The messed up world of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

So, re-watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with the kids this last week, made me realize just how long it had been since I’d last seen this special: not long enough.

It’s been 40 years since it came out, and this might be blasphemy to say, but it really hasn’t aged well. The animation is terrible! And what a weird-ass story.

And disturbing. The Island of Misfit Toys was weird enough, but get a load of the talking gun. Or the way Yukon Cornelius licks his pick-axe to check for gold. Or Santa—I get the feeling this version of Santa Claus would have no problem dining on venison.

But the worst of all is how they deal with the Abominable Snow Monster. What I thought I remembered was that he was only mean because he had a bad tooth, and Hermie the Dental Elf fixed it for him. No! No, what really happens is Hermie pulls every one of his teeth out with pliers and then they all try to kill the newly-defanged Snow Monster. Holy shit!

I think I preferred my nostalgic version. At least it was messed up in a good way.

4 Replies to “The messed up world of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

  1. ok now, i’m a freak, but i love the animation in the Rudolph movie. And the other movies made by the same guys. You want a Christmas movie to rip on, rent "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians". I love my cheese, but i’ve seen that movie every year since i was about 7- it’s like a car wreck on the freeway- and i still don’t understand why they even *made it*.

  2. i thought the funniest part was when donnor told his wife dear that looking for rudolph was "man’s work."

  3. pril- as long as you’ve made your peace with it 🙂

    Jake- if anyone should watch it, *you* should 🙂

    kasey- yeah, I forgot about that til you mentioned it, but I remember thinking something similar. *Of course* they had to have sexism. But "man’s work"? They’re *reindeers* for crying out loud.

    And I think the whole timeframe is off. Didn’t they go in search of Rudolph when he was still yound, and then most of the year later, when Rudolph returns to find them gone, he (somehow) knows to go straight to the Monster’s cave. Have they all been there for months? Why didn’t the Monster eat them then?

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