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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV special)

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV special)

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Encyclopedia
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 television special
Television special
A television special is a television program which interrupts or temporarily replaces programming normally scheduled for a given time slot. Sometimes, however, the term is given to a telecast of a theatrical film, such as The Wizard of Oz or The Ten Commandments, which is not part of a regular...

 produced in stop motion
Stop motion
Stop motion is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence...

 animation
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

 by Rankin/Bass
Rankin/Bass
Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc. , also known as Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment, was an American production company, known for its seasonal television specials, particularly its work in stop-motion animation. The pre-1974 library is currently owned by Classic Media,while the post-1974 library is...

. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 television network in the USA, and was sponsored by General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The copyright year in Roman numerals was mismarked as MCLXIV (1164) instead of the correct MCMLXIV.

The special was based on the Johnny Marks
Johnny Marks
Johnny Marks was an American songwriter. Although he was Jewish, he specialized in Christmas songs and wrote many standards, including "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" , "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" , "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" , and "A Holly...

 song by the same name; the song taken from the 1939 poem
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is a fictional reindeer with a glowing red nose. He is popularly known as "Santa's 9th Reindeer" and, when depicted, is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through...

 of the same title written by Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May
Robert L. May (Rudolph)
Robert Lewis May was the creator of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.-Life and career: Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1926...

. Since 1972, the special has aired on CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 affilliate television stations with the network unveiling a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program in 2005. As with A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was produced and directed by former Warner Bros. and UPA animator Bill Melendez, who also supplied the voice for the character of Snoopy...

and How the Grinch Stole Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (TV special)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a 1966 American animated television special directed by Chuck Jones. It is based on the homonymous children's book by Dr. Seuss, the story of The Grinch trying to take away Christmas from the townsfolk of Whoville below his mountain hideaway...

, Rudolph no longer airs just once annually, but several times during the Christmas and holiday season. It has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest running Christmas TV special, and one of only four 1960s Christmas specials still being telecast - the others being A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman
Frosty the Snowman (TV program)
Frosty the Snowman is an American animated television special based on the popular song of the same title. The program, which first aired on December 7, 1969 on CBS , was produced for television by Rankin/Bass and featured the voices of comedians Jimmy Durante as narrator and Jackie Vernon as the...

. Along with the Charlie Brown special, Rudolph has now been shown more than thirty-one times on CBS.

Plot


Sam the Snowman narrates the story of Rudolph, a reindeer who is born at the North Pole
North Pole
The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is, subject to the caveats explained below, defined as the point in the northern hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface...

 with a glowing red nose. His father, Santa's lead reindeer Donner, feels ashamed of his son's nose and forms a cover to hide Rudolph's nose out of mud. Meanwhile, a North Pole elf named Hermey has his own problem: wishing to be a dentist instead of an elf who makes toys in Santa's workshop. The Head Elf scolds Hermey for not wanting to be like the other elves, but the young elf refuses to change his interests.

When Rudolph is a year old and still hiding his nose, his father sends him to take-off practice to learn how to fly; the nose cover causing Rudolph to sound as if he has a permanent cold. Two reindeer befriend Rudolph. One is another yearling buck named Fireball, the other is a yearling doe named Clarice. During some horseplay, Fireball inadvertently causes Rudolph's nose cover to pop off. Upon seeing his glowing nose, Fireball backs away in horror saying, "For crying out loud!". After the initial shock wears off, Fireball and the other reindeer ridicule Rudolph and his nose and Coach Comet bans Rudolph from being with the other reindeer saying, "From now on, we won't let Rudolph join in any reindeer games, right? Right!" Clarice is the only reindeer who still likes Rudolph and tries to comfort him. Their interaction, however, is interrupted by Clarice's father, who forbids Clarice from being near Rudolph. Feeling outcast, Rudolph runs away.

Out on his own, Rudolph meets up with Hermey. The two bond after they discover they each have something that makes them unique: they decide they are misfits together. After deciding to be "independent together", they set out to seek "Fame and Fortune", singing the song of the same name. Following the song, the Abominable Snow Monster
Yeti
The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an ape-like cryptid said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, and Tibet. The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology...

, a white, carnivorous beast that hates Christmas and feeds on anything that gets in his way. After fearing being discovered by him, the two manage to escape the Snow Monster.

On their trek, Rudolph and Hermey meet a prospector named Yukon Cornelius who is gripped by the need to find silver and gold. Now on their journey with Cornelius, the two misfits end up at The Island of Misfit Toys. The island is guarded by a misfit toy named "Charlie in the Box" and ruled by a winged lion named King Moonracer. Hermey and Rudolph request of King Moonracer that he allow them to stay on the island because they are misfits like the toys, however, Moonracer declines their request. After settling down to stay one night there, Rudolph decides to leave the island during the night, having realized that his nose is a danger to his friends.

A few months later, Rudolph grows into a handsome young stag and decides to return home. When Rudolph arrives back at his family's cave, he learns from Santa that his parents are not there and is told that along with Clarice, they left to go looking him. Going out again, this time to search for his family, Rudolph finds them with Clarice and held captive by the Abominable Snowman. Rudolph attempts to rescue them before Hermey and Yukon Cornelius find him and they try to help. They manage to knock out the Abominable while Hermey removes the monster's teeth, but Yukon knocks himself, his sled team, and the monster over a cliff when he stands up to the beast. The others return home, where they tell what happened to the others. Rudolph and Hermey are no longer ridiculed, but are hailed as heroes. The lead elf finally allows Hermey to open a dentist's office the week after Christmas. Yukon and the others end up making a grand entrance with the Abominable, now "reformed" by Yukon: he has been trained to place a star at the top of Christmas trees without the aid of a stepladder.

While celebrating Rudolph and Hermey's return at Santa's castle, Santa learns that a strong blizzard is approaching and he states that Christmas will have to be cancelled. While telling the gathered crowd the bad news, Ruldoph's nose flashes and shines in Santa's eyes - causing him to realize that his "...beautiful, wonderful nose" would help the sleigh get safely through the storm. Santa says to the reindeer, "Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?" Rudolph quickly and gladly answers, "I'd be proud to, sir!" The first stop on the Christmas Eve trip is The Island of Misfit Toys to pick up the toys there to be distributed to boys and girls around the world. The final scene shows Rudolph leading the sleigh team and Santa heartily proclaiming, "Merry Christmas, merry Christmas!" as they go off into the night sky.

Additional characters


The character Rudolph
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is a fictional reindeer with a glowing red nose. He is popularly known as "Santa's 9th Reindeer" and, when depicted, is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through...

 was voiced by Billie Mae Richards
Billie Mae Richards
Billie Mae Richards was a Canadian voice actress, who also appeared onstage and on television.-Career:...

, later credited as Billy Richards. The story, by Romeo Muller
Romeo Muller
Romeo Muller, Jr. was an American screenwriter and actor most remembered for his screenplays such as for the 1964 TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.-Early years:...

, introduced several new characters inspired by the song's lyrics. Muller told an interviewer shortly before his death that he would have preferred to base the teleplay on May's original book, but could not find a copy. The show features Santa Claus
Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

 (voiced by Stan Francis) and the eight reindeer
Santa Claus' reindeer
Santa Claus's reindeer are a team of flying reindeer traditionally held to pull the sleigh of Santa Claus and help him deliver Christmas gifts. The commonly cited names of the reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder , and Blitzen. They are based on those used in the 1823...

 mentioned in the song. Of them, Donner is identified as Rudolph's father, and Comet is presented as the coach of the reindeer team. Mrs. Claus
Mrs. Claus
Mrs. Claus is the wife of Santa Claus, the Christmas gift-bringer in North American Christmas tradition.While Santa Claus himself emerged from the 1820s from a number of traditions of European folklore, Mrs...

 is also incorporated into the story.

The show also introduces:
  • Sam Snowman - The narrator, voiced by and styled to resemble folk singer
    Folk Singer
    Folk Singer is a 1964 album by Muddy Waters. Waters plays acoustic guitar, backed by Willie Dixon on string bass, Clifton James on drums, and Buddy Guy on acoustic guitar...

     Burl Ives
    Burl Ives
    Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives was an American actor, writer and folk music singer. As an actor, Ives's work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theater, television, and motion pictures. Music critic John Rockwell said, "Ives's voice .....

    , who also contributes several tunes throughout the show. Among the most famous numbers from the special is Johnny Marks' "A Holly Jolly Christmas," which became a Christmas standard in its own right.
  • Hermey the Misfit Elf (voiced by Paul Soles
    Paul Soles
    Paul Robert Soles is a Canadian actor and television personality.-Acting roles:He is best known as the voice of Hermie the misfit elf in Rankin/Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1964....

    ) - who prefers studying dentistry
    Dentistry
    Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

     to making toys. Quitting Santa's workshop, he and Rudolph run away together seeking "Fame And Fortune." Towards the end of the program, he finally gets his wish to open a dentist's office at the North Pole. One of many memorable songs from the show, "Fame and Fortune" was added to the 1965 airing of the show as a replacement for the reprise of a number called "We're A Couple Of Misfits", sung by Hermey and Rudolph soon after their initial meeting. The special's 1998 restoration saw "Misfits" returned to its original film context, while the 2004 DVD release showcases "Fame and Fortune" as a separate number.
  • Clarice the Doe (voiced and sung by Janet Orenstein) A pretty doe Rudolph meets at take-off practice, and she immediately develops a large crush on him. In fact, it was Clarice who was part of the reason why Rudolph knows how to fly in the special, because she tells Rudolph he is cute and that gives him encouragement, resulting in a giant leap through the air. Even when the cap popped off of Rudolph's nose, Clarice remained faithful to him and follows him into the woods, where she performs one of the special's musical numbers "There's Always Tomorrow." She disobeys her father when she hangs around Rudolph, even to the point of running off into the woods with Rudolph's parents to go looking for him. The trio was then captured by the monster, but Rudolph rescued them in time. Despite the fact that, in reality, reindeer of both sexes grow antlers, neither Clarice nor any other doe in the special has antlers; the female reindeer (including Clarice) also have much lighter fur than their male counterparts.
  • Yukon Cornelius (voiced by Larry D. Mann
    Larry D. Mann
    Larry D. Mann is a Canadian actor. Prior to his acting career, he was a disk jockey on CHUM 1050 radio in Toronto in 1949. His best-known Canadian television exposure was in a Bell Canada series of commercials called "The Boss" in which he played the title role for ten years beginning in 1981...

    ) - a prospector who leads the audience to believe that he is searching for either gold
    Gold
    Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

     or silver
    Silver
    Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

    , but is actually seeking peppermint
    Peppermint
    Peppermint is a hybrid mint, a cross between the watermint and spearmint . The plant, indigenous to Europe, is now widespread in cultivation throughout all regions of the world...

     as revealed at the end of the original version of the special. His greedy behavior inspires the song "Silver and Gold," sung by Ives. Yukon is a blustery but benign character who ends up helping not only Rudolph and Hermey, but also the Abominable Snow Monster, which he nicknames "Bumble." Yukon Cornelius can be seen throughout the special tossing his pickax into the air, sniffing, then licking the end that contacts the snow or ice. The removal of the scene near the end of the special (for subsequent telecasts) in which Yukon Cornelius discovers a "peppermint mine" by that method near Santa's workshop left audiences assuming that he was attempting to find either silver or gold by taste alone. The scene was returned to the film in 1998 as well.
  • Tall Elf is a minor character who appears in the "We Are Santa's Elves" and "Holly Jolly Christmas" scenes. Tall, thin and bespectacled, this character was an integral part of the stop-motion commercial and subsequent print ads produced for General Electric for the inaugural broadcast.
  • Head Elf (voiced by Carl Banas
    Carl Banas
    Carl Banas is a Toronto born radio personality and actor. As a TV actor he appeared in the series Wojeck as police detective Byron James, and provided voices for numerous TV series and features. He was also known as a radio personality on Toronto radio station CKFM-FM, later and more famouly known...

    ) is Hermey's immediate supervisor, a portly and ill-tempered foreman and songleader of Santa's workshop. He wears a goatee
    Goatee
    Goatee refers to a style of facial hair incorporating hair on a man’s chin. The exact nature of the style has varied according to time and culture.Traditionally, goatee refers solely to a beard formed by a tuft of hair on the chin...

     styled to resemble popular songleader Mitch Miller
    Mitch Miller
    Mitchell William "Mitch" Miller was an American musician, singer, conductor, record producer, A&R man and record company executive...

     and begins by using Lawrence Welk
    Lawrence Welk
    Lawrence Welk was an American musician, accordionist, bandleader, and television impresario, who hosted The Lawrence Welk Show from 1955 to 1982...

    's famous introduction, "Ah one, and ah two". He is outraged at Hermey's persistent disruption of the assembly line
    Assembly line
    An assembly line is a manufacturing process in which parts are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned logistics to create a finished product much faster than with handcrafting-type methods...

     with his dentistry studies. He also conducts the elves in their song for Santa, "We Are Santa's Elves," a tune which Santa finds annoying. Towards the end of the special, he finally grants Hermey's wishes and allows him to open a dentist's office. In one of the show's blooper
    Blooper
    A blooper, also known as an outtake or boner is a short sequence of a film or video production, usually a deleted scene, containing a mistake made by a member of the cast or crew. It also refers to an error made during a live radio or TV broadcast or news report, usually in terms of misspoken words...

    s, the head elf is voiced by a different (and unidentified) voice actor in the musical scene as he begins conducting the group.
  • The Abominable Snow Monster of the North (a.k.a. Bumble) - A large, ferocious ape-like mammal of unspecified species, possibly a yeti
    Yeti
    The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an ape-like cryptid said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, and Tibet. The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology...

    . As the main antagonist, he pursues Hermey and Rudolph throughout their adventure. The sight of Rudolph's glowing red nose drives Bumble into a rage. Sam the snowman also explains that the monster hates everything to do with Christmas as well. Later, the Abominable Snow Monster captures Rudolph and his family at his cave. However, Yukon and Hermey come to the rescue by knocking the monster unconscious and extracting all his teeth. Near the end of the film he has a change of heart, and he is seen putting the star on top of the Christmas tree and becoming a part of Christmastown.


Several new members of Santa Claus
Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

's herd of reindeer include Fireball, a young buck with a distinctive shock of blond hair who befriends shy Rudolph
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is a fictional reindeer with a glowing red nose. He is popularly known as "Santa's 9th Reindeer" and, when depicted, is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through...

 at the "Reindeer Games", supervised and coached by one of Santa's eight reindeer, Comet. The Reindeer Games are the annual contest where Santa Claus evaluates the flight skills of his youngest reindeer. It is Fireball who encourages Rudolph to meet Clarice. Clarice informs Rudolph that she finds him cute. Inspired by Clarice's affection, Rudolph spontaneously launches into flight, impressing all the reindeer assembled. After a playful scuffle with Fireball ensues, the clay/mud cap Rudolph has been wearing to hide his glowing nose comes loose. Fireball is the first to witness Rudolph's true appearance and is terrified by the sight. After the initial shock wears off, the young reindeer and coach Comet mock Rudolph's nose, telling him he can no longer take part in the annual "Reindeer Games".

Most of the adult male reindeer, including Donner, Comet, and Clarice's father, were voiced by Paul Kligman
Paul Kligman
Paul Kligman was a Canadian actor.Born in Romania, he emigrated to Canada where he spent his youth in Winnipeg and studied at the University of Manitoba. He moved to Toronto in 1950 and established his career there...

.

The Island of Misfit Toys


The "Island of Misfit Toys", another canonical addition to the original story, is an island sanctuary where defective and unwanted toys are sent. Among its inhabitants:
  • King Moonracer - a winged lion
    Lion
    The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

     who acts as the island's ruler, voiced by Stan Francis. King Moonracer is responsible for flying around the world each night in search of unwanted toys. He lives in a large castle atop a hill on The Island of Misfit Toys, and acts as a 'governor' to the island, deciding who can or cannot stay on the Island, such as Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon Cornelius.
  • Charlie-In-The-Box is a misnamed, but otherwise seemingly normal jack-in-the-box
    Jack-in-the-box
    A jack-in-the-box is a children's toy that outwardly consists of a box with a crank. When the crank is turned, it plays a melody, often "Pop Goes the Weasel". At the end of the tune there is a "surprise", the lid pops open and a figure, usually a clown or jester, pops out of the box...

     who acts as the island's sentry. Charlie is voiced by Carl Banas
    Carl Banas
    Carl Banas is a Toronto born radio personality and actor. As a TV actor he appeared in the series Wojeck as police detective Byron James, and provided voices for numerous TV series and features. He was also known as a radio personality on Toronto radio station CKFM-FM, later and more famouly known...

    , who also voices several other toys in this scene.
  • Spotted Elephant is a polka dot
    Polka dot
    Polka dot is a pattern consisting of an array of filled circles, generally equally sized and spaced relatively closely in relation to their diameters. Polka dots are most commonly seen on children's clothing, toys, and furniture, but they appear in a wide array of contexts...

    ted elephant
    Elephant
    Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct...

     and also is the island's footman
    Footman
    A footman is a male servant, notably as domestic staff.-Word history:The name derives from the attendants who ran beside or behind the carriages of aristocrats, many of whom were chosen for their physical attributes. They ran alongside the coach to make sure it was not overturned by such obstacles...

    .
  • "A Dolly for Sue" (as she calls herself) is a seemingly normal girl rag doll
    Rag doll
    A rag doll is a children's toy. It is a cloth figure, a doll traditionally home-made from spare scraps of material. They are one of the most ancient children's toys in existence; the British Museum has a Roman rag doll, found in a child's grave dating from 300 BC.Rag dolls have featured in a...

     with red hair and a red gingham (checkered) dress. Her misfit problem is never explained on the special, but was possibly revealed on NPR's Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me! news quiz show (broadcast December 8, 2007). The show revealed that Rudolph's producer, Arthur Rankin Jr., says Dolly's problem was psychological, caused from being abandoned by her mistress and suffering depression from feeling unloved.
  • Bird Fish is a toy bird who swims instead of flies.
  • A misfit cowboy
    Cowboy
    A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

     who rides an ostrich
    Ostrich
    The Ostrich is one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member of the genus Struthio. Some analyses indicate that the Somali Ostrich may be better considered a full species apart from the Common Ostrich, but most taxonomists consider it to be a...

    .
  • Trainer, a train
    Train
    A train is a connected series of vehicles for rail transport that move along a track to transport cargo or passengers from one place to another place. The track usually consists of two rails, but might also be a monorail or maglev guideway.Propulsion for the train is provided by a separate...

     with square wheel
    Square wheel
    A square wheel is a wheel that, instead of being circular, has the shape of a square. While literal square wheels exist, a more common use is as a metaphor meaning stereotypically bad or naïve engineering ....

    s on its caboose
    Caboose
    A caboose is a manned North American rail transport vehicle coupled at the end of a freight train. Although cabooses were once used on nearly every freight train, their use has declined and they are seldom seen on trains, except on locals and smaller railroads.-Function:The caboose provided the...

    .
  • A toy boat that sinks rather than floats; a squirt gun that shoots grape
    Grape
    A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

     jelly
    Fruit preserves
    Fruit preserves are preparations of fruits and sugar, often canned or sealed for long-term storage. The preparation of fruit preserves today often involves adding commercial or natural pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used, as well. Prior to World War II, fruit preserve...

    ; an airplane
    Fixed-wing aircraft
    A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

     that cannot fly, and "a scooter for Jimmy".


It is during this scene the Marks standard, "The Most Wonderful Day of the Year" is performed by the inhabitants. Toy versions of nearly every character from this show were produced in the 1990s.

Viewers were so taken by these forlorn characters, many complained Santa was not seen fulfilling his promise to include them in his annual delivery. In reaction, a new scene for subsequent rebroadcasts was produced with Santa, with Rudolph in the lead, making his first stop at the island to pick up the toys.

Additional background


The songs and incidental music were written by Johnny Marks, with Maury Laws
Maury Laws
Maury Laws is an American television and film composer.In his teens, Laws performed in local country, jazz and dance bands as a singer and guitarist in his home state of North Carolina...

 supervising. In addition to the songs previously mentioned, the score also includes the film's love theme "There's Always Tomorrow", sung by the reindeer Clarice after Rudolph is kicked out of the reindeer games (the song is included in the version aired on CBS and in the DVD version, but is removed from the version aired on CBC Television
CBC Television
CBC Television is a Canadian television network owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster.Although the CBC is supported by public funding, the television network supplements this funding with commercial advertising revenue, in contrast to CBC Radio which are...

 in Canada). Marks' holiday standard "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Rockin' around the Christmas Tree
"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" is a Christmas song written by Johnny Marks and recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958 on Decca 9-30776.-Background:...

" appears as instrumental background music when Rudolph first arrives at the Reindeer Games and meets Fireball. Also included in the soundtrack is an instrumental version of Marks' setting of the Christmas hymn "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." As previously discussed, the song "Fame And Fortune" replaced the "Misfits" reprise for later television broadcasts from 1965 until 1998.

In 2006, puppets of Rudolph and Santa used in the filming of this famous television special were appraised on PBS Television's
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 Antiques Roadshow
Antiques Roadshow
Antiques Roadshow is a British television show in which antiques appraisers travel to various regions of the United Kingdom to appraise antiques brought in by local people. It has been running since 1979...

. The puppets had been damaged through years of rough handling by children and storage in an attic. In 2007, both the Rudolph and Santa puppets were restored to original condition by Screen Novelties
Screen Novelties
Screen Novelties is a collective of film directors, specializing in stop motion animation. It was formed in 2003 by Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh, and Chris Finnegan....

, a Los Angeles based collective of film directors specializing in stop motion animation. Puppet fabricator Robin Walsh led the project.

Original 1964 NBC broadcast edit


This version includes the original end credits, where elves are seen delivering boxes (which list all the technical credits). It also includes commercials (the commercials were exclusively for GE small appliances, such as irons, electric skillets, hair dryers and toaster ovens with some of the same animated elves from the main program introducing each of the products) and closing network bumpers (including promos for the following week's episodes of GE College Bowl and Meet the Press
Meet the Press
Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program produced by NBC. It is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, despite bearing little resemblance to the original format of the program seen in its television debut on November 6, 1947. It has been...

, which were presumably pre-empted that Sunday for the inaugural 5:30 PM (EST) telecast; the College Bowl quiz show was also sponsored by GE). However, this version does not include the Misfit Island finale that was filmed for the following years' telecasts.

1965–1997 telecasts


In response to viewer protests on the unresolved fate of the toys on Misfit Island, GE shot a new ending which shows the toys being rescued. This is the ending that has been shown on all telecasts and video releases ever since. In the process, several sequences were deleted: the instrumental bridge from "We Are Santa's Elves" (featuring the elf orchestra, which are barely glimpsed on screen outside of this bridge), the duet reprise of "We're a Couple of Misfits," additional dialogue by Burl Ives, and the "Peppermint Mine" scene resolving the fate of Yukon Cornelius. Also, a new song, "Fame and Fortune," was shot for the revised version and put in place of the reprise of "We're a Couple of Misfits".

1998–2008 CBS telecasts


The above 1965 deletions were returned to the film, but "Fame and Fortune" was not included and was replaced with the original "We're a Couple of Misfits" reprise. This telecast also deleted the "Peppermint Mine" scene (to date, it has never aired on CBS).

Oddly, starting sometime in the 2000s, CBS aired the video for "Fame and Fortune" synced with an edited version of "We're a Couple of Misfits." Beyond that, the special has been edited further due to more commercial time; the special is time-compressed and some musical numbers shortened.

2009 CBS telecasts


"Fame and Fortune" has once again been replaced with "We're A Couple Of Misfits", the special itself undergoing further cuts for more commercial time.

Video releases



When Rudolph was first issued on video by previous owner Broadway Video, the 1965 rebroadcast print was used with the changes listed above under 1965-1997 Telecasts. All current video prints of Rudolph by Classic Media are a compendium of the two previous telecast versions of the special. All the footage in the current versions follow the original NBC airing (without the original GE commercials) up until the end of the "Peppermint Mine" scene, followed by the final act of the 1965 edit (with the Misfit Island finale and the 1965 alternate credits in place of the original end credit sequence). In 1998, Rudolph was released by Sony Wonder on VHS. In 2000, it was released on DVD, and on Blu-ray Disc in 2010. This edit has been made available in original color form by current rights holders Classic Media
Classic Media
Classic Media, LLC, is an American production company and distributor of family programming. It was founded in 2000 by former Marvel Entertainment CEO Eric Ellenbogen and former Broadway Video executive John Engelman in hopes of acquiring mismanaged classic properties and giving exposure to...

. As previously mentioned, this is also the version currently airing on CBS, albeit in edited form to accommodate more commercial time.

Distribution:

USA:
  • Family Home Entertainment
    Family Home Entertainment
    Family Home Entertainment was an American home video company founded in 1980 by Noel C. Bloom. It was a division of International Video Entertainment, which had its headquarters in Newbury Park, California.-General information:...

    (1989–1997)
  • Golden Book Video
    Golden Book Video
    Golden Book Video was a line of children’s animated videos marketed by Western Publishing, beginning in 1985. They featured characters and stories from Western's print publications, such as Little Golden Books, and were originally released on VHS video cassette for under $10.The videos made use of...

    (1998–2003)
  • Sony Wonder
    Sony Wonder
    Sony Wonder is a children and family's music and home video arm of Sony Music Entertainment, founded in 1991. The division once distributed material from Sesame Workshop and Classic Media...

    (1998–2007)
  • Classic Media
    Classic Media
    Classic Media, LLC, is an American production company and distributor of family programming. It was founded in 2000 by former Marvel Entertainment CEO Eric Ellenbogen and former Broadway Video executive John Engelman in hopes of acquiring mismanaged classic properties and giving exposure to...

    (2004–present)
  • Vivendi Entertainment
    Vivendi Entertainment
    Vivendi Entertainment is an independent film, television, DVD and digital distribution company operating in the United States and Canada. It is also a distribution partner for independent content providers....

    (2010–present)


UK:
  • BBC Video / Video Collection International (late 80's - 90's)
  • Warner Home Video
    Warner Home Video
    Warner Home Video is the home video unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., itself part of Time Warner. It was founded in 1978 as WCI Home Video . The company launched in the United States with twenty films on VHS and Betamax videocassettes in late 1979...

    (as Moasic Entertainment) (2000's)
  • Universal Pictures UK (2010-present)


Australia/New Zealand:
  • Roadshow Home Video
    Roadshow Home Video
    Roadshow Entertainment is a division of the Australian media company Village Roadshow . Notable releases include First Blood, Mad Max, Gallipoli, and The Terminator. Their first release was Scanners...

    (as Roadshow Lorimar Home Video) (late 80's)
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the home video distribution arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. It was established in November 1979 as Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment, releasing 20 titles: The Anderson Tapes, Bell, Book and Candle, Born Free, Breakout,...

    (early 2000's)
  • Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    Universal Studios Home Entertainment is the home video division of Universal Pictures...

    (2010-present)

Soundtrack



In 1964, an LP of the soundtrack was released. It contained all the original songs performed as they are in the special, with the exception of Burl Ives' material, which has been re-recorded. MCA Special Products released the soundtrack on CD in June 1995. It is an exact duplication of the original LP released in 1964. Tracks 1-9 are the original soundtrack selections; tracks 10-19 are performed by a studio orchestra. The song "Fame and Fortune" is not contained on either release.

The tracklisting is as follows:
  1. "Overture And A Holly Jolly Christmas" - Burl Ives 2:28
  2. "Jingle Jingle Jingle" - Stan Francis 1:17
  3. "We Are Santa's Elves" - Videocraft Chorus 1:36
  4. "There's Always Tomorrow" - Janet Orenstein 1:51
  5. "We're A Couple Of Misfits" - Billie Mae Richards & Paul Soles 1:24
  6. "Silver And Gold" - Burl Ives 1:46
  7. "The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year" - Videocraft Chorus 2:25
  8. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" - Burl Ives 1:22
  9. "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Finale) - Burl Ives 1:22
  10. Christmas Medley: "The Night Before Christmas Song" / "A Merry Merry Christmas" / "When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter" / "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" - Decca Concert Orchestra 3:21
  11. "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Decca Concert Orchestra 1:54
  12. "There's Always Tomorrow" - Decca Concert Orchestra 2:26
  13. "Jingle Jingle Jingle" - Decca Concert Orchestra 2:14
  14. "We're A Couple Of Misfits" - Decca Concert Orchestra 1:22
  15. "Silver And Gold" - Decca Concert Orchestra 2:26
  16. "We Are Santa's Elves" - Decca Concert Orchestra 1:13
  17. "The Most Wonderful Day Of The Year" - Decca Concert Orchestra 2:26
  18. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" - Decca Concert Orchestra 1:35
  19. "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" - Decca Concert Orchestra 1:44

Sequels


The Rankin/Bass special, which currently airs on CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, inspired numerous television sequels made by the same studio:
  • The best-known Rudolph sequel
    Sequel
    A sequel is a narrative, documental, or other work of literature, film, theatre, or music that continues the story of or expands upon issues presented in some previous work...

     is Rudolph's Shiny New Year
    Rudolph's Shiny New Year
    Rudolph's Shiny New Year is the 1976 stop-motion animated sequel to the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, produced by Rankin/Bass.-Plot:...

    from 1976 which first aired on ABC
    American Broadcasting Company
    The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

     and is still aired annually on ABC Family
    ABC Family
    ABC Family, stylized as abc family, is an American television network, owned by ABC Family Worldwide Inc., a subsidiary of the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company...

    .
  • The feature-length
    Feature film
    In the film industry, a feature film is a film production made for initial distribution in theaters and being the main attraction of the screening, rather than a short film screened before it; a full length movie...

     Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July
    Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July is a feature-length 1979 Rankin-Bass crossover sequel filmed in stop-motion animation in the style of their 1964 Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It was 97 minutes long. Although designed as a theatrical release , it made its U.S...

    paired Rudolph with another famous creation inspired by a song - Frosty the Snowman
    Frosty the Snowman
    "Frosty the Snowman" is a popular song written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, and first recorded by Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys in 1950. It was written after the success of Autry's recording of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" the previous year; Rollins and Nelson shipped the...

    , and was released in the summer of 1979, which Arthur Rankin, Jr.
    Arthur Rankin, Jr.
    Arthur Rankin, Jr. is an American-born, Bermudian director, producer and writer, mostly working in animation.The son of actor , in the early 1960s he founded the film production company Videocraft International with Jules Bass...

     would later acknowledge was a bad idea.

Video Game


Based on this special, a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer video game
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (video game)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a video game game based on the television special of the same name. The game was released by Red Wagon Games for both Wii and Nintendo DS on November 9, 2010. However, the developers of the two versions differ: the Wii game was developed by High Voltage Software,...

was released on November 9, 2010. The adaptation was published by Red Wagon Games for the Wii
Wii
The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others...

 and Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

 systems, and was developed by High Voltage Software
High Voltage Software
High Voltage Software is an independent game development company located at Illinois' Hoffman Estates. Established in 1993, it now employs approximately 95 staff members. Red Eye Studios, a motion capture facility, is a wholly owned subsidiary of HVS...

 and Glyphic Entertainment, respectively. The game was received poorly, and garnered extremely negative reviews from sites such as IGN
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

 giving it a 1.5/10.

Parodies of, and homages to Rudolph


The television special's familiarity to American audiences through its annual rebroadcasts, coupled with its primitive stop-motion animation that is easy to recreate with modern technology, has lent itself to numerous parodies over the years:

Films by Corky Quakenbush


Animator Corky Quakenbush has produced parodies of Rudolph for several American television shows:
  • In its December 16, 1995 episode the Fox Network's comedy series MADtv
    MADtv
    MADtv is an American sketch comedy television series. It licensed the name and logo of Mad, but otherwise had no connection with the humor magazine outside the animated Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin cartoon shorts and images of Alfred E. Neuman that the show featured during the late 1990s. Its first...

    aired "Raging Rudolph", which parodied Martin Scorsese
    Martin Scorsese
    Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

    's films. In it, Sam narrates in a Joe Pesci
    Joe Pesci
    Joseph Frank "Joe" Pesci is an American actor, comedian, and musician.He is known for playing a variety of different roles, from violent mobsters to comedic leads to quirky sidekicks...

    -like voice how Rudolph and Hermey got violent Mafia-style revenge on their tormentors. This was followed by two sequels: "The Reinfather", spoofing The Godfather
    The Godfather
    The Godfather is a 1972 American epic crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1969 novel by Mario Puzo. With a screenplay by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne, the film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard...

    trilogy; and "A Pack of Gifts Now", spoofing Apocalypse Now
    Apocalypse Now
    Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American war film set during the Vietnam War, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The central character is US Army special operations officer Captain Benjamin L. Willard , of MACV-SOG, an assassin sent to kill the renegade and presumed insane Special Forces...

    . The original skit was also rebroadcast in MadTV's 300th episode.
  • A 2001 episode of That '70s Show
    That '70s Show
    That '70s Show is an American television period sitcom that centers on the lives of a group of teenage friends living in the fictional suburban town of Point Place, Wisconsin, from May 17, 1976, to December 31, 1979...

    ("An Eric Forman Christmas") featured a subplot where Kelso
    Michael Kelso
    Michael Christopher Kelso usually referred to simply as Kelso by his friends is one of the five male leads on Fox Network's That '70s Show, portrayed by Ashton Kutcher. Tall, lanky and long-haired , he is the dim-witted pretty-boy of the group, coasting through life on his good looks...

     was taunted by his friends for still watching "kiddie shows" like Rudolph even though he was in high school. Later in a dream sequence produced and directed by Quakenbush, Kelso himself appears in stop-motion form in the cartoon, where Rudolph and Santa encourage him to continue watching the show, telling him that he can never be too old to enjoy it.
  • In December 2005, the George Lopez Show featured an animated segment in which Lopez
    George Lopez
    George Lopez is an American comedian, actor, and talk show host. He is mostly known for starring in his self-produced ABC sitcom George Lopez. His stand-up comedy examines race and ethnic relations, including the Mexican American culture...

     sees a stop-motion version of himself on television in a Rudolph-style special mirroring the theme of the holiday episode.

Other parodies of Rudolph

  • In the 1993 stop-motion animated film, The Nightmare Before Christmas
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    The Nightmare Before Christmas, often promoted as Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, is a 1993 stop motion musical fantasy film directed by Henry Selick and produced/co-written by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, a being from "Halloween Town" who opens a portal to...

    . Zero the ghost dog, has a magnificently glowing pumpkin nose, which is bright enough to break through the fog that Sally has conjured up. Jack lets Zero go to the head of his skeleton reindeer team, and light the way for him and in an early scene where Jack is in bed he quickly looks through a book version of Rudolph to find a logical answer to explain Christmas to the other citizens of Halloween Town.
  • In the 2001 animated film Monsters, Inc.
    Monsters, Inc.
    Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 American computer-animated film and the fourth feature-length film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It was directed by Pete Docter, co-directed by Lee Unkrich and David Silverman, and written by Jill Culton, Peter Docter, Ralph Eggleston, Dan Gerson, Jeff Pidgeon, Rhett...

    , there is an Abominable Snowman character (voiced by John Ratzenberger
    John Ratzenberger
    John Deszo Ratzenberger is an American actor, voice actor, and entrepreneur. He is best known for his role as Cliff Clavin in Cheers.-Early life:...

    ) which bears a significant (and intentional) resemblance to the Bumble.
  • On Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

    in 2001, Robert Smigel
    Robert Smigel
    Robert Smigel is an American actor, humorist, comedian and writer known for his Saturday Night Live "TV Funhouse" cartoon shorts and as the puppeteer and voice behind Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.-Early life:...

    's TV Funhouse
    TV Funhouse
    Saturday TV Funhouse is the title of a recurring skit on NBC's Saturday Night Live featuring cartoons created by longtime SNL writer Robert Smigel as well as a short-lived spinoff series TV Funhouse that ran on Comedy Central...

    had Sam the Snowman refusing to narrate the story because of the September 11, 2001 attacks
    September 11, 2001 attacks
    The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

    . He then took two children to Ground Zero at New York City, but Santa Claus convinced him to narrate the story because people need comforting stories like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Sam decided to narrate the tale, but was immediately interrupted by a special news report. Three years later, TV Funhouse would again parody Rudolph, this time referencing the Red state-blue state divide. In the segment, Santa hangs out with liberal celebrities Natalie Merchant
    Natalie Merchant
    Natalie Anne Merchant is an American singer-songwriter and musician. She joined the alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 and left it to begin her solo career in 1993.-Early life:...

    , Margaret Cho
    Margaret Cho
    Margaret Cho is an American comedian, fashion designer, actress, author, and recording artist. Cho is best known for her stand-up routines, through which she critiques social and political problems, especially those pertaining to race and sexuality. She has also directed and appeared in music...

    , Al Franken
    Al Franken
    Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which affiliates with the national Democratic Party....

    , and Moby
    Moby
    Richard Melville Hall , better known by his stage name Moby, is an American musician, DJ, and photographer. He is known mainly for his sample-based electronic music and his outspoken liberal political views, including his support of veganism and animal rights.Moby gained attention in the early...

     while skipping over the Red states ("screw the red states, voting for that dumbass president just because of that moral values
    Family values
    Family values are political and social beliefs that hold the nuclear family to be the essential ethical and moral unit of society. Familialism is the ideology that promotes the family and its values as an institution....

     crap. I don't want any part of them!"). Rudolph's red nose turns blue. Both episodes were directed by Chel White of Bent Image Lab.
  • The 2003 movie Elf
    Elf (film)
    Elf is a 2003 comedy film directed by Jon Favreau, written by David Berenbaum and starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Zooey Deschanel. It was released in the United States on November 7, 2003 and grossed over $220,400,000 worldwide.-Plot:A baby crawls into Santa Claus' sack while he is...

    has a snowman named Leon that looks and behaves almost exactly like Sam the Snowman. Voiced by Leon Redbone
    Leon Redbone
    Leon Redbone is a singer and guitarist specializing in interpretations of early 20th-century music, including jazz and blues standards and Tin Pan Alley classics....

    , Leon appears in the scene where Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell
    Will Ferrell
    John William "Will" Ferrell is an American comedian, impressionist, actor, and writer. Ferrell first established himself in the late 1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, and has subsequently starred in the comedy films Old School, Elf, Anchorman, Talladega...

    ) leaves the North Pole to seek his father in New York City; like the protagonists in Rudolph, Buddy leaves the area by chopping an ice floe off the edge of a body of water and floating away. In addition, Buddy's outfit is exactly the same as that of the elf who supervises Hermey.
  • In the Fairly Oddparents episode "Channel Chasers
    Channel Chasers
    Channel Chasers is the second television film of the animated series The Fairly OddParents. It first aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on July 23, 2004. The film centers on the series' main character 10-year-old Timmy Turner with his fairy godparents Cosmo and Wanda who grant his wishes....

    ", the Rudolph special is one of the shows entered. Adult Timmy resembles Yukon Cornelius and Timmy resembles Hermey. Comet also appears. However, Rudolph's name is never mentioned, though he is referred to as the "freak with the glowing red nose." Frosty the Snowman also appears coming to life before getting ran over by the characters sleigh.
  • In the Lizzie McGuire
    Lizzie McGuire
    Lizzie McGuire is an American teen sitcom which premiered on the Disney Channel on January 12, 2001 and ended February 14, 2004. A total of 65 episodes were produced and aired. Its target demographic was preteens and adolescents...

    episode "Xtreme Xmas", one of the ghosts who visits Lizzie in her dream represents Hermey the Misfit Elf, played by Adam Lamberg
    Adam Lamberg
    Adam Matthew Lamberg is an American actor, perhaps best known for his portrayal of David "Gordo" Gordon in the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire from 2001 through 2004....

    .
  • In the Kim Possible
    Kim Possible
    Kim Possible is an American animated television series about a teenage crime fighter who has the task of dealing with worldwide, family, and school issues every day. The show is action-oriented, but also has a light-hearted atmosphere and often lampoons the conventions and clichés of the...

    episode "A Very Possible Christmas", Snowman Hank, the host of Ron's favorite Christmas special looks incredibly similar to Sam the Snowman.
  • In 2004 for the show's 40th anniversary
    Anniversary
    An anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event. For example, the first event is the initial occurrence or, if planned, the inaugural of the event. One year later would be the first anniversary of that event...

    , CBS produced stop motion promos for their programming line-up, done in the style of Rankin/Bass animation. Appearing as elves
    Elf
    An elf is a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine beings endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind...

     in the CBS promos were puppet
    Puppet
    A puppet is an inanimate object or representational figure animated or manipulated by an entertainer, who is called a puppeteer. It is used in puppetry, a play or a presentation that is a very ancient form of theatre....

     versions of CBS stars Jeff Probst
    Jeff Probst
    Jeffrey Lee "Jeff" Probst is an American game show host, executive producer and a reporter. He is best known as the host of the U.S. version of the reality show Survivor.-Biography:...

     from Survivor
    Survivor (U.S. TV series)
    Survivor is an American version of the Survivor reality television game show, itself derived from the Swedish television series Expedition Robinson originally created in 1997 by Charlie Parsons. The series premiered on May 31, 2000 on CBS...

    , Ray Romano
    Ray Romano
    Raymond Albert "Ray" Romano is an American actor, writer and stand-up comedian, best known for his roles on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and in the Ice Age film series. He recently starred in the TNT comedy-drama Men of a Certain Age.-Early life:Romano was born in Queens, New York to Italian...

     and Doris Roberts
    Doris Roberts
    Doris Roberts is an American character actress of film, stage and television. She has received five Emmy Awards. She began her career in 1952, and may be best-known as Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996–2005....

     from Everybody Loves Raymond
    Everybody Loves Raymond
    Everybody Loves Raymond is an American television sitcom that originally ran on CBS from September 13, 1996, to May 16, 2005. Many of the situations from the show are based on the real-life experiences of lead actor Ray Romano, creator/producer Phil Rosenthal and the show's writing staff...

    , William Petersen
    William Petersen
    William Louis Petersen is an American actor and producer, best known for playing Dr. Gilbert "Gil" Grissom on the hit CBS series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He portrayed President John F...

     and Marg Helgenberger
    Marg Helgenberger
    Mary Marg Helgenberger is an American film and television actress known for her roles as Catherine Willows in the CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and as K.C...

     from CSI
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is an American crime drama television series, which premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer...

    , Charlie Sheen
    Charlie Sheen
    Carlos Irwin Estevez , better known by his stage name Charlie Sheen, is an American film and television actor. He is the youngest son of actor Martin Sheen....

     from Two and a Half Men
    Two and a Half Men
    Two and a Half Men is an American television sitcom that premiered on CBS on September 22, 2003. Starring Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Jones, the show was originally about a hedonistic jingle writer, Charlie Harper; his uptight brother, Alan; and Alan's growing son, Jake...

    , Phil Simms
    Phil Simms
    Phillip Martin "Phil" Simms is a former American football quarterback, and currently a television sportscaster for the CBS network. After a standout career at Morehead State University, Simms was drafted in the first round by the New York Giants of the National Football League with the number...

     and Greg Gumbel
    Greg Gumbel
    Greg Gumbel is an American television sportscaster. He is best known for his various assignments on the CBS network...

     from The NFL on CBS
    NFL on CBS
    The NFL on CBS is the brand name of the CBS television network's coverage of the National Football League's American Football Conference games, produced by CBS Sports.-Market coverage and television policies:...

    , and late-night talk show
    Talk show
    A talk show or chat show is a television program or radio program where one person discuss various topics put forth by a talk show host....

     host David Letterman
    David Letterman
    David Michael Letterman is an American television host and comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show, Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC...

    . A new stop-motion animation featuring Rudolph and Santa meeting even more CBS network stars was also aired in 2005.
  • South Park
    South Park
    South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

    The Island of Misfit Mascots Commune appeared in "Sexual Harassment Panda
    Sexual Harassment Panda
    "Sexual Harassment Panda" is the 37th episode of Comedy Central's animated series South Park. It originally aired on July 7, 1999. This was the first episode to air after the release of the theatrical film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut...

    ". In "Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!
    Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!
    "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson!" is the sixteenth episode of the second season of the animated television series South Park, and the 29th episode of the series overall. "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson!" originally aired in the United States on December 9, 1998 on Comedy Central...

    " Cartman's family is seen watching Terrance and Phillip where the duo run up and fart on Rudolph which in turn makes his Nose light up.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
    Mystery Science Theater 3000
    Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an American cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc., that ran from 1988 to 1999....

    made numerous references to the special in their movie hecklings (such as Rudolph's line "I'm CUTE!! I'm CUUUTE!! SHE SAID I'M CUUUUUUUUTTTE!!!!") and, in episode 321, in which they made fun of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
    Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
    Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a 1964 science fiction film that regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made. It is regularly featured in the "bottom 100" list on the Internet Movie Database, and was also featured in an episode of the 1986 syndicated series, the Canned Film...

    , even had their own ideas for misfit toy residents on the Island of Misfit Toys: Toaster Dolls, Patrick Swayze
    Patrick Swayze
    Patrick Wayne Swayze was an American actor, dancer and singer-songwriter. He was best known for his tough-guy roles, as romantic leading men in the hit films Dirty Dancing and Ghost, and as Orry Main in the North and South television miniseries. He was named by People magazine as its "Sexiest...

    's Roadhouse
    Roadhouse
    Roadhouse may refer to:* Roadhouse * Texas Roadhouse, a western theme restaurant chain* Logan's Roadhouse, western theme steakhouse* Receiving house, a type of theatre venue- Film :* Road House ,...

    board game, the EZ Bake Foundry and Mr. Mashed Potato Head.
  • The main character of Tigers' Quest, Tiggra, comments that his brother—named Donner by the author in an intentional nod to his favorite Christmas story—once suggested that he should have been born with a "glowing red nose" instead of his abnormal white coat. Additionally, Tiggra's mate, Clairese, was named as an homage to Rudolph's girlfriend of the same name (but different spelling).
  • In an episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide
    Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide
    Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, commonly called Ned's Declassified for short, is an American live-action situation comedy on Nickelodeon that debuted in the channel's Sunday night TEENick scheduling block on September 12, 2004. The series' actual pilot episode aired on September 7, 2003...

    , Cookie attempts to force some younger students into making toys, and goes as far as dressing them in costumes much like the elves in the Christmas Special. One even exclaims he would rather be a dentist.
  • The 2005 American Dragon: Jake Long
    American Dragon: Jake Long
    American Dragon: Jake Long is an American animated television series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. The show had premiered on January 21, 2005 and ended on September 1, 2007. The show currently airs on Disney XD in the United States...

    holiday episode "Hairy Christmas" features Fu Dog dressed in the same outfit as Sam the Snowman.
  • 1999 saw the introduction, on British television, of Robbie the Reindeer
    Robbie the Reindeer
    Robbie the Reindeer is a series of three animated comedy television specials shown on BBC One at Christmas, filmed in aid of Comic Relief. Written by Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley, the programmes are based on the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with Robbie as Rudolph's son and the tenth of...

    . Robbie is Rudolph's son and, thus, the tenth of Santa Claus's reindeer. Though not an Aardman Animations
    Aardman Animations
    Aardman Animations, Ltd., also known as Aardman Studios, or simply as Aardman, is a British animation studio based in Bristol, United Kingdom. The studio is known for films made using stop-motion clay animation techniques, particularly those featuring Plasticine characters Wallace and Gromit...

     production, several of the company's staff did work on the project and it bears their visual style, as well as using the same stop motion animation techniques as the Rankin/Bass original. A running gag in the program is that none of the characters can ever mention Rudolph by his full name. The reason given is that the villain, Blitzen, is outraged to hear the name of his rival, but the implication for the viewers is that the program's producers were unable to get copyright
    Copyright
    Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

     permission to use his name. There have been three stories produced so far. "Robbie the Reindeer in Hooves of Fire", "The Legend of the Lost Tribe" (2002) and "Close Encounters of the Herd Kind" (2007).
  • In a similar vein to Robbie, several television specials, songs and films have introduced characters that purport to be brothers (e.g. Holidaze: The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen
    Holidaze: The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen
    Holidaze: The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen is a stop-motion animated Christmas television special directed by David H. Brooks, that originally aired in 2006. The show's plot has Rusty Reindeer joining a support group for depressed holiday icons, and he and the other characters search for...

    ), cousins (e.g. Leroy the Redneck Reindeer), or other relatives of Rudolph.

Uses in advertising

  • In 2004, office supplies
    Office supplies
    Office supplies is the generic term that refers to all supplies regularly used in offices by businesses and other organizations, from private citizens to governments, who work with the collection, refinement, and output of information .The term includes small, expendable, daily use items such as...

     retailer OfficeMax
    OfficeMax
    OfficeMax , is an American office supplies retailer that was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Naperville, Illinois.-History:On April 1, 1988, OfficeMax was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, by Bob Hurwitz and Michael Feuer. Hurwitz served as executive chairman and chief executive officer and Feuer...

     released a new commercial featuring the popular "Rubberband Man" character (played by Eddie Steeples
    Eddie Steeples
    Eddie Steeples is an American actor known for his roles as the "Rubberband Man" in an advertising campaign for OfficeMax, and as Darnell "Crab Man" Turner on the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl.-Overview:...

    ) that they had introduced for the back to school shopping season earlier that year. The new holiday ad featured a stop motion puppet likeness of the Rubberband Man handing out Christmas presents to animated characters resembling those from the special.
  • In November 2007, the Aflac
    Aflac
    Aflac Incorporated is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, founded in 1955 and based in Columbus, Georgia. In the United States, Aflac underwrites a wide range of insurance policies, but is perhaps more known for its payroll deduction insurance coverage, which pays...

     insurance company aired a commercial that utilized the now Classic Media-owned Rankin/Bass
    Rankin/Bass
    Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc. , also known as Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment, was an American production company, known for its seasonal television specials, particularly its work in stop-motion animation. The pre-1974 library is currently owned by Classic Media,while the post-1974 library is...

     characters. Rudolph has a cold and does not want to miss work and all his friends start to say that he will not be able to pay for his needs (food, electricity, and dental bills). Santa Claus comes through the cave they are in and tells them about Aflac. The Charlie-in-the Box wonders what will happen if he is not better by Christmas, and Rudolph thinks the Aflac duck can do the work. Rudolph gets better in a week, but Blitzen is sick, so the Aflac duck fills in for him.
  • Alltel
    Alltel
    Alltel Corporation is a wireless service provider, primarily based in the United States. Before an acquisition by Verizon Wireless, it served 34 states. After the merger, Alltel continues to serve six states, mostly in rural areas...

    , Office Max, and Aflac
    Aflac
    Aflac Incorporated is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, founded in 1955 and based in Columbus, Georgia. In the United States, Aflac underwrites a wide range of insurance policies, but is perhaps more known for its payroll deduction insurance coverage, which pays...

     commercials were created by Bent Image Lab, although they made unauthorized use of the copyrighted characters.
  • Apple Inc. parodied Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in December 2007 indirectly by featuring Rankin/Bass
    Rankin/Bass
    Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc. , also known as Rankin/Bass Animated Entertainment, was an American production company, known for its seasonal television specials, particularly its work in stop-motion animation. The pre-1974 library is currently owned by Classic Media,while the post-1974 library is...

     likenesses of the Macintosh
    Macintosh
    The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

     and PC
    Personal computer
    A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

     characters, which were featured as people (a 'cool guy' as Mac and a 'nerd' as PC) on many commercials earlier in the year used to advertise Macintosh
    Macintosh
    The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

     computers. The commercial featured Mac
    Macintosh
    The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

    , PC (Personal Computer
    Personal computer
    A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

    ), and Santa Claus
    Santa Claus
    Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

     altogether singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" as a trio, only for PC to ruin the song. The Santa Claus
    Santa Claus
    Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

     character in the commercial somewhat resembles the Santa Claus
    Santa Claus
    Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

     in the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer is a fictional reindeer with a glowing red nose. He is popularly known as "Santa's 9th Reindeer" and, when depicted, is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through...

     Christmas
    Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

     special.
  • In 2009, Verizon began showing a commercial of the misfit toys with an AT&T
    AT&T
    AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

     phone. The characters wonder why it is there with all of its features. They discover why when the phone shows a map of where it has 3G
    3G
    3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunication services fulfilling the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 specifications by the International Telecommunication Union...

     coverage (Verizon's ad campaign touts its much wider 3G coverage compared to AT&T), to which the toy airplane replies "You're gonna fit right in here!" and falls on the ground laughing.
  • A 2011 commercial for Bing.com features the Bumble (with his full set of teeth) attempting (and failing) to scare elves with a weak, high-pitched roar, which leads him to search on the service for videos of scary monsters, which he imitates to form a much more menacing presence. A follow-up features the Bumble, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius using Bing to find the perfect vacation spot, which turns out to be the Island of Misfit Toys.

See also


External links