Christmas Review – “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”

Spend the holidays with a bunch of misfits.

Cast and Crew

Billie Mae Richards as Rudolph

Burl Ives as the snowman/narrator

Larry Mann as Yukon Cornelious

Paul Soles and Hermey the dentist elf

Stan Francis as Santa Claus

Written by Romeo Muller

Directed by Larry Roemer

Complete information is
available from this IMDB page.

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Original Airdate

This special first aired in 1964.


Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games, so Rudolph and a couple of other misfits took off for parts unknown, risking their lives in the territory of the abominable snow monster of the North!

High Point

“Lookie what he can do!”

Low Point

A prejudiced Santa? That just never seemed right to me.

The Review

There is a considerable amount of new material and new characters in this special, which helps give an original feel to a story inspired by a well known and established song. I give it 4 out of 6.

The animation has a good concept, but has some pretty bad lip syncing and rather jerky motion. It was a little more refined later, but here, it still looks shaky. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story is an effective embellishment on an established tale. Much like the live action Dr. Suess films, the source material wasn’t quite enough to fill the amount of screen time provided, so the writers had to improvise. They did a great job, creating appropriate characters that maintained a consistent theme to the story. I give it 5 out of 6.

The voice acting was (all together now) filled with character voices that were well suited to the characters, but which lacked emotional expression. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is still strong, in spite of these difficulties. This is a lot of fun, and a tradition for many. Yukon Cornelius is always hilarious. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production design was closely tied to the animation, but it was still very good. This was less limited by the technology, and demonstrated quality and consistency in the planning, lighting, and editing in spite of the challenges of the production methods. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this special was good holiday fun, and is still enjoyable after forty years. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer receives 31 out of 42.

6 replies on “Christmas Review – “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer””

  1. Highs and Lows

    I have to say that I’m 1000% behind the high point. I’ve always loved that bit.

    I’m not so sure that the prejudiced Santa is so much of a low point. After all, that’s what the freaking song is about – prejudice. So when you get down to it, they took and extended the theme for the show. And, really, if Santa weren’t prejudiced, how believable would the rest of the story be; he would have put the kibosh on all that nonsense real quick.

    Then again, I’m not sure I can come up with a better low point.

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