Best & Worst Christmas Movies & Specials -- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Worst Christmas Special Ever!
I remember as a child my mother reading me as a bedtime story the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I loved the book. But I could never figure out why I never really liked the Rankin-Bass version of the Rudolph story. It wasn't until I was an adult that I finally figured out why. It's an incredibly ugly story.
Rudolph is born to Donner, one of Santa's reindeer's, and it's his misfortune to have a shiny red nose. The poor thing isn't a minute old when he's made to feel he's a freak because he has a shiny red nose. And if you think Santa Claus will have a talking to his reindeer and tell him to quit his crap, you don't know this Santa. He's as bigoted as his reindeer. Mrs. Donner should have kicked both those cruds out of her house for insulting her new born baby.
Only it only got better when Donner made Rudolph wear a fake nose that must have made breathing pert near impossible. But he didn't want Rudolph embarrassing him at the reindeer games. Don't show your kid love and acceptance, Donner. No, make him feel ashamed of his birth defect and make him hide it. Of course, when the fake nose came off all the other reindeer crud made fun of him. Afterwards, he decided to runaway. Gee, I wonder why. And it seemed like Donner waited quite a bit of time before he got off his lazy hide to go and look for his son. Donner would never get a father of the year award, but his mother wouldn't get any parenting awards, either.
It wasn't just an intolerance towards someone with a birth defect that made him different from everyone else. There was also an intolerance towards someone wanting to be something different than what was expected of him. Herbie the elf was slaving away in Santa's workshop [or sweatshop might be a more appropriate name] wanted something different for himself. He wanted to be a dentist and he was treated as a misfit for not wanting to make toys as was expected of him.
He and Rudolph met up and ran away together and met a man named Yukon Cornelius [who was a bit out there] but he saw nothing wrong with them and treated both to the first real acceptance they'd ever been treated to. And when Rudolph left them fearing he was putting them in danger, they went looking for him right away, unlike Rudolph's lowlife parents. They only knew Rudolph a short time and they treated him with more love than his own family did.
There was even an Isle Of Misfit Toys where toys that didn't fit the cookie cutter image of toys and were actually unique were taken to like they weren't fit to mingle with the rest of society. If you're different in some way, the message this vile program was sending, you should be hidden away somewhere so you don't be inflicted on society.
Once Rudolph grows up and comes home the first thing he gets is the nasty reindeers making fun of him and he's like, "Talk to the paw, losers." Then when he comes home and finds the place deserted, the old fart, Santa Claus drops by and seems to be blaming Rudolph for the fact his parents finally did the right thing and went to find their son. It's like Fossil Face and the parents did anything to make him want to runaway, is it? Yeah, I'm sure the old fart would have preferred they forget all about their malformed son. I'm sure the old creep was also more concerned about not having enough reindeer to drive his sleigh. God knows he never gave a thought to the reindeer he mistreated.
Then came the great moment when Santa realized he could actually put to use the deformity he disdained and asked Rudolph to guide his sleigh and at that point I wish Rudolph would have given him the finger and told him what he could do with his magnanimous offer. He also agreed to give away the Misfit Toys and I think he must have been low on toys or he wouldn't have agreed to it. Not as bigoted as this old fossil is towards anyone or anything that is different. I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't the one who labelled all those toys rejects to begin with.
I just find it appalling they made a show like this and it gets peddled as a great Christmas show around Christmas time. Christmas is about love, understanding and being good to your fellow man, not judging them as inferior if they don't live up to societies norms. Santa Claus is supposed to be the symbol of all that Christmas is supposed to represent. He's not supposed to be some prejudiced bigot who disdains anything and anyone that's different.
I'll take The Grinch That Stole Christmas over this horrible Christmas special. It has a more positive message than this show does. This show's message is your differences are only acceptable if they can be of a use to someone whose mistreated you because of them. Ho, ho, ho, and Merry Christmas...NOT!