Let's not let Rudolph play in any of our reindeer games!
December 10, 2003 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Did anyone catch Rudolph last night? (more inside)
posted by jpburns (19 comments total)
This show is one of my great childhood memories. The show originally aired on NBC back in 1964. I base this on a recollection of taking the NBC New York Studio Tour with my brother and seeing a display case with the models used in the stop-motion production. Anyway, I've watched it every year since, and manage to find something funny about the show each year. It's a family tradition.

In past years I've marveled at the intolerant Santa who has no use for Rudolph until he has a need to exploit his freakish nose. Then there's the dated dialog with it's overt sexism, as when Donner leaves to find Rudolph and tells his wife and Clarice, "This is man's work."

I've found myself wondering about just what was wrong with the doll on the Isle of Misfit toys. And what about the ruler of the Isle, King Moonraiser? Is it just me , or is he actually just a thinly-veiled version of Aslan?

And what about the literal translation of dialog from the song lyrics? "C'mon kids. Let's not let Rudolph play in any of our reindeer games!" "What I'm trying to say is... Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

This year my wife and I both thought that the weird elf with the glasses looked like Ted from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.


posted by jpburns at 6:47 AM on December 10, 2003

I watched it last night. Loved it! Thanx for the links.
posted by Quartermass at 7:15 AM on December 10, 2003

I always thought the doll was a misfit because she looked sad.

Also, there was a Rankin Bass thread yesterday
posted by amberglow at 7:23 AM on December 10, 2003

I'd forgotten about the apocryphal assumption that Donner was Rudolph's father. I see no reference in the song to support that.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:37 AM on December 10, 2003

Also, there was a Rankin Bass thread yesterday

Wow! My fault. I thought I had kept up with my reading. I shoulda scrolled down. This is just the kind of thing I berate others for.

Matt: Feel free to dispose of this...
posted by jpburns at 7:40 AM on December 10, 2003

I'm such a loser, I have the show on DVD. Not only that, I have written a rather extensive research essay a few years back comparing Rudolph and the Misfit Toys - coupled with their environment and the reactions and interpretation of them by others- with Don Quixote and Sir Gawain.

Yeah, I know. I should really focus on things that matter.
posted by bradth27 at 7:47 AM on December 10, 2003

Personally, I suspect a lot of the Rankin-Bass guys were more subversive than they knew. Take for example the song in "Santa Claus is coming to town":

"When you sit on my lap today, a toy a kiss is the price you pay..."


Or, in "Rudolph's Shiney New Year":

"If I can deliver presents all around the world in one night," Santa claims, " I sure can get you back to Father Time's Castle in a few Bongs!"


Never one to miss a chance to self plug, here's a whole world of exciting info on those bizarro Christmas Specials
posted by Perigee at 7:49 AM on December 10, 2003

Last night? I thought Rudolph flew on Xmas eve with all the other reindeer? Did I miss a memo? I would have caught him if I had known. I have a most excellent humane trap set on my roof.
posted by terrapin at 7:49 AM on December 10, 2003

I'm sad to say my fiance and I own the show on tape and also own a complete set of dolls based on the models in the show. Since we live in a small urban apartment, we put the characters from the show around a 2 foot fake Christmas tree, with the bumble putting the star on top.
posted by McBain at 8:41 AM on December 10, 2003

(looks around)
I love them i love them i love them.

(starts chorus)
"I'm Mister heat miser, I'm mr. Sun"
posted by clavdivs at 9:03 AM on December 10, 2003

It's all fun and games until you get to the part where the elf shoves the bird-that-can't-fly out of the sleigh.

My 6 year old loves that part.
posted by donpardo at 9:42 AM on December 10, 2003

I've got this great idea for an update of "Rudolph." What if, instead of the reindeer being reindeer, they were hot chicks instead?
posted by kindall at 10:45 AM on December 10, 2003

I've got this great idea for an update of "Rudolph." What if, instead of the reindeer being reindeer, they were hot chicks instead?

Dude, aren't they doing that on the Super Bowl halftime this year?

Taped the show for my 2-year-old last night and we'll try to watch it tonight. I'm certain he'll be scared at certain parts (mostly involving "The Bumble"), but we're just enough into Santa Claus and the reindeer thing that it just might stick.
posted by kgasmart at 11:53 AM on December 10, 2003

Yes. Hot chicks with nipples that light up to guide the sleigh.

posted by Sidhedevil at 12:22 PM on December 10, 2003

It's Christmas in Heaven.
All the children sing.
It's Christmas in Heaven.
Hark. Hark. Those church bells ring.

It's Christmas in Heaven.
The snow falls from the sky,
But it's nice and warm, and everyone
Looks smart and wears a tie...
posted by Perigee at 1:48 PM on December 10, 2003

from one of the articles:
"An animated feature film version of the fictional story of Rudolph was also produced in 1998..."

Glad they cleared that misconception up. Everyone should know that there are in fact only eight real reindeer that pull Santa's magic sleigh
posted by boltman at 2:06 PM on December 10, 2003

I had it on last night, was semi-watching it while doing other things, and right in the middle of it the local news affiliate up here in San Jose interrupted Rudolph! It was concerning the SF Mayoral Run-Off. And it was only to report that they'd counted the absentee ballots so far...no precincts yet.

I thought that was kind of weird...interrupting a classic children's show to report not the results of the Mayoral race, but the absentee vote. At least it was just a musical number they interrupted.
posted by fishbulb at 3:30 PM on December 10, 2003

For the last 10 years, I've missed this every Christmas season. Determined not to miss it this year, I created a calendar event in my Palm. :P

I was surprised at what jerks Donner and Santa were; must have blocked that out.

(I, too, have the dolls. Hee. Well, the little plastic guys and the 6" high Bumble [with his Christmas star!].)
posted by sarajflemming at 8:44 PM on December 10, 2003

There is a lot of anger in this show. Everybody seems to be in a foul mood, especially Santa. I think that the misfit girl doll was actually a boy doll trapped in a girl dolls body. (but I may be wrong)

Happy Holidays, Everybody!
posted by waltb555 at 7:24 AM on December 11, 2003

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