Westwood Horizon

Christmas Classics: ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’

Review

%27Rudolph+the+Red-Nosed+Reindeer%27+%281964%29+is+a+television+special+showcasing+the+story+of+Rudolph%2C+a+reindeer+with+a+glowing+red+nose%2C+and+his+journey+to+become+one+of+Santa%27s+famous+reindeer.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Christmas Classics: ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’

'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' (1964) is a television special showcasing the story of Rudolph, a reindeer with a glowing red nose, and his journey to become one of Santa's famous reindeer.

'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' (1964) is a television special showcasing the story of Rudolph, a reindeer with a glowing red nose, and his journey to become one of Santa's famous reindeer.

Graphic by Mae Bruce

'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' (1964) is a television special showcasing the story of Rudolph, a reindeer with a glowing red nose, and his journey to become one of Santa's famous reindeer.

Graphic by Mae Bruce

Graphic by Mae Bruce

'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' (1964) is a television special showcasing the story of Rudolph, a reindeer with a glowing red nose, and his journey to become one of Santa's famous reindeer.

By Mae Bruce, A&E Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has become a staple in holiday movies ever since its debut in 1964, when it solidified its place in television Christmas specials. The childlike charm that comes along with Rudolph and the magic he brings to Christmas is unforgettable, as is the story of his origins.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer essentially followed the plot of the song that it was based upon, but decided to venture more into the story of how Rudolph got made fun of for his shiny red nose. When Rudolph is first born, his parents are quite shocked by his gleaming red nose, and take to hiding it for the sake of his father, Donner’s, reputation. The plan fails, Rudolph gets laughed at by all the other reindeer, and runs away. Along the way he finds other misfits, such as Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, and the entire island of misfit toys. The story ends happily, with Santa accepting Rudolph onto his team of flying reindeer because his nose is the only thing that will light the way for Christmas. All in all, it’s quite basic in terms of plot, but the message it sent stuck with people. Even if you’re a an outcast, there’s always a happy ending waiting for you.

Although the message of the story overall is progressive and good, there are many elements of the movie that have not aged well. Recently, controversy over this classic has come to light due to f some of the undertones in  the film, and people have started pointing out the problematic nature of the movie. Some claimed that Donner was verbally abusive to his son during many moments throughout the film, and one line where he tells his wife “this is man’s work,” particularly struck a chord with some viewers. People have accused the film of being sexist, abusive, and overall a bad example for kids. These concerns are valid, to some extent,considering  the movie was made in the ‘60s and would not be without it’s faults. However, I think that the criticism is a little harsh. The original song details how Rudolph gets bullied, and when I was watching the film, Donner never seemed verbally abusive. He seemed harsh and out of line, but we never see the movie portray any of Donner’s actions as morally good. We should be able to look back on a film and realize it’s faults without completely ripping it apart, which is what many were appearing to do.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer still holds up animation wise today; the stop motion animation doesn’t seem to have aged at all and still looks fluid with the motions. The movie just leaves you with a happy feeling, it encapsulates the best of Christmas. Even though it can be a little ridiculous at times, like how they beat the Abominable Snowman by simply removing all of his teeth after they knock him out, it’s made to give you that holiday feeling that comes with the old TV specials. After the movie credits rolled and played the classic song, it felt like I had experienced a whole cohesive story in just about 45 minutes. The movie reminded me of childhood, the days spent sitting in front of the screen with a cup of hot chocolate and singing along to the classic songs.

Overall, I’d still classify Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as a classic Christmas movie, one that you can’t miss out on. Even with the controversy that may come with it, the movie’s message is still clear and that’s what important at the end of the day.

About the Writer
Mae Bruce, A&E Editor

 I enjoy listening to music, singing, and writing. I have two cats and a tortoise that I love the most....

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.