Winter solstice references in cartoons

Winter solstice snow covered landscape

Last updated on December 26th, 2022

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, falling in December in the northern hemisphere and in June in the southern hemisphere. Plenty of cultures have holidays celebrated in mid-to-late December, often celebrating (or timed around) the solstice. This extends to cartoons, with the winter solstice occasionally referenced in comics and animation. Here’s a look at some references to the winter solstice in cartoons.

Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Korra

The winter solstice plays a role in several episodes of “Avatar,” as well as its spin-off series “Korra.”

On video

The entire series is available to stream (as of this writing) on Paramount+ and Netflix.

Dinosaur Train

The Mesozoic Era’s creatures all celebrate the winter solstice, as seen in the episode “Dinosaurs in the Snow” and “Cretaceous Conifers.” The Troodon in particular hold a tree decorating ceremony. The episodes also explain what the solstice is, and why it happens.

One episode, “Festival of Lights,” also shows the northern Troodon (Troodon with more feathers, plus stereotypical Canadian accents) celebrating both the solstice and the “festival of lights.” Here, the lights are the aurora borealis lighting up their Arctic skies. The characters also sing a winter solstice song.

On video

PBS Kids tends to have the above episodes available for streaming either in December (on PBS Kids’ site) or year-round (on PBS Kids’ YouTube channel).

Dykes to Watch Out For

A December 2007 DTWOF strip has Stuart and most of the gang celebrating the solstice. Unfortunately, most of them are either disinterested or distracted by their own lives/then-current political events.

Molly of Denali

Molly of Denali winter solstice episode "The Shortest Birthday"
“Molly of Denali.” (PBS)

The PBS animated series “Molly of Denali” features the winter solstice in the episode “The Shortest Birthday.” It’s revealed that Trini’s birthday falls on the winter solstice (December 21).

On video

The episode’s available either on PBS Kids’ site (usually during December) or on YouTube (year-round).

Nature Cat

The episode “Winter Dance Party” sees the gang get their yard ready for Daisy’s family’s annual winter solstice party. Like “Dinosaur Train,” this episode also explains how the solstice works.

On video

The episode’s usually available in December on PBS Kids’ site.

The Weekenders

In the episode “The Worst Holiday Ever,” we see Tino and his mother celebrate the winter solstice. The rest of his friends celebrate other holidays, however: Lor celebrates Christmas; Tish celebrates Hanukkah; and Carver celebrates Kwanzaa.

The episode focuses on the problems everyone has celebrating their holidays.

On video

Unfortunately, “The Weekenders” isn’t available on streaming. However, the entire series was released to a now-out-of-print DVD set.

Wonder Woman

Various comics over the years show the Amazons celebrate the winter solstice. “Wonder Woman” (vol. 1) #3 (February 1943) shows the Golden Age/Earth-2 Amazons hold a mock hunt (one Amazon’s dressed as a deer) followed by festivities. The “Gone & Forgotten” blog has full details on all of this.

While there’s likely no fake-deer-hunting, the Amazons’ solstice festivites still appear in modern comics. Said festivities are mentioned in “DC Super Friends” #10 (February 2009), as well as the 2022 graphic novel “Diana and Nubia: Princesses of the Amazons.”

Photo by Foundry. (Pixabay)

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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