Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)

Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Jake Peroni (Three Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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A Christmas Story might play for 24 hours straight on Christmas day, but there is just one movie that is defined as the ultimate Christmas movie. Not because of it’s content, not because of the heartwarming message, but because of the creepy claymation type movements that captured us as children and will never let us go.

Rudolph was introduced in 1964, and has aired every Christmas season on network television ever since. This Christmas classic is narrated by Sam the Snowman, who also appears in the current classic Elf.

“39 years ago I had a lot to learn ’bout pimpin”

It reflects the era of the 60’s in subtle ways, all the while giving us the timelessness of the world’s most famous Christmas tale. Capturing the innocence of childhood through the amazement of the unique animatronics, this movie was created one frame at a time. It is also famous because it makes Santa out to be a real dick.

Rudolph was born the son of Donner (Originally named Donder as one of Santa’s eight reindeer). Despite his impressive skills as a young reindeer, Santa lets his disappointment be known over Rudolph’s freakishly red nose that pierces your ears with a loud squeal and honk as it lights up every room like the red light district.

Paparazzi caught up with Rudolph in Holland

The entire population of Christmastown torments little Rudolph because of his unusual nose. Except his new girlfriend, Clarice, the daughter of Blitzen. Cockblocked by Blitzen, Rudolph has seen just about enough of Christmastown and decides to hit the road.

Simultaneously, across town an effeminate little elf named Hermey also has trouble fitting in. He is teased and berated because he does not want to make toys for a living, he wants to be a dentist. Which is ironic because the elves all seem to be slaves under Santa’s tyranny. They put on plays and entertain Santa to no end, only to receive Santa’s belittling comments and rude walk offs.

So Hermey and Rudolph run away together. Soon enough they encounter a madman driving a dog sled pulled by a handful of lap dogs. Yukon Cornelius is loud, insane, and obsessed with finding silver and gold in the snow of the north pole.  He’s a certifiable madman, with a six-shooter stashed in his belt and exception pickaxe skills (the same tool he makes sweet mouth love to).

Yukon after a strict diet and shaved beard. Who needs gold when you look this good?

Rudolph’s nose attracts the abominable snowman who chased the three onto a floating block of ice. They escape the snowman and rest calmly on the block of ice aimlessly floating out to sea. Luckily they run aground on the land of misfit toys (similar to what we call Manhattan). The inhabitants were all abandoned because of a defect. They’re broken toys that never got a chance to be loved by a child.

Meanwhile, back in Christmastown, Rudolph’s parents and girlfriend become concerned and venture out to find him. But not together, as Donner made it clear “This is MAN’s work!” In other words, get cookin’ lady and I’ll call you over when I need a tug.  The chauvinistic era of the 60’s really shines at parts, revealing a time before all the “political correctness” we see in children’s programming today. Aside from the role of women, the talking reindeer who also love and experience all the emotion of humans are treated like expendable greyhounds from Santa. Santa is truly the Michael Vick of Christmastown.

HO, HO, HO, bitches.

Despite the feeling of finally being somewhere they are accepted, Rudolph soon gets the itch and abandons his friends in the middle of the night. He returns home to find his parents and Clarice have been missing for months. Of course Santa could care less for their safety, and is just pissed because Christmas is coming and he doesn’t have a reindeer to replace Donner. So Rudolph sets out again and finds his loved ones held hostage in the cave of the abominable snowman. He quickly fails at the rescue and gets taken hostage too.

Soon enough Hermey and Yukon coincidently came across the same cave while looking for Rudolph. They devise a plan to lure the snowman out with the old “unenthusiastic, feminine, piggy squeal.” It works, and Yukon pickaxes a rock onto the snowman’s head. Ironically like Piggy’s fate in Lord of the Flies (Coincidence?).

While he is out cold, Hermey rips out all his teeth, (Psychopath?) but it might as well have been his testicles because despite his gargantuan size, he is now bullied off a cliff along with crazyman Yukon, who hasn’t drawn his pistol once all day.

I’m gonna take the high road on this one and say nothing about this shot.

They return home and everyone loves them, not sure why, it’s not like they saved them or anything, but regardless everyone seems to win. Even the abominable snowman is hired to put the star on top of the tree.

But Wait! Santa’s not done being a douche just yet. He cancels Christmas because of a storm on Christmas Eve. (Apparently the storm covered the entire world?) That is, until he realizes he can harness the red light of Rudolph’s nose to guide his flight.  So Rudolph saves Christmas, but not before bringing Santa to the island of misfit toys to pick up and deliver them to boys and girls all around the world, who must wake up sad because this year they got a broken, “misfit” toy. Merry Christmas.

This year Billy’s present came from the Island of Misfit Toys

A Toast

Your kids will enjoy this Christmas special with you. The abominable snowman will not seem quite as scary to you now as an adult, but it’s fun to know exactly the fear that your child has from seeing the monster. The songs will remind you of the old days watching this with your family.

The movie is also only 47 minutes long, so it’s not a full commitment to watch. The timeless claymation feel is still unmatched by the best of them today. Simply watching it is a Christmas tradition in itself and we can easily pass it along to our children.

Beer Two

I mentioned it countless times above, but Santa really is the dictator of the North Pole. Mean to the core. The movie could be shown year round on the Lifetime network. Mrs. Claus just wants to fatten him up and keep him jolly, and totally gives off the battered wife vibe. I bet he beats her.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus on vacation in Florida

Beer Three

Not that it is any fault of the movie, but shame on the ABC network for the new “strategy” of hooking the viewer from one program to the next by streamlining the crossover.  Instead of commercials separating the shows, the networks now start the next program in split screen as the credits still roll from the previous. So our kids are watching the misfit toys dancing in Santa’s sleigh over the credits on the left side of the screen, and meanwhile a hammerhead shark is raping a college kid in a hotel pool to open the new episode of CSI over on the right side. We will be paying the kid’s therapy bills for years because we couldn’t find the clicker fast enough.

Verdict

It’s far from perfect and perhaps I’m being generous, but it’s Christmas! Who cares about it’s faults, have a couple beers and enjoy this classic with your family.

Bonus Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Rudolf’s nose squeals with that horrible sound.

Take a Drink: every comment of Santa’s that makes him a dick.

Down a Shot: for every song

Down a Shot: because it’s Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

About Jake Peroni

Bestselling Author, Distinguished Film Critic, Cutting Edge Journalist, Respected Reporter, Successful Businessman... Big Fat Sh*tty Liar. Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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