Earlier than you rise up in arms about me critiquing the 1964 Christmas basic, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” let me begin by assuring you that I’m a fan. The truth is, as a toddler of the ‘60s and ‘70s, I’ll go so far as to say that “Rudolph” was largely liable for making me the connoisseur of Christmas that I’m in the present day. The Rankin/Bass “claymation” specials, together with “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” are so interconnected with my previous, I can’t think about Christmas with out them.
I imply, what was extra thrilling than being planted on the flooring in entrance of that big console TV set when the CBS Particular intro started enjoying, adopted by the opening sequences of “Rudolph”? That is what we lived for in the ‘70s.
But now, as a 52-year-old who has been paying closer attention to the actual content of the show over the past few years, I’ve come to a disturbing conclusion:
Whoever made the film was clearly stoned out of their thoughts on psychedelic medicine and was a raging sexist butthole.
Thoughts you, that is coming from a politically conservative man who doesn’t purchase into 99% of the Web “outrage” that so permeates our tradition lately. I’m not usually outraged or bothered by most issues, aside from by people who find themselves eternally outraged and bothered by every thing.
However I’m telling you, “Rudolph” is cray-cray.
The extra I’ve considered this, the extra I’ve realized how swayed by nostalgia us people may be. We love “Rudolph” not as a result of it’s a very good present, however due to that childhood pleasure that is still trapped in our reminiscence shops. It’s straightforward to be blinded by nostalgia and miss the precise plot.
That’s in all probability a superb factor as a result of the plot is critically bizarre once you truly take note of it.
In the event you don’t need to have your childhood perceptions of the present probably stained, you may need to cease studying right here. In any other case, listed here are 17 examples of how “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” may simply be the most weird and politically incorrect film ever made.
1. Dangerous Santa
This one is low-hanging fruit, however I really feel compelled to cowl it anyway:
Santa is a jerk. Like, an enormous device.
Who’s concept was this? Santa can’t be a jerk! Particularly not again in 1964, earlier than he had established himself as a serious determine in popular culture! What was he considering?!
SC begins off pleasant sufficient, and it’s spectacular that he’s come to go to the Donder household upon the delivery of their new fawn, so props for that. However then he sees Rudolph’s nostril and instantly reveals himself to be a narcissistic, power-hungry ass-hat by issuing a thinly veiled menace about Rudolph not making the sleigh group as a result of his nostril, and then declaring himself “King of Jing-a-Ling” in music. (I’m unsure what advantages include being the “King of Jing-a-Ling,” however anyway.)
Later, Santa is extremely impolite to the elves who’ve gone to the hassle of writing an unique composition for only for him cleverly entitled, “We are Santa’s Elves,” working up tight harmonies, and the whole lot. Destined for the Pop and probably Grownup Modern charts, the catchy quantity factors out how superior Santa is — as he sits there, bored and unimpressed. When it’s over (they crushed it, by the means), all Santa he can say is “Needs work,” then will get up and walks out, leaving Ms. Claus to attempt to clean issues over with the elves, who’re all devastated and instantly give up the music enterprise.
2. Donder is even a much bigger jerk than Santa
Inside minutes of Rudolph’s start, Donder is freaking out over his new baby’s nostril. He then sticks a glob of mud on it. Then later, he forces Rudolph to put on a prosthetic nostril that provides him a speech obstacle. Speak about warping your child for all times!
Rudolph is undoubtedly destined for a therapist’s sofa, and the scene comes off like an ABC After Faculty Particular about abusive reindeer fathers.
three. Suggestions nostril
One “Rudolph” author talking to a different whereas dropping acid: “As if having a red light bulb for a nose isn’t weird enough, let’s also give the nose an annoying feedback noise.”
“OK, sounds great!”
Not solely is that this insane, nevertheless it’s additionally harmful. Mild bulbs solely make noise once they’re about to brief out or explode. I’m afraid there’s a probably disfiguring electrical hearth in Rudolph’s future. And as a former musician, I’m properly acquainted with suggestions, and I’m considering Rudolph’s noisy protuberance will ultimately end in a critical listening to loss for himself, Clarice, and everybody else in the quick neighborhood.
Time to lawyer up!
The Head Elf? You guessed it. Jerk. Whereas presenting himself as a meek, adoring subservient in the presence of Santa, this man turns into a cruel task-master when alone together with his crew of elves (most of whom are shark-eyed clones and don’t care anyway). As quickly as Hermey, the solely elf with hair and non-dilated eyes, admits that he’s not into making toys and aspires to grow to be a dentist, the Head Elf instantly elf-shames him in entrance of the complete group.
Worse but, he then revokes Hermey’s 15-minute smoke break, which is in clear violation of established labor legal guidelines. Unbelievable. Lawyer up!
5. Hermey, the Dentist/Transvestite
Talking of Hermey, he’s received different issues except for not having fun with toy-making. He bodily seems to be round 5-years-old however has the voice of a 40-year-old transvestite. THIS could possibly be why he’s a misfit, overlook the dentist factor. All the different elves are in all probability both fearful of him or unusually aroused.
Extra remedy, please.
6. Indignant mobsters
Based mostly on their accents and fiery temperaments, Comet (the reindeer coach), Donder, and the Head Elf should have all been raised in the Bronx by mafia households. It’s like they’re all barely totally different variations of a riled-up James Cagney.
7. Clarice, the Cougar
That is uncomfortable, however I’m gonna say it: Rudolph’s girlfriend, Clarice, is a cougar. Like the highschool academics you hear about on the night information who find yourself in the slammer for five to 10. Based mostly on her talking voice, I’d put Clarice at round 28 years previous. When singing, she sounds extra like she’s in her mid-40s. In distinction, Rudolph looks like he’s round 12 in reindeer years.
Can anyone please name Baby Providers? Or Metro Police?
Eight. Measurement issues
The Bumble, a.okay.a., The Abominable Snow Monster of the North, bodily grows and shrinks all through the present and not just a bit bit. He begins out actually bigger than the surrounding mountain vary, in all probability at Eight- to 12,000 ft excessive, and finally ends up at round 10 ft tall, by my estimation. It’s like the present’s producers stated to one another, “Ah, it’ll just be a bunch of dumb kids watching this. They’ll never notice the difference.”
To the opposite, this has confused me for over forty years.
9. Bumble, the bizarre, ineffective monster
Positive, he’s a monster, however the Bumble is an incompetent fool, even for monsters. I imply, he can’t even handle to eat one reindeer or in any other case injury them aside from nailing Rudolph with a boulder (which ought to’ve killed him immediately, however solely knocked him out). The Bumble was then so shaken up by these occasions, he simply stood there — seemingly for hours — waving his arms and growling at the reindeer in some kind of bizarre, theatrical, performance-art-influenced trendy dance as an alternative of simply consuming them instantly, as any regular, self-respecting monster would do.
10. Like pulling tooth
To proceed with the madness, the Bumble is inexplicably rendered innocent after Hermey, the transvestite dentist, pulls his tooth. Overlook the undeniable fact that the Bumble nonetheless 20 occasions bigger than the reindeer (or one million occasions bigger, if we’re speaking about the first time we see him), and might simply homicide them with a swipe of his paw. His solely mode of dispatching his victims should have been by biting them. Appears inefficient, however what do I do know?
11. Unusual superpowers
Yukon Cornelius, who delivers maybe the greatest appearing efficiency, can by some means detect the presence of silver and gold in the prime two inches of recent snow by licking a frozen metallic pickaxe. That is an X-Males sort of superpower that hasn’t but been absolutely realized. My most important concern, although, is why his tongue isn’t sticking to the frozen metallic.
And oh, by the approach, all of that is insane.
12. Naked-hooved and pregnant
As if outright red-nose racism by Santa and a number of members of his reindeer staff isn’t dangerous sufficient, Donder can also be sexist. Mrs. Donder, who doesn’t even get her personal first identify, is rebuked by her husband when she needs to assist search for Rudolph. “This is man’s work,” growls Donder, who instantly goes out and will get himself, his spouse, and Clarice captured by a monster.
Good work! I really feel like all of the males characters in “Rudolph” might’ve had roles in “Mad Men.”
13. Stick with the narration, please
Why in God’s identify is Sam the Snowman — the narrator — sending Yukon and Hermey out into the storm looking for Rudolph? (Did you catch that? Sam despatched them out, not Santa.) Yukon, I can type of perceive as a result of he’s an outdoorsman and all. However Hermey?? And beneath whose authority can the snowman ship anyone to do something? He’s the freaking narrator!
Sorry, Burl Ives, however it’s worthwhile to keep on with the narration and singing.
14. King Moonracer, 1.zero
That is the place the hallucinogens should’ve actually kicked in for the writers of “Rudolph.” King Moonracer — a lion with wings that we’re supposed to only go together with — flies round the world nightly on the lookout for toys no one needs, kidnaps them, and imprisons them on the Island of Misfit Toys.
What does this need to do with something, least of all Christmas?
So, grasp with me. King Moonracer retains amassing these depressed toys till the supposedly reformed Santa “rescues” them solely to have an elf begin dropping them into oblivion from his sleigh utilizing umbrellas as parachutes — throughout the worst blizzard of the century — relatively than rigorously putting them round Christmas timber like regular toys. Who is aware of the place these poor bastards are going to land?
In timber? In the ocean? In the center of a busy interstate freeway?
These toys have been royally screwed from begin to end.
Oh, and have you ever observed how King Moonracer has set himself up properly in an enormous fort with central warmth and air whereas the misfit toys are huddling round a tiny hobo hearth to keep away from hypothermia?
Lawyer up, Misfit Toys!
15. King Moonracer, 1.1
And why, precisely, couldn’t King Moonracer pop over to Christmas City himself to talk with Santa about rescuing the misfit toys? He has the potential to fly round the world each night time, doesn’t he? He might’ve completed it any time he needed.
It’s not till Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon present up that King Moonracer decides to do something, and then, he primarily assigns the trio the activity of creating the journey all the method again on foot and asking Santa. I’m not a fan of King Moonracer, and I feel he’s intimidated by Santa. Plus, his identify sounds prefer it ought to belong to a 1960s hippie cult member who lives in a tent and obsessively listens to Jefferson Airplane.
16. Rudolph can’t shut a door
Very similar to my very own youngsters, Rudolph can’t handle to shut a door. Did you see that? When Rudolph leaves Hermey and Yukon asleep in the cabin, he simply walks out and doesn’t shut the door.
WTF, Rudolph?? You’re simply gonna stroll out and depart the door wide-the-heck open in sub-zero temperatures in the North Pole? I assure you that at the very least, the pipes froze in that home.
Name the plumber! Lawyer up!
17. Santa’s miraculous weight achieve
In defiance of all legal guidelines of physics and nature, Santa manages to fatten up in the time it takes the elves to sing “Holly Jolly Christmas” close to the finish of the present. Critically, you possibly can’t get that many energy into you that shortly. He should’ve placed on 60 kilos. As a former match individual, I can inform you, this isn’t wholesome weight achieve. I’m considering Santa higher pay someone to pee in the cup for him if there’s a banned substances check, ‘cause steroids are clearly in play here.
Meanwhile, Ms. Claus seems supremely pleased with the fact that she’s in all probability giving her husband hypertension, diabetes, or each.
Everyone good and fired up now? Wanna return and watch it once more now, don’t you?
Simply take it for what it’s and embrace the madness.
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Rankin Bass [Public domain], by way of Wikimedia Commons
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