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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Countdown to Christmas #22: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

If Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is the Rankin/Bass version of a modern comic book writer's pedantic origin story, than Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is their version of a batshit insane Silver Age DC comic.


I've never been a big fan of Rudolph, the character/song (except for a brief period when I was younger and the additions to the song ("like a lightbulb!", "like Monopoly!") were the funniest damn things for some reason) but I love the stop motion acid trip that is the Rankin/Bass classic Rudolph TV special.


Everyone remembers Hermey, the elf who wants to be a dentist, Yukon Cornelius (the special's Han Solo character), the awesome Bumble and the Island of Misfit Toys, but everyone forgets what complete and utter asshats the other characters are to Rudolph.


Cracked.com can explain it better than I can, but here's the gist: Rudolph's father (Donner, one of Santa's reindeer) thinks he's a freak from the moment of birth, and makes him wear a cover over his nose so the other kids won't make fun of him. Self-respect is more important than comfort, after all. Instead of laughing at his nose, at least at first, the other reindeer kids make fun of how the cover makes Rudolph's voice sound. Comet (another of Santa's Reindeer) teaches the young reindeer to fly, and Rudolph is a natural, but once Comet sees Rudolph's unique and thus freakish nose, the adult reindeer leads the other reindeer children in the "don't let Rudolph join in any reindeer games" charge. Even effin' Santa Claus is a jerk, cracking the whip on the elf choir, admonishing Donner for having such a freakish son and declaring that no freak reindeer will ever pull his sleigh (until it turns out Rudolph can single-handedly save Christmas, of course. And even then, Santa's kind of a prick about it).

Frankly, I wouldn't have blamed Rudolph if he'd just asked the Bumble to devour everyone in North Pole... 

3 comments:

Anne said...

love this movie, though haven't seen it in ages.
i was always freaked out/fascinated when Yukon would lick his pick axe after it hit the ground.
dude...you're gonna get giardia

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

indeed. or leptospirosis with all those reindeer pissing where they walk.

Man, i want to watch this RIGHT NOW

Teebore said...

@Anne: when Yukon would lick his pick axe after it hit the ground.
dude...you're gonna get giardia


Not if there's gold on that thar pick-ax!

No, wait, he still will...

or leptospirosis with all those reindeer pissing where they walk.

Judging from their behavior, I'm pretty sure all the reindeer just saved it up and pissed on Rudolph. He's slightly different, after all. Freak.