hall closet; a moment later, something crashes through the door and lands on the carpet. It is a large cardboard box labeled "X-mass," and it has left a snowflake-shaped hole in the wood. Buttercup emerges from the box, with a tangle of Christmas lights ensnaring her. However, this does not stop her from zipping o.c. with the lot.)

(Bubbles, meanwhile, is flying in high gear; cut to the exterior of the house as she exits through a bedroom window. Pan to the forest, where her light trail disappears among the trees. The glare of her eye lasers flashes up among the leaves, and a tree falls over - she drew lumberjack duty this year. In the kitchen, Blossom extracts a mound of dough from her bowl, shapes it into a ball, and throws it up near the ceiling twice. It lands on the counter before her and spins in place for a second before she blows gently over its surface to flatten it out.)

(Outside, Buttercup puts lights on the bushes and the frame of the front door. Window frames and wall edges are given the same treatment; when she finishes, the entire house has been outlined in white lights. Bubbles streaks toward the door; inside, it bursts open and we see her holding the tree she cut down. She hurls it across the first floor, adding a bit of spin to make it rotate, and it hits the living room wall with its trunk pointing down and drops neatly into a stand that has been placed there. Another instant, and she has festooned it with ornaments and tinsel. She beams at her accomplishment and zips away.)

(Close-up of a star-shaped cookie cutter held aloft by Blossom. She quickly produces two more - a Christmas tree and a gingerbread man - in the same hand by a small feat of legerdemain. Pull back to show her floating in the kitchen; she starts flinging the cutters as if they were shurikens, and they strike the flattened dough on the counter. The number of projectiles suggests that she was holding entire stacks of cookie cutters. Once they have all hit, she zaps the mass with a quick blast of her eye lasers, then lifts up the entire fully baked sheet with one hand and lets the cookies drop onto a plate in the other. Throwing the scraps aside, she breathes in the aroma.)

(Outside, Buttercup lands in the front yard and throws three giant snowballs off to one side. They land in a stack to form a snowman, which she quickly decorates with coal eyes, mouth, and buttons; carrot nose; stick arms; a scarf; and a top hat. She then zips away. Inside, Bubbles hangs red ribbons on the balcony and garlands on the stair banister in an eyeblink, then scales a wreath toward a painting and gets it to stick up near the top edge. Buttercup flies into view and stops near the top of the tree; Bubbles does likewise a moment later.)

Bubbles, Buttercup: I win! I get to put the star on the tree!

Blossom: (from o.c.) I don't think so.

(This jolts them out of their glee at having won this decorating competition. Quick pan to her by the fireplace, where a good blaze is going. Three appropriately colored and labeled stockings hang from the mantel, and the cookies sit on a nearby table next to a glass of milk. Blossom's face is the very picture of smugness - she beat them to the punch and she knows it.)

Buttercup: Aw, man!

Bubbles: No fair!

(Close-up of a star ornament in Blossom's hand and pull back to show her floating up to the topmost branch of the tree. As Bubbles smiles and Buttercup fails to, she sets it in place and then addresses herself o.c.)

Blossom: Okay, Professor!

(Cut to him. He is now in the living room as well, and he eagerly clutches the ends of two electrical cords.)

Professor: Here we go!

(He connects the cords and voices a stifled little cry of anticipation. Close-up of a group of tree lights, which turn on one at a time, then of the star, which suddenly blazes to life. The family watches the spectacle.)

Girls, Professor: Ooooh!

(The wonder is short-lived, however, as the lights flicker and then go out.)

Girls, Professor: (crushed) Awwww...

(More flickering, and the lights are back on.)

Girls, Professor: Ooooh! (They go out again.) Awwww...

(They come back on, and everyone gasps happily at the good fortune. Once again, though, Murphy's law of electricity asserts itself and the Professor looks as if he might cry this time.)

Girls: Awwww...

Professor: (moaning) Not again!

(Cut to outside the living room window and pull back slowly on the next line. His silhouette can be seen through the glass.)

Professor: Every year it's the same darn thing. I can make three little kids out of seasoning, but I can't get these lights to work!

(Dissolve to a longer shot of the house, seen from a couple of streets away, and pull back slowly into a pan through the neighborhood on the next line. The houses are tricked out with lights.)

Narrator: Ahh, Professor, get to it. You fix up those lights.

Everything must be perfect on this most happy of nights.

(Dissolve to a pan along another street. People wave from their doorsteps and carry trees and presents.)

Townspeople: (to the tune of "Deck the Halls")

Public domain Christmas songs, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

(On the end of this, zoom in on one window and dissolve to the living room within that house. Pan across the space as the Narrator continues; a father relaxes with his pipe, while his son plops a party hat on a less-than-enthused dog.)

Narrator: A night so many people throughout the whole city...

Share with brother and sister, Mom, Dad, puppy, and kitty.

(Near the end of this, a cat runs happily toward a Christmas tree at the far end of the room, where the woman of the house is adding some ornaments. The couple's daughter chases the cat into the branches, and it pops out near the mother's head. Everyone has a good laugh at this; the dog remains aloof.)

(At this point, the camera is positioned just behind and to one side of the tree, which is so close that it is seen only as a black silhouette. Pan in its direction until the screen is entirely blacked out. The laughter fades, and the pan continues to show a different room with a tree set up near a blazing fireplace. A small boy walks in and sets some cookies and milk by the grate, then pulls out a note marked "To Santa" and looks eagerly toward the tree on the next line.)

Narrator: And all of the younguns are waiting with glee,

Thinking only of morn and what's under that tree.

(Close-up of the cookies and milk. He sets the note down by them, turning it around to reveal its flip side to the camera. On it is his drawing of a firetruck, labeled "Truck," and stick figure driver labeled "Me." If nothing else, this kid thinks big. He skips happily out of the room, passing his older brother - a big, sour-faced fellow wearing a letter jacket and a healthy crop of pimples - as he goes. When said brother sees he is now alone in the room, his face brightens and he pulls out a note of his own.)

Narrator: And not just the children, the teenagers too.

(He puts it down by the first one; its flip side shows a helmeted stick figure ("Me") holding a football.)

Narrator: Chuck wants a football.

(Cut to outside the window as he too skips out of the room, then turn up to the roof. A girl with long black hair and punk-wannabe clothes sits up there and sulks - Chuck's sister.)

Narrator: Kathleen, a tattoo.

(Cut to another house and zoom in slowly.)

The grownups as well have gifts that they crave.

(Dissolve to the interior: it is Ms. Keane's house, and she is saying a prayer. Zoom in on a picture that hangs behind her. She and some of her kids are outside Townsville Hall; they are all enjoying the day, except for her. She is casting a very worried glance down at Mitch, who is mooning the camera.)

Narrator: Ms. Keane only wishes for Mitch to behave.

(Dissolve to a box that holds a My Little Mare doll from the Ponypuffs line of toys; the illustration resembles the pony seen in the kids' show early in "Nano of the North".)

Narrator: A My Little Horsey with combable hair...

Is on the top of the list of our honorable Mayor.

(On the end of this, cut to him in his office and pull back to show Ms. Bellum in the foreground. He is in his pajamas and sprawled on the floor, having fallen asleep over a book.)

Narrator: Ms. Bellum longs for a facial made of sea salt and moss...

To ease stress she endures from her ridiculous boss.

(As he finishes, pull back far enough to leave both of them visible only as silhouettes. She hangs her head and walks away. Pan across the office in that direction, the view fading to black.)

(Snap to a long shot of Mojo Jojo's observatory and zoom in.)

Narrator: And even those foes with hearts full of spite...

(Cut to inside, near the top of a steel Christmas tree, and turn down. Mojo stands placidly by the lowest "branch," ornament in hand.)

Also eagerly await the gifts they'll get tonight.

(He hangs the ornament, but it quickly slides off the steel surface and shatters on the floor. He is irked; pull back to a long shot of him as he stalks away with his cape trailing imperiously as usual. Out in the street, the mail trucks are running even at this late hour.)

Narrator: And beyond the boundaries of this particular town,

(A girl drops a letter to Santa, addressed to 1 North Pole, into a mailbox.)

More hoping and wishing can be found all around.

(A truck pulls up, blocking the view; when it pulls away, the entire mailbox is gone. Follow it as it passes out of sight behind a building and the landscape changes to Egypt. The truck emerges in an area where palm trees and pyramids have been draped with lights - and, incredibly enough, it is still snowing.)

Narrator: The whole world's fallen under the Santa Claus spell.

(Now it drives into Japan and then the Netherlands before finally passing o.c. The snow continues to fall, and those lights are still shining into the night. Close-up of a small girl sitting at the window of one of the Dutch windmills and looking out dreamily as the truck rolls on behind her.)

Narrator: And on this eve of all eves, their hearts start to swell.

(A windmill blade sweeps across the screen. Behind its trailing edge, the view wipes to a map of the world, with various landmarks indicated on the continents. A dotted red line traces its way from one place to the next. As each of the following areas is named, a letter to Santa spins into view from the map and the camera cuts to an appropriately illustrated stamp from that place.)

Narrator: From Paraguay to Paree, from Tucson to Timbuktu,

(Another letter passes across; behind it, wipe to a close-up of an eager kid outside.)

The world's children are hoping their dreams will come true.

(The Timbuktu stamp in the previous sequence shows a rather bewildered fellow looking at a map and trying to figure out where he is. As the Narrator finishes, pull back slowly to show other kids gathered outside, then dissolve to a longer shot of that neighborhood and keep pulling back. Two more such dissolves show the entire subdivision and then the planet from outer space.)

Narrator: But these dreams are about to be foiled...

(Dissolve to Princess' plane in flight. She has bailed out.)

By an evil young girl who's nothing but spoiled.

(The camera follows her as she floats down and deploys a parachute. A signpost in the foreground indicates that this is the North Pole. Turn down to point at the ground and rotate 180 degrees, then turn up to point over a ridge at a large mountain chalet with a fleet of trucks parked outside. There is a smaller building near the trucks, and the main structure has a long, low hangar-like annex at one end. This is Santa's workshop - actually, "full-scale production plant" might be a better term. Princess drifts into view toward the complex.)

(Cut to inside, near the ceiling of one room. A thud marks her touchdown on the roof; turn down to a window, through which her shadow becomes visible among the bushes. She opens a snow-caked pane, looks around - and is rudely interrupted when all that snow falls on her head.)

Princess: Stupid snow!

(She is then knocked to the floor by the pane swinging down again.)

Princess: Stupid floor!

(Getting to her feet, she looks around. Cut to her perspective, panning slowly across the width of the room - a break area. Coffeepots, first aid kit, sink, a vending machine stocked with Nog Cola, table and chairs, bulletin board with notices tacked up - the sort of thing you might find in any factory. Her gaze focuses on a door set in the far wall and zooms in. Back to her.)

Princess: Ahhh! Ho ho ho!

(She somersaults across the floor and makes a leap for the doorknob. Just as she is about to seize it, though, it starts to rattle - someone is coming in from the other side. She drops to the floor and freezes in terror as voices make themselves heard through the wood. Laughing and arguing, they come closer; sweat pours down Princess' face as she looks for a place to hide. Close-up of the door, which finally opens to admit two elves, one fat, the other thin.)

Fat elf: And I said, "If you want a wooden duck whittled, that there is your man."

Thin elf: The man can whittle. (Overhead view of the room; they head for the vending machine.)

Fat elf: Oh, he sure can. Whittle, whittle, whittle, whittle, whittle.

(Cut to the machine, which dispenses two cans of Nog Cola at the press of a button. The elves drink as the camera rotates about 45 degrees counterclockwise and turns up slightly to show the far top corner of the room, where Princess is clinging to the ceiling, her face toward the floor. Close-up of her, still sweating; a drop runs down her cheek and hangs off her chin for some seconds. It finally falls away and hits the floor in the spot where the elves were standing - just after they have headed back the way they came. Neither takes any notice.)

(Cut to the open door, the camera pointing into the break room, as they walk o.c. and return to work. Princess descends into view, hanging from a line attached to the ceiling. When she gets to the floor, she goes into a three-point stance and reels in the line before jumping away to one side. Next she peeks around the doorframe; pull back to show this adjoining area as part of a wide hallway. There is a pile of boxes to one side. She ducks away again, an instant before a muscular, tattooed elf carries a large box into view. Follow him and turn up to the top of his load, from which Princess emerges, having hitched a ride unbeknownst to the worker.)

(Now she pulls out two small suction cups, one from each sleeve, and fires them toward the ceiling. Trailing lines behind them, they stick between two overhead lights; she quickly hauls herself up. Now she brings out two more cups, one on the sole of each boot, and flips her legs up to attach these to the ceiling as well. All four limbs are now anchored, and she begins to crawl along the ceiling, keeping pace with the muscular elf.)

(When he reaches a doorway, she makes her way down the section of wall above it. Cut to inside this new area as he enters and she peeks in; pull back and pan slowly across to reveal this as a production area, with elves working everywhere. Toys are carried on horizontal and vertical conveyor belts, candy canes are being made, a vat full of rubber balls stands amid the machinery, boxes are being filled, and forklifts carry pallets of crates here and there. One elf climbs a staircase at the far end of the room, where tall, closed double doors give onto a balcony overlooking the works - the plant manager's office.)

(Back to Princess, who squints a bit; goggles slide down over her eyes from beneath the brim of her cap. Cut to her perspective "infrared" and zoom in on a sign next to the doors: "Santa's Workshop: PRIVATE." Back to her again; the goggles slide away, and she flips herself over the top edge of the doorframe and climbs up the wall to reach the ceiling. She makes her way among the lights, not raising the suspicions of the elves working at the vertical conveyors.)

(She stops near the candy cane machine to observe it in action. Straight lengths of red and white striped candy emerge from an outlet near its base, and an elf bends one end of each to give it the cane shape. Princess climbs down the side of one feed tank, then up the other, and finally leaps away - but due to the force she exerts, a pipe fitting blows out and starts to leak. A large bubble of liquid candy forms there and grows a second before popping.)

(One drop splatters on the floor, just in front of an elf who is pulling out a pneumatic hose anchored to the ball vat. He steps in it and slips, losing his grip on the nozzle, and balls start to shoot toward the ceiling and stick in it. Princess must hustle along in order to stay ahead of them. Cut to her perspective, approaching the doors - they are framed upside down due to her placement - then back to her. She disengages the suction cups on her hands and feet, flips over, and lands on a light fixture.)

(Now she fires a grappling hook from her belt toward the doors; it embeds itself just above them. A second hook extends from her belt, just above her rear end, and sticks in the fixture as a second anchor. She leaps free and slides toward the door on this makeshift zip line without being noticed. Reaching the other end, she stands atop the frame and reels in the line behind her. The grappling hook strikes her in the rear, causing her to let out a cry of pain that she quickly muffles with both hands.)

(Princess slowly lowers herself headfirst, using the line that is still attached to the wall, and looks cautiously in each direction. The elves on the walkway in front of Santa's office are at a distance and do not see her; she releases the line, drops to the ground, and carefully backs up through the doors, closing them behind herself. Inside, close-up of a blazing fireplace, which she tiptoes past. Pull back to show it in one corner of the room, with a comfortable armchair nearby and a work table cluttered with tools and supplies in the foreground. The room is quite spacious, and its back wall boasts a number of plaques and an "Employee of the Month"-style photograph of an elf. Pan along its length as she sneaks in farther; half-finished toys also take up space on the table. She reaches the far end, which sports bookcases, a Christmas tree, and a framed picture of the big man himself, and stops by a doorway into the next room.)

(Cut to just inside this entrance; she peeks around ever so cautiously. As she speaks, the camera turns down to point at the floor, rotates 180 degrees, and then turns back up to point across the floor, which is littered with rolls of wrapping paper.)

Princess: Now, if I were a big fat bearded oaf... (Turn up farther to expose another tree, a drawing board, and a wall calendar.) ...where would I keep a stupid list?

(On the end of this, pan right to show a desk in the far corner, with a computer set up on it. She approaches this, climbs into the chair, and peeks up over the edge. A thick pile of printouts catches her eye, and her expression goes sour. Close-up of this; it shows a list of first names and a one-word heading in huge red letters: "NICE." She has found Santa's list. Grabbing the top sheet, she leans back in the chair and the rest of the pages unfold like an accordion - they are still attached to one another, the sort used in dot-matrix printers.)

Princess: (reading, looking at page after page) "Nice. Agatha Aarons, Arnold Adams..."

(She mumbles her way through several pages before stopping short on one of them and letting off a contemptuous little snort.)

Princess: "Bubbles, Blossom, Buttercup"?

(More mumbling and leafing through the list before she stops again.)

Princess: "Mitch Mitchelson"?! You gotta be kidding me!

(More mumbling and flipping through, and she reaches the last page.)

Princess: "Zachary Zimmerman." Where's my name?

(She groans disgustedly, gathers most of the pages into a stack, and throws the lot across the desk with a scream; it lands in a neat pile, right back where it started. Pan to her, still in the chair, then to the monitor. A Post-It note is stuck there, and it bears the word "NAUGHTY" above a single name: hers. Zoom in on this, then cut to an extreme close-up of her and pull back as she gasps in total shock at the facts. Close-up of each letter of the heading in turn, then pull back to frame all of it.)

Princess: (from o.c.) "Naughty." (Turn down to her name.) "Princess Morebucks."

[Note: Though her name has been spelled with an E in these transcripts, the Post-It leaves it out.]

(She reaches into view and removes the note; pull back to show her standing on the edge of the desk. Princess is overcome with sadness, but that soon gives way to boiling rage, and she tries to throw the slip down - but it is stuck to her fingers and does not budge. After waving her hand in a vain attempt to dislodge it, she finally manages to slam it down on the desk and then grabs a pencil. Close-up of it, held aloft in her hand, as she turns it around in preparation to erase and brings it down. Pull back to show only her shadow on the wall, bent over the desk and plying the eraser furiously. When she finishes, she leans back - part of her hair now in view - and laughs in malicious glee. She then leaps away and opens a window to slip out.)

Narrator: She spoke not a word; she had finished her work,

And took leave of her lie with a satisfied smirk.

(She leaves and closes the window. Quick pan to the desk, over which a snowy gust of wind blows to rattle the papers. The printout and the Post-It are both back where they started, but Princess has switched their headings. Cut to a long shot of the entire complex and turn up toward the sky, then dissolve to the outer-space view of Earth.)

(Dissolve to a close-up of one ornament on the tree at the girls' house. The lights are out. Pan right to the stairs, where the girls are dressed for bed and floating up to their room.)

Narrator: Meanwhile, three children we know are heading to bed...

(Dissolve to a slow pan across the bed. Buttercup and Blossom are asleep, and Bubbles turns off the lights and sits awake with Octi. Light from the hall shines over her.)

With thoughts of the morning and what lies ahead.

(Silence. Dissolve to an overhead shot of the bed; she closes her eyes after a moment. Another such transition shifts the view to just over the balcony railing, the camera pointing at the bedroom door; turn down to the tree. The lights are back on.)

Narrator: The girls drift off to sleep, their hopes at their heights,

(The Professor keeps fiddling with the electrical cords.)

While their dad is downstairs, still working on the lights.

(Fade to black.)

(Fade in to a long shot of Morebucks Manor.)

Narrator: But there's yet one more little girl filled with anticipation,

(Dissolve to a pan along the trophy room, where the fireplace blazes.)

Not for worldwide rejoicing, but her plot's activation.

(Stop on Princess, standing before the fire, and zoom in. She is back in her street clothes. Dissolve to a close-up; she is shoveling in coal from a pile behind her.)

Narrator: An evil gleam in her eye, this little redhead...

Is the sole one aware there is something to dread.

(Cut to inside the fireplace; Princess looks over the flames and smiles evilly from ear to ear. Now she approaches a window and looks out over the city.)

Narrator: She knows that these fools, content in their sleep,

Will, because of her, awaken and weep.

(Her smile has become a Cheshire Cat grin.)

For tomorrow, the world is in for a big huge surprise...

(Dissolve twice to longer shots of the window and the manor.)

Not candy and presents, but Christmas' demise!

Act Two

(Dissolve to an overhead view of the girls' house, zooming in slowly, then to their bedroom. Sleigh bells make themselves heard outside, followed by something scraping on the roof and a muffled command - Santa has just arrived. Bubbles wakes up, looks out the window, and hugs Octi joyfully before nudging Blossom.)

Bubbles: (softly) Girls! Girls! Girls! Wake up! (Bubbles accidentally smacks Blossom, lightly. Blossom shifts position to get out of reach.) I heard Santa! He's been here!

(She is rather annoyed at their lack of a response, so she takes matters into her own hands. Giggling, she jumps out of bed and tiptoes toward the door. Cut to just outside it; she eases it open and peeks eagerly into the hall. The only sound is that of the Professor's snoring through his bedroom door. She giggles again and zips down the stairs to stop at the tree; its lights are working again, but they then flicker and go out as before and her face falls. She slowly floats down to ground level and discovers, much to her dismay, that there is nothing under the tree but carpeting. The cookies and milk Blossom left for Santa are still untouched by the cold fireplace. Bubbles gasps. She keeps her voice down throughout the following scene.)

Bubbles: I know I heard him.

(She looks around herself; cut to her perspective, panning across the living room. Stop on the stockings and zoom in.)

Bubbles: What? (Back to her; she brightens.) The stockings!

(She flies over to them, looks around to make sure she is alone, and reaches into hers. What she pulls out is a lump of coal; she gasps and throws it down. On her next word, pull back across the room to behind it.)

Bubbles: No!

(She drops to the ground next to the coal and starts crying.)

Bubbles: No, no, no, no! ...Noooo!

(She gets herself under control in an instant, clapping her hands to her mouth in order to keep from waking everyone else, and eyes her sisters' stockings. The discovery of more coal in Blossom's causes her to gasp, and finding the same in Buttercup's sends her into a fit of hyperventilation. Upon looking o.c. across the room, she gasps weakly and zips in that direction, then flies to the sliding glass doors that lead to the backyard and opens them. Cut to the patio outside them as she takes off.)

(Bubbles stops in midair and, shading her eyes, squints to survey an area. Making up her mind, she flies to a house and stops outside its living room window. She wipes away some of the frost and peers in; cut to inside the room. There are no presents under this family's tree either, and the milk and cookies are still intact. She looks elsewhere, and her eyes glow orange; cut to her perspective of the stockings on the mantel and zoom in. She is focusing on these, and after a moment their contents - pure anthracite - appear. This is her X-ray vision at work. Back to her outside; she shuts it off and recoils in shock at what she has seen.)

(She then flies to another house, clears some frost from its window, and reconnoiters the room. No presents under this tree; milk and cookies not sampled; another stocking X-rayed and found to be stuffed with carbonaceous fossil fuel.)

(Bubbles flies down the street, stops in midair, and trains her X-rays on a random dwelling. Overhead view of it; the roof fades away to show yet another tree bereft of gifts and two more stockings filled with West Virginia black. Her check of another house yields a similar result. Now she aims her gaze in another direction; snap to black, which gives way to three horizontal panels that wipe in from the sides of the screen to show the results of her scan. The top one reveals a lack of presents, the middle one an untouched snack for Santa, the bottom one a pair of coal-laden stockings.)

(Back to Bubbles, who turns her eyes somewhere else. The same snap-and-wipe sequence shows another ignored house, but this time the panels are vertical rather than horizontal. She checks another area; snap to black, which yields to four small views that each fill one quadrant and appear in the following order. Top left: a tree without gifts. Top right: an uneaten snack. Bottom left: X-rayed stockings loaded with solidified peat moss. Bottom right: a shocked Bubbles. Cut to a long shot of her, too stunned to move or speak as snow comes down around her.)

(Dissolve to Buttercup and Blossom, still sound asleep, and pan quickly to the closed bedroom door after a moment. The tranquility is shattered when Bubbles barges in through it.)

Bubbles: WAKE UP! (flying around, trying to rouse them) Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up! (They do so.)

Buttercup: Yay! Presents! Let's go, baby!

Bubbles: No!

Blossom: Whoo-hoo! (They charge out past Bubbles.)

Bubbles: (poking her head out) But wait!

(They pay no heed and go right for the stairs. Cut to the top of the tree, with Blossom flying tight circles around it and descending slowly; turn down to follow her. Buttercup is already eyeing the bare space under it with considerable disgust.)

Buttercup: What the heck? (Blossom reaches her.)

Blossom: Santa hasn't even been here yet! (Bubbles comes partway down.)

Bubbles: Yeah-huh. I heard reindeer on the roof. (The others float up to her.)

Buttercup: Oh, yeah? Then where are all the presents?

(Bubbles has no immediate response to this. Finally she shakes her head to clear it and finds her tongue.)

Bubbles: That's what I've been trying to tell you! THERE ARE NO PRESENTS!

Blossom, Buttercup: What?!?

(During the following, Bubbles pantomimes to match her words.)

Bubbles: (rapid fire) Listen, okay, okay. Me and Octi were dancing with pirates in a pond, when a man in a gorilla suit started yelling. So I woke up, and then I heard Santa on the roof. And I tried to wake you up, but I couldn't, 'cause you wouldn't wake up. So I went down the hallway, and the Professor was snoring... (Cut to her bewildered sisters; she continues o.c.) I came downstairs to see what Santa left... (Back to her.) ...even though I know I'm not supposed to. But there weren't any presents under the tree, just ornaments hanging! (happily) Like that cute little shoveling-snowman one, which is really my favorite because it's funny that a snowman would be shoveling snow, when he's made of snow! (She giggles, then gets back to business.) So then I looked in my stocking, but there wasn't candy. Instead, there was coal! Can you believe it? Coal! In my stocking! Which is just ridiculous, 'cause why would Santa give me coal? So I looked in your stockings, and there was coal there too! So I looked next door, and they didn't have any gifts either! Only coal in their stockings, and all the other kids on the block!

Blossom: (angrily) You went through other kids' stockings?

Bubbles: No! I saw through the houses. Duh! X-ray vision!

Blossom: Bubbles, you should know better.

Buttercup: No wonder you got coal in your stocking.

(They turn away and consider the matter closed, but Bubbles will not let it rest.)

Bubbles: (snarling) I already had coal in my stocking before I looked at the other kids' stockings!

Buttercup: Oh, really? Then why don't me and Blossom have coal in our stockings?

Bubbles: You do!

(It finally hits them like a two-by-four to the back of the head.)

Blossom: Me? (Bubbles nods sadly.)

Buttercup: You gotta be kidding. (A shake of the head.)

Blossom: Really? (Nod.)

Buttercup: Nuh-uh.

(Bubbles can barely bring herself to meet her sisters' eyes this time. After a moment, she nods again and they gasp, shivering with fright.)

Blossom: Buttercup I can understand,

Buttercup: (incensed) Hey!

(Cut to the stockings. Bubbles flies over, plucks down Blossom's, and dumps the coal out. It lands at her sisters' feet; they both gasp at the sight.)

Bubbles: See?

Blossom: This can't be right.

Buttercup: Um...yeah!

(Cut to the patio. Bubbles floats into view behind the sliding doors.)

Bubbles: It-it was a mistake. (Back to her inside.) He must not have checked his list twice like he's supposed to. (She shrugs.)

Blossom: We better find Santa and set this straight. (as they assemble into a line) Ho...

Bubbles: ...ho...

Buttercup: ...ho!

Girls: Let's go!

(They take off and fly straight up the chimney. Up on the roof, they emerge from the vent with soot covering them from head to toe, look at each other, and share a laugh over their disheveled state. They are now in their everyday dresses. The merriment is cut short by a familiar voice from above.)

Princess: (from o.c.) Hello, Powerpuffs! (Pull back and up to put her toes in the foreground.) I've come to deliver you your Christmas present: A fourth and more powerful member of your team!

(Cut to her; she floats down toward them and is in her yellow Powerpuff-style outfit.)

Princess: Me! Princess! (They shake themselves clean.)

Girls: What?!

Princess: That's right! You can't deny me any longer! (floating slowly past them) Santa realized that I was the only truly nice kid in the whole world and that you were naughty for not giving me what I want!

(Cut to a slow pan over the rooftops to bring her into view, surveying them with her back to the camera. Stop when she is at center screen.)

Princess: So now every kid in the world gets coal! And I get what I've always deserved: (turning around; zoom in) To be a Powerpuff Girl!

(She fires lasers from her eyes; the girls bear the full brunt of this assault and drop like rocks, landing face first in the snow to cut three Powerpuff snow angels into it. They quickly emerge.)

Buttercup: This is so wrong! (Close-up of the other two.)

Blossom: How could Santa believe that Princess is nice?

Bubbles: Excuse me? How could Santa believe that I am naughty? (Pan slightly to Buttercup.)

Buttercup: 'Cause you snooped on other people's presents!

(Bubbles gives her a hard sidelong glance and takes a second or two to get herself under control.)

Bubbles: Look. I already told you, I only looked 'cause we didn't have any presents, so I wanted to see if any other kids had any presents.

Blossom: Enough chatter, girls. We better find Santa and fast.

(They start to take off into the night, but Princess blocks their exit.)

Princess: Oh, no, you don't. (Zoom in slowly on her.) I knew you conceited little ingrates wouldn't be able to accept the fact that Santa thinks you're naughty.

(On the end of this, cut to Blossom and Buttercup trading a suspicious look - they are starting to figure out the scam. Princess moves in a bit closer to the girls.)

Princess: But I'm not gonna let you brats ruin my Christmas.

Buttercup: (moving in on her) Forget it, Princess. We're so gonna tell Santa on you!

Princess: (sweetly, flying away a short distance) Not if I tell on you first.

(She leaves a yellow light trail behind her.)

Bubbles: We didn't do anything?

Princess: Oh, yeah? (pitifully, hamming it up) "Oh, Santa Claus, as the only nice child in the whole world, I felt it was my duty to warn you about the three naughty girls who were so angry you gave them coal..." (Cut to them, bristling at this; she continues o.c.) "...that they're coming to destroy your workshop and ruin Christmas forever." (Back to her; she takes on the sweet tone again.) Oh, Santa...

(She gives them her biggest and most vicious grin, drops to a rooftop, and bounces off it to head for the city proper, her laughter echoing in the air. The girls charge after her. Princess leaps from one roof to the next like a mountain goat with pogo-stick legs, her yellow light trail shining in her wake; they match her every move. This chase plays itself out in another part of the neighborhood, after which she briefly gives up the strategy and simply flies over the houses, with the girls still in hot pursuit.)

(Princess resumes the rooftop bounce on another street, and they match her - but now, instead of letting their momentum carry them up, they swoop past three adjoining houses and each swipe a wreath from one front door. They fling these ahead of themselves in quick succession and land them neatly around the fleeing girl's body to trap her. Not for long, though; she flexes her muscles, breaks free of the holly, and hits the gas again. The girls stay on her heels.)

(Outer-space view of Earth, zoomed in on the northern hemisphere. A four-colored light trail - pink, blue, green, yellow - streaks toward the North Pole. Back to the chase; Princess looks over her shoulder and sees the girls closing the gap. She puts on an extra burst of speed and slowly starts to gain ground. Extreme close-up of each in turn: Princess from the side, Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup head-on. All eyes are narrowed in single-minded determination: "Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail me now!")

(As the ersatz Powerpuff Girl barrels down the street, the genuine articles start to descend on her. Bubbles is the first to engage her at close range; they ram into one another and lock shoulders for a moment, after which Bubbles finds the enemy pulling her pigtails and using them to sling her aside. She plummets out of the sky and crashes into the side of a house, ending up tangled in its lights and wiped out among the trash cans. She sits up and looks angrily into the sky; back to her sisters.)

Buttercup: Bubbles!

Blossom: She'll catch up. We can't let Princess get ahead of us.

(Ground level. Bubbles watches the three light trails blaze through the falling snow, then pulls at the light cord in an attempt to free herself. The race moves down another street, creating a pair of small sonic booms that shake the entire area. Princess sees the remaining two sisters zeroing in on her with fresh bloodlust in their eyes. Blossom goes in for close-quarters combat; the enemy flips onto her back to keep an eye on her. Whatever move the ponytailed redhead makes to try and pull ahead, the curly-haired one matches it to keep her back. Extreme close-up of the latter, who gives a nasty grin and waves, then of the former, whose eyes narrow to fierce slits. Princess pulls up, leaving Blossom puzzled at the sudden move; pull back to show a tall tree in her path. When she smashes into the upper boughs, the entire trunk bends over to absorb the energy of her impact - and then it snaps back to vertical and catapults her out of sight.)

(On the ground, Bubbles finally gets herself untied as Blossom flashes past and plows a Santa and sleigh off a nearby roof. In the city proper, Princess zooms among the buildings and Buttercup keeps after her. Both take a hairpin turn around a corner, but the brunette suddenly finds herself alone - her target has seemingly dropped out of sight. She looks ahead and behind, but there is no sign of Princess. Long overhead view of her; the brat swoops into view and starts following her at a higher elevation.)

(Buttercup looks off to one side, and Princess drops to her level right in front of her, flying backwards. They are nose to nose at this point. The chaser gets a smack in the face.)

Buttercup: Ow! Quit it! (Again.) Ow! Quit it! (Again.) Ow! Quit it!

(She tries to strike back, but Princess dodges and jumps onto her head. Finally, she gets a clear shot and lands a hard kick that sends Princess sailing ahead and o.c.)

Buttercup: QUIT IT!!!

(Long shot of the area; Princess is coasting away on the momentum of the strike, and the kicker is floating in place. Close-up of Princess.)

Princess: Thanks, Einstein!

(Said genius only hangs in place, realizing that she just gave away the advantage. Her sisters catch up and pull her along.)

Blossom: (sarcastically) Good job, Buttercup.

Bubbles: (likewise) Yeah, nice one.

Buttercup: Oh, shut up!

(Another section of the city, with the mountains visible in the distance. Princess streaks over the horizon, and all three girls rejoin the pursuit. The outer-space view of Earth is seen again, and the four-colored streak moves closer to the North Pole. Now the mad dash moves through a frozen wilderness that is thick with trees. Princess weaves back and forth through them; the girls are still matching her pace. Their quarry approaches an area in which several fallen trees lie across snowdrifts and small hills, with little space left to squeeze under them. She smiles and goes into a dive.)

(She zips under one tree and looks back over her shoulder only to see the girls kick up a cloud of snow as they do the same. Turning in a new direction, she looks ahead and is surprised to find herself bearing down on a huge snowdrift. She plows deep into one side and out the other, losing none of her speed. The girls take the corner and charge the drift. Blossom, the first to hit it, bores a small circular tunnel to mark her passage and to replace the one Princess cut, which collapsed under the weight of the snow. Bubbles smashes through it next; the hole has again filled itself, but she opens up a larger, heart-shaped bore. Last is Buttercup, who also slams into the filled-in drift - but she is stopped cold, having apparently hit a buried patch of something hard, and slides down o.c. When she hits the ground, the resulting tremor shakes the snow loose to reveal a broken-down pickup truck resting on an outcropping of rock. Buttercup hit its side panel, while her sisters went straight through the frames of the missing driver and passenger windows. She sits in the snow, rubbing her head woozily, and then collapses into it.)

(Blossom and Bubbles keep chasing Princess through the forest. Doing some quick swerves to miss the trees, the yellow flyer can barely keep ahead of the blue one, while the pink one drops back. Their flight swings low enough to blow snow from the drifts that line the path. Princess fires her eye lasers ahead of herself and turns her head from side to side in order to sweep the area; cut to one tree that gets cut and starts to fall, then two others that do the same. She shoots at other trees to cut them down. Bubbles just barely scrapes past several that fall toward her, but must pull up short to avoid behind hit by another that sends up a cloud of snow when it hits the ground. She squints through the haze, which clears to show her enemy holding the tree by its severed end as if it were a Louisville Slugger. She prepares to swing; close-up of Bubbles, her eyes wide in shock. A flash of light, and she has been knocked senseless and soaring by the hit.)

Princess: Out of the park! (She throws the tree aside.) Two down...

(Before she can say "one to go," however, Blossom blasts past her, close enough to leave her spinning in the wake. She looks into the sky, sees the leader flipping a salute back to her, and takes to the air in pursuit. Now it is Blossom's turn to match Princess' moves and stop her from taking the lead - and it is also Blossom's turn to pull up without any warning. Princess blinks stupidly up at her; a quick flash of light, and Princess has run into a tree as Blossom did earlier. She is flung backwards when the trunk snaps to its original position and she crashes back first and head down into a distant tree. Long shot of the forest; a few birds are scared into flight by all the commotion.)

(Princess slides down into the snow and Blossom takes fierce pride in the reversal of fortune.)

Blossom: Ha! Payback!

(She streaks ahead; Princess takes off to follow. The outer-space view of Earth again, with the four flyers even closer to the top of the world than they were before. Blossom's light trail whips over the Arctic Ocean, sweeping low enough to stir the water as she passes, and Princess' trail marks her chase at a distance farther up. The latter looks behind herself and finds Bubbles and Buttercup moving in from a still greater height. In a very long shot of the ocean, we see the four girls now spaced out from each other: Blossom, then Buttercup, then Princess, and Bubbles a distant fourth. However, Bubbles starts to catch up.)

(Princess gains ground on Buttercup and starts firing her eye lasers; the brunette dodges all the shots, which send up clouds of steam from the ocean. Bubbles fires a burst of her own, but nails her sister by mistake; she drops toward the water, but Princess catches her.)

Princess: Thanks, Einstein!

(She turns around and hurls the insensate Buttercup back toward Bubbles, who catches her but is driven backward o.c. by the force of the throw. After a tense moment, both girls come roaring back. Blossom, meanwhile, continues her drive toward the goal line and finds Princess moving into position to strafe from above. The shooting resumes, and Blossom dodges the fusillade and flies low again. She looks ahead, gasps sharply, and cuts loose with a huge breath that gradually causes a massive tidal wave to form downrange. Flying straight through the wall of water, she then trains her ice breath on it and freezes the whole thing solid. Princess' face goes slack with shock, and she covers the final yards in slow motion and hits the ice wall with her face. The camera zooms in on her in steps during this sequence, ending with an extreme close-up.)

(Cut to the other side of the ice. We hear it crackle for a moment on the side Princess hit, and it shatters to leave her tumbling forward. She brings herself to a stop and sees Blossom racing past a distant ice floe.)

Princess: No fair!

(She charges ahead and quickly pulls up on her opponent, who is again flying low and now taking a course through a field of small floes. Before Princess can strike, though, she is forced to stop and clap her hands to her ears due to a high-powered scream originating from o.c. Cut to the source: Bubbles, moving in with her lungs firing on all cylinders. As she lets it die away, she barrels past Princess, close enough to make her spin in the wake. The latter watches her go.)

Princess: No fair!

(She braces for flight, but seems to be stuck in place by some force that is acting to drive her backward. Finally she is yanked o.c. in that direction; cut to the source of the resistance: a green tornado that is slowly sucking her in. Buttercup has joined the fracas. Close-up of the holiday wrecker as she disappears into the vortex, then pan to its small end. She emerges with her hair in total disarray, and Buttercup, her work done, flies on ahead.)

Princess: (drawn-out) NO FAIR!

(She takes off after the trio. The outer-space view of Earth is seen once again, with the four almost to the North Pole. Princess fires her eye lasers at a wall of ice, stopping near it and tracing out a large circle. When she stops, she holds her hands straight out at her sides; extreme close-up of the jewel in her crown as she presses it with both index fingers. It starts to glow and then emits a broad beam of violet light. Pull back to frame the entire ice wall; the beam is striking the section of ice she cut, and it slowly starts to lift away. Concentrating fiercely, she levitates it over her head, pulls it back, and pitches it forward. As the missile thunders toward the girls, it is seen to be no longer round, but instead formed into three rough spheres.)

Princess: Cool it, girls!

(Racing ahead, the girls look behind themselves and see the mass of ice coming at them. Their faces register complete surprise, and as the projectile approaches, it rotates to show the side opposite that seen when Princess threw it. The whole thing is now a rough ice sculpture of her head, complete with curly hair: the two side spheres and her crown. A flash of light, and the girls fall out of the sky amid a shower of frozen chunks and cut deep craters into the snow when they hit the ground. Dazed and disconcerted, they poke their heads out and see their rival soaring overhead.)

Princess: Hey! How'd you like my stocking stuffer?

(A snowball is flung into view; it gets her in the face and knocks her down. Cut to Blossom and Bubbles, who look up in confusion and then toward Buttercup, then pan to said sister: she threw it, and she addresses herself into the sky.)

Buttercup: Stuff that! (Pause; she turns to her sisters.) I can't believe that worked.

(Princess tumbles through the sky and is intercepted by another ice wall. She bounces down, the camera following, and rolls down the snow-covered slope at its base. As she goes, enough collects on her to form an enormous snowball that rumbles toward the girls. They get themselves dug out just in time to be run over; it carries them along and sails off a cliff, describing a long arc through empty space. Cut to a post with a street sign - 1 North Pole - that promptly finds itself in the growing shadow of the snowball. The impact throws up dense white clouds that hide everything from view; when they clear, the girls and Princess, all stunned from the landing, are sprawled out in the snow.)

(The four rub their heads and try to gain their footing. Above them, the snow falls away from the post to reveal its address to them. They stare wide-eyed at it for a few seconds - they have reached their mark. The girls' mouths open silently before Princess smiles and turns to face them, and all get ready to throw down. There is no sound but the wind howling across the snowdrifts, and there is no motion for several seconds. Suddenly all four take off, so close to one another that they would be trading paint if this were a NASCAR race, and disappear in the distance.)

Narrator: More rapid than eagles, the coursers they came,

And they screamed and they shouted and called each other names.

(Close-up of the fire in Santa's office.)

But in a toymaker's shop way up ahead,

(Pull back to show the whole room. Santa sits by the fire in his undershirt.)

A jolly old elf was filled up with dread.

(Close-up of a nearby sideboard. A coffee cup labeled "Old Nick" and a sugar bowl sit near an open carton, while a shelf bristles with bottles of stronger stuff.)

Narrator: This one Christmas Eve weighed great on his soul,

(Santa reaches into view and pours eggnog from the carton into the cup.)

Back from his night of delivering coal.

(The girls and Princess continue their final mad dash. Extreme close-up of a very glum-looking Father Christmas as he chugs down the contents of his cup. He lowers it, groans softly, and burps. The four charge along. Close-up of the cup as it is set down on the sideboard, eggnog splashing out. The midair sprint goes on. A shelf loaded with toys is swept clean by a swing of Santa's arm. The racers home in on the toy factory. Santa trudges pas the tree and kicks aside some of the presents under it. His undershirt is far too small to cover his immense gut, and his red pants are held up by suspenders that look as if they are violating every principle of physics by not breaking under the load.)

(As the four flyers barrel along, Princess grabs Blossom's ponytail. It takes almost no time for this move to bring them all into a full-scale donnybrook; their light trails flash in place and together look like a drawing of an atom. The group tumbles out of the sky and crashes into Santa's parked sleigh. It's left in ruins, and the tussling foursome bounces into the air again.)

(Trailing the four-colored streak and still fighting, the girls and Princess hurtle through the night sky. Cut to inside a stable, where the reindeer are resting from a hard night's work. The sound of the fight grows from outside; there is a sudden flash, and they are ricocheting all over the place and causing a stampede. Inside the production area, the animals crash through a door and run through the place in a panic.)

(The fight plows in after them and knocks away several crates of toys before sailing up to the rafters and down again. An area in which teddy bears are being packed is reduced to a litter of crushed boxes in an instant. Now they flash off somewhere else - the candy cane line is next to be smashed. Stacked crates of Betty Wetty dolls are next to go - releasing a flood of fake urine in the process. The tank of rubber balls gets a hole smashed through it, and the contents pour out over the floor. Elves run like sixty to keep ahead of the landslide, but to no avail. Finally the group rockets toward the doors of Santa's office; a flash of white, and we are inside. The panels have been broken through.)

(At the other end of the room, the girls and Princess have finally stopped their flight and are locked in one another's arms on the floor. Amid yelling and cursing from all parties, the girls get in as many licks as they can from their respective positions. However, a broad shadow throws itself over them and they stop what they are doing; cut to their perspective: Santa is standing over them and not looking particularly thrilled at all this.)

Santa: (angrily) Ho ho ho! (Shift to frame all five.) What's with all the crashing and the smashing, and the smashing and the crashing? Huh? I'm out delivering coal all night long, and I come home to the Smashing-and-Crashing Gang?

(Turn down from him to them on the end of this. He is still in view.)

Bubbles: But--

Santa: Uh-uh! No buts! I ain't listenin' to no buts from some no-good naughty kids! And no no-good little naughty kids are gonna tell me what's what!

(During this line, cut back and forth from him to them twice - he points at them - and back to him at the end of it.)

Santa: 'Cause guess what?

(Cut to the four; they blink up at him in silent fear.)

Santa: (from o.c.) ANSWER ME!!!

(The four cringe at Santa's screaming.)

Blossom: (nervously) Uh... (Pull back behind him.)

Santa: That's right! First time, first time it's ever happened. (walking to his computer) Every last little no-good, good-for-nothin' kid in the stinkin' world was naughty!

(On the end of this line, cut to just inside the computer room, putting him o.c. The girls walk in hesitantly.)

Santa: (from o.c., voice breaking) Naughty! Naughty! Naughty little kids the world over! (Princess peeks in; pull back to frame him.) Except for one. One nice sweet little girl.

Buttercup: You're wrong!

Santa: (angrily) Oh, I am, huh?! (turning to them, holding printout) Well, I's gots the list, baby.

(Close-up of it as he slams it to the floor, across from the girls and Princess.)

Santa: (from o.c.) Check it! (Princess perches atop the stack and puts her hands on her hips as Santa already has his arms crossed and looking stern.)

Princess: Yeah! Check it!

(She kicks it over, sending a cascade of pages unfolding from the accordion stack toward the girls to bury them. They pop out, inspect different sections, and gasp at what they find: Remember, this is the "nice" list that was falsified.)

Santa: Yeah! A million bazillion good-for-nothin's on this list! (holding up Post-It from his monitor) And one little itty bitty, perfect little angel over here.

(Close-up of a beaming Princess on the end of this. She is still in midair, at the point from which she kicked over the list.)

Princess: (sticking tongue out) Nyah! (Back to the girls.)

Bubbles: That's not right! (She flies up to Santa.) Maybe you didn't check the list twice! (Pan left; Buttercup flies up behind him.)

Buttercup: Yeah! Princess is the naughtiest kid ever! (Pan right; Blossom joins them.)

Blossom: She must've snuck up here and switched the lists! (Princess gets into the act.)

Princess: Nuh-uh! (He cowers; close-up.) Santa, don't listen to them! They're just jealous 'cause they got coal.

(Pan to three fighting-mad sisters, then pull back to show them all hovering over him.)

Princess: They're jealous 'cause I'm nicer, I'm smarter, and I'm prettier, and I'm better than them - so they wouldn't let me be a Powerpuff Girl. (fiercely; he cowers again) That makes them naughty!

Santa: (smiling) You mean, the Powerpuff Girls? (Cut to her, face going slack as she realizes she just spoke the wrong words and ruined her plan; he walks by beneath her.) Not the same Powerpuff Girls who are always helping people and saving the day and being really good? (He stops before the girls.) I mean, really good?

(They nod happily at his appraisal of their work.)

Santa: Yeah, yeah. See, that explains all the flying and floating and stuff.

(Princess, now out of view, clears her throat loudly to get his attention. He steps aside and turns around, and we see her behind him. Zoom in on her; now it is her turn to steam at having just screwed up and being jealous once more.)

Princess: But I should be a Powerpuff Girl! Me! Not them! Me! My daddy says I'm better! My daddy says I'm the best! And if you're too much of a fatheaded fathead to see that, I'll tell my daddy!

(She flies around a corner and out of sight. Cut to inside this area as the girls and Santa cautiously peek in. Pull back to the sound of items being knocked around; silhouettes of various toys are in the foreground, as is that of Princess.)

Princess: And he'll come and build a parking lot over this cheap little arts-and-crafts popsicle stand of yours!

(During this, cut to her. She kicks and throws several toys all over the place as she speaks, then finishes by grabbing a hobby horse and breaking it over her knee. Close-up of the pieces as they are thrown onto the floor.)

Princess: (from o.c.) Got it?!

(Turn up from the debris to Santa and the girls, who look down at the scene with some consternation. Princess rises to face them and slowly backs him up across the room.)

Princess: So, you better give me whatever I want for Christmas... (He hits the tree in the corner, knocking off the ornaments.) ...'cause my daddy says I get whatever I want, whenever I want it! And if that means all of those lousy, worthless, second-rate, bargain-basement brats in the world don't get anything for Christmas, then that's just the way it's gonna have to be!

(Near the end of this line, cut from her to Santa; back to her after "have to be.")

Princess: 'Cause I am better than them! (getting in his face, grabbing Post-It from his hand) And it says so right here!

(On this last word, close-up of him; she reaches into view and shoves the yellow square in his face - giving a clear view of the fraudulent "NICE" heading. That view gets even clearer when the camera shifts to an extreme close-up of the note. She yanks it away after a long pause.)

[Continuity error: Her last name is spelled with an E in the first shot, but not in the close-up.]

Princess: So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Santa Clod!

(His mouth hangs full open at this display of unbridled avarice, combined with a total lack of emotional control; the girls are similarly dumbstruck. As the seconds tick by, silently and tensely, Princess floats between him and the girls; close-up of her, smirking at them with a confidence born from her belief that she has beaten the system once and for all. Santa gapes up at her, but that smirk never wavers. After nearly fifteen seconds of stillness, his eyebrows lower in determination and he grits his teeth. He has made up his mind at last.)

Santa: LIST, SCHMIST! (grabbing Post-It, tearing it up) I don't need no stinkin' list tellin' me who's naughty and who's nice!

(On the end of this, cut to Princess, who watches the shreds float down around her with complete shock as she now realizes she's pushed Santa too far and has to face the consequences. Back to Santa.)

Santa: You know why? 'Cause I'm Santa Claus! (throwing down arms) Check it! Princess...

(He grabs her ear, then hauls her across the office as he continues. She yelps in pain under his words.)

Santa: ...You have gone and worked my last nerve!

(He releases his grip and leaves her floating in midair. Close-up of her; she cries out a bit more and rubs her ear. Pull back to show him looking up at her with no sympathy whatsoever.)

Santa: (crossing room) I have no other choice. (Close-up of his back; zoom in on his head.) You are so rotten, so despicable, so naughty... (turning around) ...I'm putting you on the...

(Pull back to show him standing by a large red-framed sheet of bronze on the wall - so tall that its upper portion is out of view.)

Santa: ...Permanent Naughty Plaque!

(Turn up to the top as he speaks. The word "NAUGHTY" is inscribed in enormous red letters, with four names below it: Bill McCracken, Ryan Faust, Adolph Schickelgruber, Stephen Fonti. The upper edge of the frame is carved in the shape of a devil's head. Back to Santa.)

[Note: The first and second names refer to Craig McCracken and Lauren Faust, while the last is that of the storyboard artist for "Catastrophe"; he is also a writer for SpongeBob SquarePants. The third is what Adolf Hitler's name would have been if his father had not changed his own several years before the dictator was born.]

Santa: (imitating dramatic horns) Bum-bum-bummm!

(Princess gasps in unmitigated fear, knowing that justice is about to be served. Extreme close-up of Santa's lifted index finger and follow it slowly through the air as he brings it to his nose. He touches the tip; a flash of snowflakes, and Princess' name is now cut into the metal as well, signifiying her permanent naughty status for the rest of her life. She screams in horror at the sight; back to Santa, his arms folded in finality.)

Princess: (from o.c.) You can't do that! (Cut to her, the girls at a distance.) I'm telling my daddy!

(She takes off and smashes an exit for herself through the office wall. Visible only as a bright speck, she makes a beeline for the distant mountains. Santa and the girls move closer to the hole to watch her go. He turns to them, holds up his finger without a word, and touches it to his nose. Cut to the fleeing Princess who, in a flash, suddenly finds herself back in her street clothes. She soars along a few hundred yards more before realizing that she has been stripped of her powers, then loses her forward momentum and drops from sight with a sharp gasp. Screaming, she plummets toward the snowy expanse and plows deep into it. A second later, she slowly emerges from the hole, with snow covering her from head to toe, and forces her eyes open through the covering. Pull back into the office; she cannot be seen from this far away.)

Princess: (in distance) NO FAIR!

(Satisfied, Santa turns toward the girls and blows a little dust from his finger; they giggle at the demonstration.)

Buttercup: Wow, Santa! We didn't know you could give kids superpowers for Christmas.

Santa: (shrugging) Eh. No one's ever asked.

Blossom: Santa, it's almost morning! What about all the nice children who got coal?

Santa: It's all right, girls. (cracking knuckles) I've pulled rush jobs before. (Cut to outside the hole.) All it takes is...

(The sound of o.c. yelling cuts him off. Pull back as they all look out through the hole, then pan across the landscape. The reindeer were so badly spooked by the stable shakeup that they are completely out of control. Elves try to rein them in and pull them down from roofs, but without any success whatsoever. Others pick up bits of broken wood and inspect the ruins of the sleigh. This stuns Santa and the girls more deeply than Princess' meltdown did; he claps his hands to his face, then pulls them down his cheeks and lets off a long groan before walking away.)

Bubbles: (small voice) All those poor boys and girls. (He leans against a wall.)

Santa: Hundreds of years of perfect attendance.

(He walks out of sight around the corner; cut to an armchair as he sinks wearily into it.)

Santa: (sobbing) A couple of close calls...but we've always made it. But now... (Pull back across the room; this is a different part of the office.) ...I'm ruined.

(Close-up of him, self-pity written in big block letters on his face. Turn up to the girls in midair, their heads bowed sadly, then back down to him. Suddenly his eyes pop wide open and he sits up.)

Santa: Powerpuff Girls, with your streaks so bright, won't you deliver the Christmas gifts tonight? (Their faces brighten.)

Blossom: We'd be honored, Santa, and we'll do our best.

(They take off, the camera following them across the office until they exit through the hole in the wall. He looks around the back of his chair to watch them go, then rubs his forehead. It seems his earlier delivery and what just happened with the Girls and Princess has really done a number on his brain.)

Santa: (wearily) Good, 'cause my head's killing me.

(Cut to the girls in flight. They are carrying an enormous sack - the toys that should have gone out earlier.)

Narrator: So all 'round the world the Powerpuffs flew,

With a sack full of toys and a giggle or two.

(They oblige him. Cut to a typical suburban neighborhood.)

They knew that their job was to fly through the skies...

(The girls streak into view and over the horizon.)

And deliver the gifts before the sun should arise.

(Cut to a living room.)

They spoke not a word, but took care of their deed,

Delivering gifts at a breakneck speed.

(During the first line of this couplet, they come down the chimney, unload a pile of gifts, stuff the stockings, and exit as they came in. On the second, cut to a pan through the neighborhood; they individually visit one house after another.)

Narrator: Their streaks ribboned the sky, their swiftness severe.

They'd have sure been the envy of eight certain reindeer.

(Quick pan to another area; they keep working.)

In and out of all chimneys, each and every abode,

Gift by gift, they completed the task they were bestowed.

(Snap to white. Gifts appear as they are named.)

Dollies and race cars, horseys, choo-choos, and blocks,

Teddy bears! Puppy dogs! (less enthused) Underwear and socks.

(Cut to a slow pan across the present-laden base of a tree.)

All these items slipped under every child's tree,

Arranged rather nicely by these super girls three.

(Bubbles comes into view on the far side; she nudges a box atop the pile and bugs out. Cut to the top of a door as the girls stop near it. A balance scale is shown in the glass above the frame, suggesting a location connected with law enforcement or the legal profession.)

Narrator: They were making good time, even though they were rookies,

(Blossom reaches down o.c. and brings up a snack meant for Santa, and they do as described.)

So they stopped once or twice to have milk and some cookies.

(Pull back; they are inside the front entrance of the Townsville police station. The camera has backed across the foyer and into a jail cell in which Princess has been deposited, looking very angry at being locked up once more for her crimes, and this time, condemned to never getting another gift again by Santa. She is wrapped from nose to knees in yellow ribbon tied with a bow, and a tag is attached: "Merry X-mas, ♥ PPG's." From here, cut to the exterior of the girls' house.)

Narrator: Then at last they were done - whew! - just before dawn.

So they sped back to Townsville, to home with a yawn.

(Weaving back and forth due to fatigue, they fly in through the bedroom windows. Cut to a pan across the room; they float in, yawning and rubbing their eyes, and head straight for bed.)

Narrator: They entered their room, for the wear no less worn,

(Buttercup pulls up the blankets, and all three are instantly asleep.)

And snuggled into bed to await Christmas morn.

(Cut to a point near the ceiling. The Professor bounces into view, accompanied by the creaking of bedsprings.)

Professor: (excitedly, on separate bounces) Girls! Wake up! Wake up! (Pull back; he is jumping on their bed, annoying them.) It's Christmas! It's Christmas! (He stops jumping and bends down, laughing.) He came! Santa came!

(Close-up of them.)

Professor: (from o.c.) Come on, come on! Let's go open the presents, come on, let's go, let's go, let's go! (Back to him.) I think somebody might have gotten that new atom splitter they've been eyeing!

(He moans eagerly, clasps his hands together hard enough to make them quiver and chews his lip in anticipation. Next he starts jumping on the bed again.)

Professor: Come on, come on, come on, come on! (He giggles.)

(Finally he gets a response. On the next three lines, each sits up with her eyes still shut tight.)

Bubbles: Professor, it's too early!

Blossom: We'll open presents later.

Buttercup: Go back to bed!

(They lie down again; he sits at the corner of the bed, his head hanging, then shuffles disappointedly out of the room and pulls the door shut. The girls sleep peacefully for a moment before waking up in time with the following lines.)

Bubbles: Wait a minute.

Blossom: What are we saying?

Buttercup: Who cares if we're tired?

Girls: It's Christmas!

(Cut to the balcony. The Professor clumps along toward his own room and stops when he gets halfway there. Without warning, the girls streak past, jolting him out of his deep blue funk.)

Girls: Presents!

(He breaks into a huge smile and runs toward the stairs. Cut to just outside the lighted living room window; happy chatter is heard from inside, mixed with the sound of wrapping paper being torn off boxes. Pull back slowly to frame the entire house, with all its windows now illuminated, and stop on Santa at the curb. Fully suited up, he looks toward the family and then tips a wink to the camera.)

(A touch of his nose, and the background for the end shot comes up in a flash.)

Narrator: Now all the nice kids of the world won't get stiffed.

They'll look on with pure joy at every wrapped gift.

So paper's torn open and ribbon unfurls,

'Cause Christmas was saved...

(The girls appear in their usual formation and sporting Santa hats. Snow falls behind them instead of gold stars.)

...thanks to the Powerpuff Girls!

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