After Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol in 1962 showed the possibilities of prime-time holiday cartoons, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer became an instant classic in 1964 as it took a classic Christmas tune and gave it a back-story narrative, with an at-the-time innovative stop-motion animation process.
Rudolph tries to hide his bright red nose, but when it is discovered he is shunned not only by the other reindeer but by Santa Claus himself. Rudolph flees from the North Pole along with Hermey the misfit elf. On their journey away from the North Pole, they encounter Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snowman, and the Island of Misfit Toys. Rudolph returns to the North Pole just in time to guide a chastened Santa’s sleigh on a foggy night and thus “go down in history.”
NEW YORK CONNECTION
Not a hint of Manhattan.
Based on the song second only to “White Christmas” in popularity. Burl Ives sings several other second-tier classics.
Two voice actors have interesting film credits. Larry Mann (Yukon Cornelius) played the train conductor who sets up the poker game in The Sting. Billie Mae Richards gave voice to Rudolph in two more animated Christmas specials: Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (1976) and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July (1979). Christmas in July was also the tile of a 1940 film written and directed by Preston Sturges.
I haven’t been able to find one.
WHY WE LOVE THIS MOVIE
It reminds me of my childhood and the tradition of watching this TV special every year with my family.