A Belle for Christmas (2014) - full transcript

When a sweet young boy and his precocious sister discover their newly adopted puppy Belle has been nabbed by the beautiful gold digger dating their widowed dad on Christmas Eve, the kids recruit their neighborhood friends and set out on an adventurous rescue mission to save her.

This big one.

No, no, she can't have that.

What is it, Pheebs?
What is it?

A microscope!


Did you want that?

- Yes?
- Yes.

How does he know
what you want?

You must have been
such a good girl.

Did Santa get it right?


Right, Elliot,
anything for you, buddy?

Well, I think we might
have one more.

It might be this one.

This is what Santa gives you.

I love you.
Thank you.

It's not me, it's Santa.


Is that the one we saw?

Come on, Dad, you promised
we'd go to the festival.

Yeah, you promised.

Okay, okay.
We'll go to the festival.

- Yay!
- Yay!

Which one can I get
for three bucks?

Well, how about, if you
can convince your parents

to take one home today,
I'll give you three bucks

to buy its first bag
of puppy food?

Phoebe, no, forget it,
Dad will never go for it.

Don't listen to him.

We'll take one puppy
in a to-go box, please.

My dad won't mind.
It's a surprise.

Phoebe, no, we're about to

And Dad's already mad you came
out here without permission.

Come on,

not even for the crazy-eyed spaz
in the back corner?


Looks like I'd be
doing you the favor.

That would--
oh, there they are.

What would my two most favorite
customers like today?

How about a break
from the baloney?

Fruit tarts
for both of us, please.



Now what did we all
talk about last night?

How we should respect Daniela

'cause she's
your new girlfriend.


No, no,
she's not my girlfriend.


We've only gone out
a couple of times.

Now look, she's trying
really hard with you guys,

so I would appreciate it
if you would be nice--

both of you.

All righty,
here we have two tarts for the two of you

and one yummy chocolate croissant for the handsome man.


I baked these fresh
just for you and you.

Well, thank you,
we appreciate it.

One piping hot
pumpkin spiced latte to go.

Thank you.
Kids, what do we say?

- Thank you.
- Thanks.

Oh, no problem.

So are we still on
for tomorrow night?

Oh, I don't know.

I forgot to ask their grandmother if she could stay.

Oh, why don't I just come over
and cook dinner for everybody?

How about that?

Yeah, that sounds--
that's wonderful.

Okay, I'll see you
at 7:00.

- Okay.
- All right.


You lucky-lou.

What a hunky slab
of pumpkin bread that is.

I know.

Oh, and you should see
the house they live in.

It's beautiful.

It sounds almost perfect.

Too bad his kids
are such snarky little tarts.

That doesn't faze me.

Nothing a little discipline
can't fix.

Oh, it's you again.

Did your parents
change their mind?

Did your parents change
their mind about what?

Elliot, you did not tell
this nice lady

that we were looking
to adopt a dog, did you?

No, Dad, I didn't.

I just-- earlier, Phoebe
was over here and I--

Oh, I don't know
what's gotten into her.


It looks like she likes you.

Okay, she is very, very,
very cute, okay?

But the Barrows family

has a very strict
no-puppy policy.

Oh, are you allergic,
Mr. Barrows?

No, no.

So may I ask why the policy?

Okay, fine, here's how
this scenario unfolds.

Adopt lovely canine for the kids

and after a couple of weeks,
kids lose interest

and Pops ends up
taking care of said canine

for the next 10 to 12.

Is that how you guys see
this scenario playing out?

No, ma'am.

'Cause it sounds like you've been skipping out on your chores

and leaving them
for good old Pops, huh?

Well, no--

well, sometimes when I say
I dusted the mantel,

when I really
just blew the surface.

But typically, no.

Because, you know,
this is a shepherd mix.

She's gonna eat a lot

and poop a lot
and shed a lot.

Basically drive you crazy

for the first year or two
that you have her.

But she's also gonna
crack you up every day.

Oh, oops.

And she's gonna
cuddle you like crazy

and basically
love you unconditionally

till her last day on Earth.

I promise you won't regret it.

That's a very, very good pitch,
I will give you that.

I'm sorry, we just can't do it.
Not this year.

But I appreciate it.

Thank you.
Come on, kids, let's go.

- Daddy, please?
- Honey, come on.

Hey, guys, will one of you
get the door, please?

Ah, my merry little
mischief makers.

It's good to see you.


What's wrong, Elliot?

Are you not happy to see
your wrinkly old granny?

He's crying because
you called him "mischief maker."

Mom called us that
sometimes, too.

Nuh-uh. I wasn't crying, Phoebe.

Grandma's perfume
burned my eyes.

Well, did your mama never tell you where that nickname came from?

She got it from herself.

Every Christmas Eve when she
and Uncle Ted were your age,

they would sneak down
the stairs

and try to unwrap
every present under the tree

without tearing
any of the wrapping paper.

One year, your mama even
got a roll of Scotch tape

and she tried
to re-tape the things

that they'd accidentally torn

and I'll tell you what,

sly old Granny
was waiting and watching.

I caught her red-handed!

Gee, Mom sure was naughty.

- Must be where I get it from.
- Maybe so.

But why call us that?

We never did anything
to earn Mom's nickname.

Well, honey, never say never.

You don't know what mischief
the holidays can bring.

I don't want Mom's nickname.

Oh, hey, Marnie,
thank you so much for coming.

I really appreciate it.

I didn't even think about
needing a sitter,

this being
the first time since--

Don't mention it.
You know I love being here.

Should I feed them
dinner, too?

No, no, I should be done
and back by 6:00, so...

Well, I'm already here.

I might as well fix them
a proper meal.

I bet the kids are getting tired
of rotisserie chicken

from the grocery store.

All right, you know me
too well, Marnie.

Thanks. Uh...

Actually, that lady friend
that I told you about,

she was actually planning on
coming by and cooking, so--

That's nice.

Maybe you can stay
and you could meet her,

unless that would be weird.

Glenn, you know,
I've told you a thousand times,

my Janey loved you.

She would want you
to find somebody

to make you
and the kids happy.

And, of course, you know
I would want to meet her.

I love you like a son.

Now you get on out of here
before it's too late.

Thank you.
See you, honey, okay?

So that's what you think of the lady your daddy's seeing?

If I said out loud
what I thought of her, Grandma,

Santa would surely skip
bringing me presents this year.

Oh, that's really bad.

Hey, buddy.

Did you ask Malcolm if he wanted to ride bikes with you?

Elliot, I don't want
to do anything

that makes you
or your sister uncomfortable.

Okay, so if it's too early
for all this stuff,

- I'll just tell Dani that--
- No, Dad, it's fine.

If you like her,
I want you to be happy.

I'm sure deep down
Phoebe does, too.

I want us all
to be happy, buddy.

Be careful out here,
will you?

- All right. Love you.
- You, too.

Blindsided by the blonde.


When my dad left, my mom said

it was because he was
blindsided by a big booty,

but your dad, same thing,
only a big-headed blonde.

Thought you were going
to a Christmas play

with your mom
at your church today.

Got out of it.

Said I had kidney beans
for a late-night snack.

And that if she took me,
I'd be pooting on the pews.

Have you ever heard
of a poot on a wooden pew?

It sounds like a choir of one
praising hallelujah.

So why didn't you want to go?

Well, it's not like
I could ever leave you alone.

You've been such a sad Santa sack ever since school let out.

How many times
do I have to I tell you?

I'm fine.

So what are you doing out here
all alone anyway?

I was trying to be alone.

Or maybe you were trying

to drive back and forth
past the Kane residence,

wait and see if a certain
third-grader was selling

hot chocolate like last year.

I already told you, Malcolm,
I don't like Riley Kane, okay?

Not even when
she's looking all fine

like that in her winter's best?

I don't know about you,
but I'm thirsty.

You're not getting free cocoa
again this year, Malcolm.

If you really have
low blood sugar,

go and see your pediatrician.

I wasn't asking for a handout.

A man with a job
gladly pays for his cocoa.

Now with extra
marshmallows, please.

And what's this alleged job
of yours anyways, Malcolm?

I scoop doggie doo

for the greater citizens
on the west block.

So what's the cause?

All proceeds go to Hands on Paws,
our local dog rescue.

Hey, they were set up
in front of the bakery.

Had a really cute pup I loved.

- You like dogs too, Elliot?
- Sure, I do.

My dad won't let us get one,
but I really wish we could.

My parents won't
let me get one either.

It's nice you're trying to help all the dogs with the fundraiser, though.

The things a boy will say
to get a girl to believe him.

What are you
talking about?

I bet he never even heard

of Hands on Paws
before you mentioned it.

Besides, you're hardly
mature enough

to handle a dog
responsibly, Elliot.

And you're hardly mature enough

to handle a gentleman
like my fine friend here.

Now quit gawking at him
like you're not mad

he didn't talk to you first,
Penny "Whiner."

You had your cocoa,
so leave already.

No loitering.

Goodness, I'm so sorry.

If I had known there
was gonna be a guest,

I would have brought another
cranberry Cornish hen.

But you are the guest,

so how did you not
know you'd be here, silly?

It's fine.
Phoebe and I will share.

Oh, good.

So, Daniela, what kind
of work do you do?

Oh, well, I work at the bakery
down on Main Street.

Which explains why she's such
a good cook, doesn't it, guys?

Well, now,
that's a nice little place.

So have you always lived
in Tennessee?

Oh, well, I actually lived
in L.A. for a little bit.

You know, I did some modeling
and some acting

and that just didn't pan out.

So I'm back here
starting fresh and anew.

I'm sorry.

What did you say
your last name was again?

Oh, it's Downy.

Uh, Dani actually said
she knew of Janey in school.

Yes, Daniela, I do believe
I remember you.

You were in a bunch of local pageants growing up,
as I recall.

Yes, I was.

Fancy that, someone
who went to my pageants.

Oh, I didn't.

I just...

I read about them
in the paper, that's all.


That's a pretty sharp memory
there, Marn.

Wait. So you knew my mom and you
think it's okay to like my dad?

Elliot, I barely knew
your mom,

you know, and I've been
getting your daddy's coffee

for over a year now
and never knew that Janey--

well, you know, I just wanted
to make you all a nice dinner.

It's just really weird.

No wonder she did bad in L.A.

That was a terrible performance.

I think you guys
owe Dani an apology.




Oh, my.

You know, those ungrateful
little heathens.

I mean, those Cornish hens,
those are a real pain in my--

Oh. Just a minute.


You all right?

Yeah, I'll be fine.

I'm really sorry.

I mean, this whole situation's
just so new for everybody,

and they're just--


I completely understand.

I mean, I know
because I lost my mother

over the holidays
and I know exactly

what they're
going through, so...

- I'm sorry. I had no idea.
- I do, I do.



Elliot, are you okay, honey?

Well, if it's any consolation,

your mother didn't care
for Dani either.

But that information is strictly
between us big kids.

Pinky swear?

And I only say that

because your daddy needs
to find out for himself.

He probably thinks
he's doing what's right

for you kids right now,
but he's a smart man.

Just give him
a little time, okay?

But I thought she said
she didn't know Mom that well.

Mom didn't like her?

Honey, your mama
liked everyone.

It was Dani who was jealous
of your mom.


Well, back
when they were seniors,

your mom was voted
the most popular in school

and somehow Dani claimed that the ballots had been rigged,

but when they did a recount,
Janey won by a landslide.

Can you imagine?

Daniela Downy must have
fake cried the whole way home.



Guys, is there something
you'd like to say to Dani?


Is there anything else
you want to say to Dani?


Thanks for the food.

Yes, thank you, Dani.

Oh, you are so welcome.

I actually made the same meal
for the homeless

down at the shelters.
Quite a treat.

Well, that's very nice of you.

And, guys, since Dani doesn't
have any family to go home to

for the holidays, I told her
that she could spend

the holidays with us,

And thank you so much.

I mean, you don't know
how much this means to me.

I thought I was gonna
have to spend the holidays

all by myself in my dreary
little house

but, oh, we get to make pies
and play games

and, oh, it's just gonna be
the best holiday ever together!

Oh, I got lots to do.

Oh, no. Oh.

How do I--? Oh-hh.

Oh, good morning.

Hey, good morning.
How did you sleep?

Oh, that bed is more comfortable

than the one I sleep on
at home every night.

So what are you guys
up to here?

We are making French toast.

French toast!

Oh, I make
the best French toast.

Here, let me handle this.


I've got bread, got our eggs.

Oh, milk,
I got to get some milk.

Hey, you brought the puppy!


I didn't get your name
the other day.

- It's Elliot.
- Well, is your dad home, Elliot?


- Can you hold her?
- Yeah.

Elliot, did you--

No, no, it wasn't him.
It was me.

Look, I can't really explain it

but what happened with this dog
and Elliot yesterday, it's--

connections like that
aren't made every day.

This dog loves your son.

She's been crying
ever since he left.

And look, I don't want
to tell you how to parent

because I have
no experience with it.

I've never parented anything
other than the dogs

that I foster every year.

But I think in order
to learn responsibility,

you have to be given

And that applies
to the kids here, right?

Please, Dad? I promise
I'll take good care of her.

Pretty, pretty, pretty please?

You can even take back our--
oh, sorry.

I mean, Elliot's shares
of the presents back

if we can just have
this one puppy.

Please, Daddy, please?

I mean, you show up
on my doorstep here

with this fuzzy little bit
of cuteness

with a bow on and everything.

It's not like I ever really
had a choice, huh?


Yay! Thank you, Daddy!

Give me the papers
and let me sign

on the dotted line
before I change my mind.

Ready for you right there.

Yes, you are.

Well, last step is you guys
have to name her.

Yeah, Elliot.
What you gonna name her?

Her name is Belle.

Oh, what do we have
going on here?

- Hi.
- Oh--!

Bless you.

Oh, you must be the neighbor

and you adopted a dog,
isn't that nice?

Nope, she's ours
for the keeping.

And you're allergic, ain't you?

Glenn, please tell me
that you did not adopt a dog

from a complete stranger.

I mean, no offense,
you seem lovely.

She's not a stranger.

And Belle isn't a random dog.
Are you, Belle?

She's part of our family now.

Dani, this is the director

of the local dog rescue
here in town.

We actually met yesterday,

actually right outside
your bakery.

I'm Kate.

- Nice to meet you.
- Bless you.

This is Dani and Dani is--

Our homeless holiday guest.


You are allergic to dogs,
aren't you?

Mm-hmm, yes.

Oh, to the fur, to their drool,
to the feces-- all of it.

I had no idea.

But, you know, actually
they have shots now for that

- and they're pretty simple, so--
- Oh, really?

I'm gonna get going but
I'm gonna give you my card.

It has my cell number on it.

Call me anytime
if you need anything.

All of her papers
and she's got all of her shots.

The number
for the vet is on there

and there's
an after-hours emergency,

just in case something
goes wrong.

Perfect. That's great,
thank you so very much.

Yes, thank you,
thank you, Kate.

You are so welcome.

Merry Christmas, Kate.

- Enjoy Belle.
- We will.

- Take good care of her.
- Okay.

I appreciate it, Kate.
Thank you, very, very much.

Thank you.
Bye, guys, nice meeting you.


Okay, girl, let's get you
something to eat.

I bet you're starving.

Elliot, you can't just
feed her anything, okay?

She can't have chocolate.
She can't have onions...

Hey, bud.

Everything okay with Dani?

Well, at least
she stopped crying.

Belle makes you
pretty happy, doesn't she?

Yeah, I don't think
I've seen you this

consistently happy
in a long time.

Belle is so happy
all the time.

I've got to work hard
to keep up, you know.

And I've been telling Belle
all about Mom.

How she was the most amazing
architect ever

and how we used to lay
on the floor of her study

and draw pictures

while she would work
on blueprints at her desk.

You don't think Mom's starting to think that I forgot about her

because Belle
makes me so happy?

No, no, no way, buddy,
no way.

Your mom,
she is watching down on you.

And every single time
that you or your sister smile,

I promise you,
she smiles, too.

And speaking of drawing,

you know, I haven't
seen you draw in a long time.

You used to draw everywhere.

You ever think about
taking it back up?

I'm just saying there's
this pretty girl up the street

who could probably use
a sketch of Belle for Christmas,

seeing as how she doesn't
have a dog of her own.

- I don't know.
- No? Hey, no pressure.

Just a creative mind
can get you pretty far, buddy.

I mean, your mom's
ability to design,

that was just one of the--
one of the many reasons

that I fell in love with her.

Just think about it.

- Good night, buddy.
- Good night, Dad.

"Dear Janey, Merry Christmas
to you and yours.

I know we haven't spoken
for some time now,

but I just wanted you know
that your presence--"

Hey, Marnie, good morning.

I have a quick
question for you.

Do you know if Janey
ever designed

some home plans
down in Wimberley?

Yeah, I don't remember
that either.

I was just curious.

Okay, we're gonna
see you later today?

Okie-dokie, bye-bye.

- Good morning.
- Oh, hey.

Oh, you have to work
on Christmas Eve?

Yeah, it's Honey Brook
Annual Baking Contest

and I have to get a four-tiered
red velvet Christmas cake ready

before 5:00
for the attendees.

Would you--
would you like to come?


Yeah, that sounds
like it'd be fun.

I think the kids
would enjoy that.

And you could probably use a little break from your allergies, too.

Yeah. Well, why don't I
just come back around 6:00

and you and me and the kids,
we can all ride together?

- That sounds great.
- All right.

You have a really
good day, dear.

Thank you.

Ooh. Sorry.

You have a good day.

Hey, kids, why don't you guys
get dressed in something decent

and come on down here.
We're gonna take a little road trip.

I still don't see
why we couldn't bring Belle.

Well, because, Elliot,
what happens in the New Year

when you start school again?

She has to learn to stay home by herself a little bit each day.

Ooh, looks delish.

What's wrong?

I thought you were ecstatic
to be spending the holidays

with the big-shot boyfriend,
the lawyer and his rugrats.

You said it was your
"champagne dream come true."

It was, until that Belle
came along.

Like a sleigh bell?

No, more like a mangy
eight-pound ball of fur

who cries constantly
and drools incessantly

and whose breath smells
like a cheesy bacon fart.

Oh, they got a puppy!
How cute.

I mean, ooh, how gross.

I mean, I hope you put out
rat traps for the little vermin.


So what are you
gonna do now?

What can I do?

I mean, this dog
has won the affections

of this entire household

before I could even
get my favorite

crocodile boots
through the door.

Glenn included.

These kids,
they can't stand me.

Oh, but ever since that dog--

oh, my gosh, I can't even
be in the house

without sneezing my head off.

I guess it's back
to the old drawing board

for my future.

What am I supposed to do?

Maybe, maybe you could date
that Skip Jeffries

that comes in here all the time.
He's really pretty cute.

Uh, Kimmy, he's a plumber.


Yeah, he comes in here
and he unclogs toilets.

- Oh.
- And every time he bends over,

I feel like I'm visiting
the Grand Canyon.

You know, I don't think so.

Oh! Oh!

Look at what you
made me do!

- I'm so sorry.
- Oh, God, you got me so upset.

You still look really pretty
even covered in batter.

I cannot go to the contest
looking like this.

I got to get home and change.
Oh, my gosh.

Oh, okay. You finish the cakes,
I will be back in 30 minutes.


We're here, guys.

Elliot, ring
the doorbell, please.

Yes, Dad.

Yes, may I help you?

Hi, yeah, I'm Glenn Barrows.

I'm Janey Barrows' husband.

Oh, my,
what a wonderful surprise.

And this must be
Elliot and Phoebe.

Yes, ma'am.

I've heard Janey speak
many times of them.

Where is Janey?

Actually, that's what I came here to talk to you about.

Oh, okay.
Well, please do come in.

Thank you.

Well, let's just see
if there is anything left

on Mr. Barrows'
Christmas wish list

after he's had a slice
of this red velvet cake.

Where are you?

Where are you?


Oh, you have been waiting
under the wrong Christmas tree.

Malcolm, are you trying
to give me a heart attack?

What did I tell you about
firecrackers in the front yard

before New Year?

Get your butt over here, boy.

Kimmy, Kimmy,
phone call for you.

Will you please take it
on the kitchen line?

Yes, ma'am.

- Hello?
- Oh, Kimmy, it's me.

I was wondering
if you could whip up

some of that
cream cheese frosting.

I'm gonna be a little later
than I thought.

Copy that.

I'll be licking the beaters
till you get back.

Um, is everything okay?

Oh, everything is just
powdered sugar now.

I'm actually on my way
to displace

this little fleabag
in her new home right now.

See you when you get back.

Y'all come on now, have a seat.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

This is beautiful.

Oh, well, thank you.

- Grandma?
- Yes, come on, baby.

- Come on.
- Thank you.

Now this here is my grandbaby,
Miss Adelaide.

Her mom and daddy
went out to get us

a nice smoked ham
for dinner, didn't they?

You can call me Addie.

Hi, Addie,
I'm Phoebe and this is my little brother Elliot.

He's shy.

My daddy made me
a Santa sleigh.

- You want to see?
- Sure.

Wait, wait,
now y'all get your cookies.


Just one each, just one.


Well, you're lucky.

I was just making
my afternoon tea.

Perfect, that's gonna
hit the spot, thank you.

Oh, you're welcome.

You know,
when that flood came through,

this tea set was one of the few things I was able to salvage.

I remember that.
That was terrible.

I bet you do.

Lord, they sure look an awful lot like her,
don't they?

You know,
it's a shame that Janey

couldn't come
with you all today.

Well, that's what I wanted
to talk to you about.


see, we lost Janey
earlier this year...

in a car accident.

I am so sorry
for your loss, Glenn.

I can't tell you how much
this breaks my heart.

She was a good peach,
that girl.

She was one of the best
of the bundle.

Yes, she really was.

And that's the thing is--

See, I got your Christmas card
this morning,

but how did you know Janey?

Because I don't remember
her doing any work--

Oh, my heavens.
She never told you.

Thank you.


Serious as Santa
in a snowstorm.

My Janey blueprinted
the remodeling

of every single home
in this entire neighborhood?

It was over the year
after the flood came through.

You know, most of us
didn't have insurance.

Since we weren't
in a floodplain,

we didn't think
it could happen to us.

And Janey didn't charge
a one of us a dime,

even helped us
find cheap contractors

to do the labor, too.

I mean, come on, how did you
not notice how busy she was?

Then again, I thought she said
she had another job, too.

No, she was always
very, very busy

but she always made time
for me and the kids.

She seemed like the kind of girl
who always somehow

found enough hours
in a day.

I just don't understand,
I don't know why

she never said
anything to us about this.

I can't say for sure,
but I will tell you this.

I've seen people
who are always preaching

about the things that others
should be doing

and keeping a spreadsheet
of every nice thing

they ever did for you
and always expecting

every good deed to come
with some big reward.

I mean, heck,
most kind gestures,

well, they come with a price.

Now, while there are still
others I've known

to do things--
good, kind, loving things,

who do them quietly

in the privacy of their own
hearts and minds--

simply because they believe
it's the right thing to do.

Elliot, Pheebs,
come here, guys.

Adelaide, come here, baby.

Come here, guys.

You take a look at every single
one of these houses, okay?

See them?

Your mother is responsible
for every one of these.

- Wow.
- Pretty cool, huh?

- Wow.
- Yeah.

Our mom was the coolest.

Yeah, she was.

- You guys are pretty cool, too.
- Thanks, Dad.

Get back.
Now get back.

Hello, bird.

Hello, there.
For heaven's sakes, Alberta.

Sorry about that.
We just weren't expecting anybody,

being Christmas Eve and all.

Oh, that's okay.

Special occasions
call for special deliveries.

And what kind of special
deliveries do we have here?

Well, this little beast
needs to be put down.

Now why would you
want to have

a little looker like this
put down for?

She'd probably have no problem
finding a great home.

Oh, well, I was supposed to be
her forever home,

that's why I adopted her.

But then,
once I got her home,

I shortly realized that
she's a complete lost cause.

- A lost cause?
- Mm-hmm.

How so?

Hmm? Well, um,
she killed my cat.

She killed your cat?

She's barely the size of a cat.

It was a very small cat.

A kitten.

Now are you sure we're
talking about the same dog?

This dog right here?

Oh, yeah, don't be deceived
by her charms, mister.

I am telling you,
this dog is a killer.

She even killed some birds.

Yep, in my back yard,
she killed these, like, parrots,

sparrow-looking things.

A bird killer, huh?

Well, I might just have to move
this one to the top of my list.

How soon can it be done?

Sunday morning, on account of
we're closed for Christmas.

Well, but you said
humanely, right?

I mean, I don't want her
to suffer or anything.





Where do you think you're going?

Shut up.

I'm not covering you for this time and you will be totally busted.

Why am I the only sane person
in my family?



Come here, Belle.
Come here, Belle.

- Hey, guys, no luck yet?
- No. Come on.

Let's you and I go this way
and you guys go that way.

Okay, fine,
but do not go on the road unless you see Belle, okay?

- Don't leave our subdivision.
- Yes, sir.

Belle? Belle?

Thank God you're back.
I don't know how to ice this thing.

Don't worry,
I have it all under control.

- And the little dog, too?
- I told you, everything.

So you, like, killed it?

- No, I didn't kill it.
- Oh.

What kind of a monster
do you take me for?

I took it to be euthanized.

Oh. Oh!

So I've exactly one hour

to get this cake tiered
into confection perfection

and then I got to pick up
the kids and Glenn,

hold them for about five minutes
while they cry

over the untimely disappearance
of their little mutt

and then bring them back here
in time for the contest,

where they can have a nice big piece of my red velvet cake.


Thank you.

Elliot, we should turn back.

Maybe we passed her,

or maybe your dad
and Phoebe found her by now.

Hey, look, we're
gonna find her, okay?

I will help you look for her
every day until we do.

I pinky promise.

Okay, come on.
Let's get back to the house.

Belle, Belle?

Hi, Kate, this is Glenn Barrows.

I'm calling about Belle.

It seems that she's gone missing
and we can't find her anywhere.

Could you please give me a call
as soon as you get this message?

Thank you.

Elliot, did you ask Malcolm

if he saw any sign
of Belle this afternoon?

His mom said he had to call back

after they finished
Christmas dinner.

- Dad, we have to find her.
- I know, honey.

But there's nothing more
that we can do right now.

I still can't figure out
how she got out the front door.

I was sure we closed it.

How's it going?

Are we all ready to go have
some delicious Christmas treats?

Oh, why the long faces?

It's Belle, she went missing
this afternoon.

We can't find her anywhere.

Oh, that's just terrible.

Oh, well-- do you have any idea
where she could be?

No, we've been up
and down the block twice.

We've asked everybody,
nobody has seen any sign of her.


Maybe if you guys go to the square,
you could ask around.

Maybe somebody has
seen her running around.

That's not a bad idea.

But, Dad, I don't want
to go to the square.

If Belle comes back,
I have to be here.

Listen, I'm sure she's fine.

I'm sure we'll find her.

Let's just go up
to the square and see.

Maybe she's been
running around up there.

You're wasting
your breath, lady.

We ain't moving
till Belle's back.

Glenn, here.

Listen, why don't we
just leave the kids here?

You could call Marnie
and she could watch them.

You know, 'cause this is my thing.
I got to be there tonight.

I know that, but Marnie,
that's not gonna happen.

She has this midnight mass
with a lady she does every year.

I'm sorry.

Guys, see what she's wearing?

She wasn't wearing that
this morning.

She's obviously been back
to change since we left.

Bet she's the one who left
the door open-- on purpose.

Guys, listen.

Why don't we go to the square

and we can put up
some missing puppy flyers?

Okay, and then
in the morning I promise you,

we will go out and we will look
for Belle again.

But, Dad, if Belle comes back,
I have to be here.

Oh, Elliot, that's just
not gonna happen.

I mean, she's a puppy,
they're not that smart.

Who knows
where she could be?

I bet you know
exactly where she is.

I'm sorry?

You took Belle.
We know it was you.

Pheeb, honey,
it's pretty obvious

that Belle went out
the open front door.

Probably because
she left it open.

I mean, you got to admit,

it would be a lot easier for her
to reach the front door handle

than it would be for Belle to,
that's for darn sure.

Phoebe, I haven't
been here today. Okay?

I mean, I left the house
before you did this morning.

Yeah? Well, you weren't
wearing that tacky dress

the first time you left.

Listen, I went to my house

and I changed my clothes
this afternoon, okay?

That's a lie.
I saw that ugly thing the first night

when I was checking your bags
for narcotics and firearms.

You went through
my suitcase?

Phoebe, we do not
go through

other people's
private belongings.

You know better than that,
young lady.

Dad, she doesn't even care
about us.

She just wants you
because you're a hot catch

and you have lots of money.

That's it. Phoebe,
apologize to Dani right now.

No, Dad.
Phoebe's right.

Dani did something to Belle.

Just look at her,
it's written all over her face.

- Elliot, you are not helping.
- And neither are you.

You're being blindsided
by that big-headed blonde.


Guys, what is wrong with you?

Knock it off.

Do you know that Dani lost
her mother at Christmas, too?

You need to think about
other people's feelings, too.

Maybe the holidays are tough
for other people as well.

- But, Dad, she--
- No, but nothing, Elliot.

Okay, Belle
is gone right now,

there's nothing
we can do about it.

But if we're gonna accuse
somebody of doing something,

you need to have evidence.

All right?
Then tomorrow, like I said,

we will go
and we will look for Belle.

In the meantime, you guys
are making me wonder

whether you were ever
responsible enough

to have adopted this dog
in the first place.

Dani, whoa, whoa,
whoa, whoa, whoa, Dani.


Hey, hey, I am so sorry.

The kids, they didn't mean
the stuff that they were saying.

They didn't. They just--

I think they're just taking
this whole dog thing so hard

because they really
just miss their mom.

They do.

And your bakery contest thing,

it sounds like a lot of fun.

I get it. It's just--

it's that I told all my

that they were gonna meet
this really great guy, you know?

And it's all right,
I'll just be by myself.

I'll just be all alone,

by myself like I always am.
I'm very used to it, it's okay.

- All right?
- Dani.

Come on.
I feel terrible,

but what else can I do?

The kids won't go
anywhere without Belle

and I can't leave them
here alone.

Well, I mean, if you came
with me for just a little bit,

then you could
put up those signs.

I know somebody
who could look after them.

All right. Listen up.

You will do exactly as I say

or I will call the evil little elves to come and get you

and take you away
where you will be fed nothing

but clear-colored snow cones
without sugar

and placed on an assembly line
making fun toys

for everyone but yourselves
year round. Got it?


Now do you have any
caramel glaze in the kitchen?

Guys, we can't just sit here.

Belle has to be out there
somewhere right now

and might really need our help.

Well, what do you
expect us to do?

"Cheesecake Monster"
over there

sure isn't gonna let us
out of her sights anytime soon.

I know.
We just have to figure out a way to get out of here.


It's for you.

But make it quick.

Is it Dad?
Did they find Belle?

Not now.

Sorry, Hambone.
I was eating turkey.

My mom says you called earlier.

It's Belle, we can't find her.

What do you mean
you can't find her?

She was gone tonight
when we got home.

And the front door was open.

You didn't see her
outside, did you?

Nope, but I did see that
big-headed blonde over there

earlier this afternoon
when I was giving Penny Reiner

a Christmas Eve scare

with my stampede string
of Black Cats.

She was here this afternoon?

Um, I mean,
you saw Belle where?

I said I saw
the big-headed blonde.

Yeah, I heard what you said,

but we actually
can't go looking

for Belle right now

because my dad is not here
and we've a sitter.

You have a sitter?

Yeah, a friend of my dad's
new girlfriend.

She's really nice, too.

Dude, you're freaking me out.

Are you in trouble
or something?

Yeah, we're pretty bummed
about Belle, too,

but sure,
an early Christmas gift from you

actually would lift my spirits,
I think.

Name the gift
and Santa will deliver.

Hey, no visitors tonight, okay?


The babysitter says you can't
bring it tonight, though.

Santa don't wait for no sitter.

Wait, what's that?

You got me the same thing
you got Penny Reiner?

Wow, thanks, Malcolm.

I love that awesome collection
of, um... cat stamps.

"Operation Jingle Belle

is in T-minus 10 minutes
and counting.

So Malcolm said he thought

he saw Belle
in Mr. Polinsky's back yard.

You can see their back yard

from your room upstairs.

I know, let's go.


Belle, if you can hear me,
wave one paw in the light.

Sorry, kids, but your dog
is not down in that yard.

Well, guess it's a good thing.

I was just worried about what
Mr. Polinsky swore he would do

if he ever caught our dog
in his back yard.

What did he swear
he would do?

Well, he said he would
take his .22 rifle

and open fire
on our front lawn.

But, Elliot, I always thought
Mr. Polinsky was so nice.

Huh, the craziest ones
usually are.


Your neighbor,
he sounds like a real loony.

If I were you, I'd move away

before he decides to blow
this whole neighborhood.

Kids, get down! It's not Santa!
Has Mr. Polinsky gone postal?

Elliot, I'll meet you outside.

Hurry, hurry.

Any of you still alive?

Wow. Good job, Elliot.

You guys tricked me!

Yeah, and if you make
even so much

as one peep while we're gone,
I'll call Santa

and you'll be forced to shovel
reindeer poop for an eternity.

So what's next?

Elliot's calling us a ride.

But where are we going?

We're going to save Belle.
Come on.

Ugh. What's taking
Grandma so long?

So I hear my merry
mischief makers

need a little lift into town.

It's like a fallen ice skater's
frostbit bottom out there.

Are you kids
getting in or what?

Okay, so now what?

We need to get inside the bakery
and find Dani's purse.

What do we need
from her purse?

Her address and her keys.

If she took Belle,
that's where she will be.

Wait. What if we
run into Dani or your dad

moving through all these people?
We'll be totally busted.

Good point.

Phoebe, let's get eyes
on Dani and Dad, will you?

Yeah, all right.

Excuse me, mister, I'm having
a hard time locating my father.

Can I trouble you
for an elevator ride

up to your top floor?

Well, sure, kid,
and while you're up there,

why don't you see
if they've got a Danish?

I think they're gonna run out
before I can get to the table.

- Okay.
- Now, so you know, every piece...

Oh, yeah, there's
a big plate of them.

...I will make. Yay!

All right, now the line starts
right here, right by Santa.

Man down, man down!

Did she see you?

No, I don't think so.
And we're clear if we go around back.

Dad and Dani are at the front.

Phoebe, wait.
Where are you going?

Don't worry.
Just get the keys and address.

I'll meet you around back
in 10 minutes.

Come on.

Oh, this cheesecake
is amazing.

Oh, I made the red velvet.

Oh, yeah, that's not bad either.

- Mmm.
- Mm-hmm.

It's so good.
Thank you.

Oh. Oh, you got a bunch
in your-- right here.

Your-- let me see. Yeah.

I'm sorry, I'll be right back.

That's all right.



I think I have it.

5217 Spicewood Road.

Got them.

Someone's coming.


Kate, hi.
Thanks for calling me back.

Sorry, I've been so busy

with Christmas stuff.
Have you guys found Belle?

No, no, we have not yet,

I'll come right over
and help you guys look.

Yeah, I'd like that.

I'll be at the house in 15.

We can drive the kids
around to find her.

Okay, great.



You mischievous
little mongrels!

I don't know if you think
you know what you're up to,

but I can promise you,
you won't get away with it!


Is everything all right?

Oh, it's just all
powdered sugar.

Yeah, I can see that.

- What?
- 'Cause--

Oh, I'll be right back.

Wait, wait,
Dani, Dani, wait.

I really need to get back
for the kids

'cause they're gonna be
so worried about Belle.

Do you need to go clean up
or do you mind if I go back?

No, no, you just--
you go on home.

It's okay.

I'm sure the kids will be
waiting for you with bells on.

Well, just call me when you
want me to come pick you up.

- I'll just be a bit.
- Okay. Give me a call then.

That was a close call.

That was awesome.

where have you been?

Found Dad's car
down on the street corner,

swiped his GPS.

How else were we gonna go
to Dani's house?

You're a genius.

Okay, it's only
four blocks from here.

We need to go that way.

Wait. How did you get
into a locked car?

Where there's a woman,
there's a way.

Hey, Mom.

Bet you're wondering
why I'm out here

all alone at night
without Dad, huh?

Well, don't worry too much.

I'm not in too much trouble--

well, yet anyway.

You see,
Dad let us adopt this dog

and I named her Belle,

and she's this adorable,
cream-colored shepherd

and you would just love her.

But I guess if you're
looking down on me,

you probably already
know all of this, huh?

Well, I guess I just
wanted to let you know

that no matter
where I go or what I do,

every time you see me smile,
I think of you.

Merry Christmas, Mom.

We love you.

- Kate, hi.
- Hey.

- Thank you so much for coming.
- Yeah.

- Sorry, it took me so long.
- No, it's fine.

- Did you knock on the door?
- Yeah, they didn't answer.




Kimmy? Hello?


Looks like someone
had a serious Christmas party.

What the heck?

- Oh.
- Kimmy?!

- Oh, my gosh.
- Are you okay?

What happened to you?
Where are the kids?

What happened to me
are those kids!

What do you mean?
Where are the kids?

- The kids did this to me!
- Where are the kids?

I don't know.
They're probably looking for that dog

they're all worried about.

The kids think that Dani
did something to the dog.

You don't think they went
to the bakery, do you?

- I was just there.
- I don't know.

But whatever they're doing,
it's probably illegal.

Look, my kids
may be a handful

but they would never do
something illegal.

Okay, guys, let's look
for signs everywhere,

anywhere that Belle
could possibly be. All right?

- Okay.
- Okay.

I'm gonna take Mundy Lane
to Carlson Circle.

Great. Okay, I'll take
Maple Drive to City Square.

- Okay.
- All right. Thank you.

You've got to be kidding me.


Hello, Dani, this is Linda.

Remember me?
Your mother?

You're treating your father and me like we're dead,
but we're not.

We're in Florida
and we thought we talked about

you coming down
for the holidays.

Call me back.
Love you, dear.



I thought you'd be here.

Where are you, girl?

Hi, honey, we're just finishing up here,
just cleaning up.

I was wondering if you
could pick me up in 20?

Yeah, okay, but, Dani,
have you seen the kids?

- Have they been by there?
- No, I haven't seen them.

Okay, well, they left the house.

I'm out looking
for them right now.

If they come by,
will you please give me a call?

anything for your kids, honey, anything.

Okay, thanks.

Maybe Dad was right.

Maybe Dani didn't
really take Belle.

And maybe we did just
imagine all this in our heads

because we don't like
that Dad has a new girlfriend.

But, Elliot,
you weren't imagining that Dani is a terrible person.

And just because Belle is not

doesn't mean Dani is not responsible for her disappearance.

Yeah, she could have left
the front door open

'cause she knew Belle would go
running outside looking for you.

But, guys, it doesn't matter.

Belle isn't here.
If she's not here,

then I have no idea
where she could possibly be.

And if I can't find her,
then I can't save her!

So what?
So Belle is not here.

So we go home and
start over again tomorrow.

Recruit more help
and start another search.

And we keep looking for her
until we find her.

The world doesn't
work that way, Riley.

I keep looking and waiting
for my mom all the time.

But look around,
she's still not here, is she?

And it's 'cause
she's never coming back.

And sooner or later,

we need to accept
that Belle isn't either.

Elliot, you're right. Sometimes
rotten things happen to us,

and there's nothing
we can do about it.

But that doesn't mean we should
give up on everyone else

who still loves us
and needs us.

I mean, what if Belle's
out there right now,

and she's hurt or scared
and still needs our help?

Do you really think Belle
would give up on you that easy?

Or would your mother have,
if she was still here?

You know what?
You're right, Riley.

My mom would never have given up.
So neither can we.

Christmas is still
the season of hope

and Belle has to be
out there somewhere still,

and counting on us
to find her.

Then let's go get her.

Hello, you've reached

the answering service
of Daniela Downy

and although I can't get
to the phone at the moment,

please feel free
to leave me a pleasantry

and I'll be sure to return it soon.

Dani, it's Kimmy.

You wouldn't believe what those
snarky little tarts did to me.

Anyway, I just wanted
to give you a heads-up.

Their dad's looking
for them now.

But I think they went
to find that dog.

So you better call the pound
and make sure

they remove that pup
from visibility

until someone pulls the plug on it.

We have to get to the pound
before they close.

But they're probably
already closed.

Then we break in.
We have to.

There might not be
much time.

Dani is trying
to have her put to sleep.

But we can't put
the pound into the GPS

because we don't even know
where we're going

and we don't even have
their address.

Right. We need someone
with a phone and a car.

Who do we know?

Well, if we had proof,
we could call Dad.

No, it's too late.
We can't call Dad.

He's already out
looking for us,

which means
we're in a ton of trouble.

Is there anyone else?

Wait, I know someone.

We're not going.

Christy, no, you promised
you would take us to the pound.

Yeah, well, that was
to get you in the car.

I'm now 30 minutes late
for my champagne cider party

because of you,
and Troy already went without me

because I had to pick up you and your sweaty little friends back there.

But, Christy,
Elliot's dog's life is at stake here.

If the dog is there,
Elliot's dad can take them to pick it up Sunday.

Psst. Hey, Riley.

20 bucks to prove you're right.

And I know you need it
after Dad cut off your allowance

for failing algebra.

It's locked.

Hey, mister, sorry to bother you
on Christmas Eve,

but I think you have
our dog in there.

Oh, yeah?
What makes you think that?

Well, we think the lady
dating our dad

dropped her off so you guys
could kill her.

How do you know
it's really yours?

- Is it microchipped?
- Not yet.

We've only had her
for a couple of days.

- What's it look like?
- She's a cream-colored shepherd.

Small, cute, fluffy.

"Small, cute, fluffy."

No, I don't got
no cute dogs in here.

She would have been
dropped off today

by a big-headed blonde lady.

Oh, yeah, the bird-killer.

Belle never killed any bird.

How would you know?

You just said you've only
had her for a few days.

Because I think I know
my own dog pretty well, okay?

All right, fine.
That'll be 60 bucks

and you can buy
the little mutt back.

60 bucks?
We don't have 60 bucks.

Here, this is all we have left.

You don't got 40 more dollars,

I don't got no bird-killer
for you.

Ugh. Now what?

Come on, I've got an idea.

...the more
the muscle's gonna grow, okay?

Take a look
at what I've done here.

No freaking way.

Those toes just aren't
gonna pedicure themselves.

My name is Christy Kane.

You know, like a candy cane?

- Hi.
- I'm sorry to bother you,

but I was just on my way home
from this apple cider party

and I just had
way too much cider, you see,

and I just don't think
I can wait till I get home,

so may I use
your ladies' room?

Yeah. My bird drinks
way too much apple cider, too.

Come on.

Bathroom is right
through there.

Just holler at me if you need
any toilet paper or anything.


"Toilet paper." Stupid!


So how are we gonna get her?

You guys are
just gonna stay here

and when he goes back
in that office,

we're just gonna sneak up
and spring him out really fast,

so we all can run
right out of here, okay?

But, Elliot, what about
the others?

We can't just leave
the other dogs here.

This is the pound.

They'll all be doomed
unless we save them.

I know,
but we can't fit all of them in your sister's car.

There's not enough room.

There's a bunch
of other dogs in here.

We may not be able
to fit all of them

in your fine sister's car,

but I bet we can fit
some of them

into that pound van
we saw out back.

We just need keys.

And as it just so happens,

I happen to know
a really good key thief.

- All better now?
- Yeah.

Thanks, I really appreciate you
letting me use your restroom.


Which translates to
I wouldn't stand on that toilet

in my cheapest pair
of shoes.

And a very
merry Christmas to you.

Merry Christmas to you, too,
Miss Kane.



Malcolm, now you pull the van up
so we can load.

Riley, you and I
will need to take one side.

We'll go down one by one

till all the dogs
are out safely, all right?

Come on.

Phoebe, let's go!

What are you kids doing?

Malcolm, let's move!

I have to call the police.


You okay, girl?

I've been worried sick about you.
It's good to have you back.

You did all right tonight,

I didn't think
you had it in you.

I did.

But, guys, how are we gonna feed
all these dogs tomorrow?

The pet stores won't be open
on Christmas.

We can call Kate
from the rescue.

She will know
what to do with them.

Who is that following us?

I think it's that
crazy dog catcher.

Dad's on our trail now, too.

Oh, man, if I get arrested,
my mom's gonna kill me!

Pull over before
he causes a wreck.

Now that we have Belle,
my dad will get us out of trouble.

Pull over right there!

I'm trying!


No, not my cake!

Is everybody okay?

We're great, Dad.
Look, we even found Belle.

So how was your night?

Get out.

- You need some help up?
- Oh.

But, Dad, we had
to take the other dogs

or else
he was gonna kill them.

Elliot, that is not your place.

Okay, you should know
that stealing someone's vehicle

is a very serious offense,

especially if that vehicle
belongs to the city.

Oh. Oh, you must be
from the pound.

Yeah, look, I'm so sorry

about any trouble this might have caused you tonight,

but it's a big mix-up.
See, this dog here,

this actually is our dog.

Well, if you want it back,

it's gonna cost you,
Mr. Fancy Pants.


Okay. How much for the dog,
and, you know,

to keep this little Christmas incident between the two of us?

For that amount--

Okay, okay.

Sure, that's just fine.

No plastic.

No, of course.
All right.


You can just return my van

after you transport the pups.
Enjoy them.

Thanks, Dad.
You're our hero.


And sorry we left the house
without your permission.

Well, that's okay,
actually I'm sorry.

I apologize to you guys.

I should have never left you
on Christmas Eve.

But, we still have plenty
to talk about, okay?

And don't even think about
keeping any more of these dogs.

We are not gonna do that.
We will, however,

find homes for each
and every one of them.

And you guys
will have plenty of time to look

because you're both grounded.

Wait, where's Belle?

Oh, no.

Oh, this is all your fault,

you mangy, little


Back off,
big-headed blondie.

We know you lied
and we know you took Belle

and left her
at the pound to be killed.

Glenn, do you hear this?

Do you hear what they
are accusing me of?

Oh, come on.
What kind of proof do you have anyway?

It's all on this machine.

Including a recent message from your mom,

who must somehow
be calling from the grave...

or is it Florida?

Wait, you broke into my house
and you stole things?

It's not really breaking in
when you have the keys.

Plus, we did it for the right reason,
unlike you, who took Belle

and stole jewelry that was my mother's for your own gain, right?

Is that my wife's necklace?

Um, I--
I was just trying it on

and I was going to return it,

but I just--
I got busy with the cake

and the children's hospital
and everything.

I was just trying to--

How do you
see yourself, Dani?

Are you one of those people
who expects some kind of reward

with every single good deed
that you do?

Have you ever just one time
done something kind

and loving just because
it was the right thing to do?

I already have
my opinion on that.

May I have my wife's
necklace, please?

Let's go, kids.

Your red velvet?
It needs work, too.

She's right about
your red velvet, Dani.

Oh, and by the way,
you're fired, dear.

Well, if it looks like a duck,

quacks like a duck,

it's probably a golddigger.

Maybe you ought to go on home,
see your folks.

It is the holidays after all.

I can't stand my folks.
That's why I'm like this.

'Tis the season to forgive,
little lady.

Besides, I wouldn't
wait around for Santa.

He's not gonna bring you
any gifts this year.

- You all right there, Marn?
- Ooh.

Midnight mass
is still talking to me.


Ooh, that's probably Kate
from the shelter.

You kids sure lived up

to your merry mischief maker
nickname this year.

Elliot, it's for you.



Guess what?
I can keep him.

That's awesome.

Yeah, they were so terrified
that I wasn't in bed last night,

so they couldn't say no.

Rufus will love having this

on the days
we can't see Belle.

Which hopefully
won't be many.

Merry Christmas, Riley.

Merry Christmas to you,

♪ Angels we have heard on high ♪

♪ Sweetly singing
o'er the plains ♪

♪ And the mountains
in reply ♪

- ♪ Echoing their joyous strains... ♪
- Hey, guys, get out here.

♪ Gloria ♪

♪ In excelsis Deo... ♪

♪ Gloria ♪

♪ In excelsis Deo. ♪


That was amazing.

- Oh, my pleasure.
- Wow.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you.

- Hi.
- Hey.

How are the dogs?

They are safe and sound.

Right. Hey, well,
come on inside, please.

Everybody, please come on inside
for some eggnog,

maybe a hot toddy,
some hot chocolate.

Come on, come on.