On Chanukah, Grandma Minka reads a book about the meaning of the holiday to the babies Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, and Lil. The babies imagine that they are the story's characters; Judah (Tommy) is outraged by King "Antonica", who has taken over the Jewish kingdom and forced Greek culture on its inhabitants. Judah leads an army of Jewish Maccabees to war against Antonica's Seleucid Empire, emerging victorious. The story is left unfinished as Minka stops to help make latkes in the kitchen with her daughter Didi.
Meanwhile, Grandpa Boris is furious that Shlomo, a rival from his youth in Russia, is pictured in the local newspaper for playing the Greek king in the local synagogue's Hanukah play, where Boris is portraying Judah. The babies find out about Shlomo and form the impression that he truly is the Greek king, whom they dub the "Meanie of Chanukah". At the play that night, they attempt to storm on stage to defeat the "Meanie of Chanukah", but are stopped and taken into the synagogue's nursery. Angelica is in the nursery already and, vehement in her desire to watch a Christmas special that is airing that night, convinces the babies to help her break out and steal a television set from the custodian's office.
Boris and Shlomo begin fighting on stage during the play, interrupting the production and inciting an intermission. Backstage, Shlomo and Boris argue once more, with Boris mentioning Shlomo's dedication to his business pursuits over familial values. Shlomo informs Boris that he had a wife who died before bearing him children, making Boris feel sympathy for his rival. Angelica sprints backstage, bumping into Shlomo and inadvertently destroying the television set. Shlomo unsuccessfully tries to console her, but eventually lets Boris take over. Tommy hands Shlomo the Chanukah story book Minka read to the babies earlier; Boris convinces Shlomo to read it to the children. In the conclusion of the story, the Maccabees rededicate the Holy Temple, and discover that there is only enough oil to light the Temple's eternal flame for one day; miraculously, it remains lit for eight. Shlomo's reciting dissolves both the babies' assertion of him as the "Meanie of Chanukah" and his rivalry with Boris.
- The animation in this special is noticeably different from previous and subsequent episodes. The mood is shown to be somewhat darker, with realistic shadowing effects and faster movements, very similar to Aaahh!!! Real Monsters or the later seasons of All Grown Up! Additionally, for the remainder of the series, Boris's eyes are now redesigned, as being shown with sclera around his pupils instead of just being pupils as in prior episodes, and Phil is also now drawn with earlobes.
Home video releases
- A Rugrats Chanukah
- Rugrats: Holiday Celebration
- Rugrats: Season 4
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