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    Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer [23]

    Movie Reviews
    Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer [23] This Rankin Bass classic makes the rounds every year. It first appeared on TV in 1964 and became one of the classic CBS TV Christmas specials along with A Charlie brown Christmas and How The Grinch Stole Christmas! As a kid, this show was my introduction to Burl Ives. He seemed to me to be a very “holly jolly” snowman-like fellow, until I saw him in his Oscar Winning performance as Rufus Hannassey in The Big Country.

    Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has an interesting place in the American Yuletide mythology.

    Rudolph came to life in 1939 when the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward company (operators of a chain of department stores) asked one of their copywriters, 34-year-old Robert L. May, to come up with a Christmas story they could give away to shoppers as a promotional gimmick.

    The stores had bought and distributed coloring books every Christmas and saw writing their own story as a way to save money. Montgomery Ward distributed 2.4 million copies of the Rudolph booklet in 1939. A total of 6 million copies had been given out by the end of 1946, even though wartime paper shortages restricted printing.

    The story reflects May's own childhood difficulties as the smallest boy in his class. He was taunted for being a frail, scrawny misfit.

    Rudolph's story was made into a song when May's brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, developed the lyrics and melody for it. Gene Autry first recorded marks’ musical version in 1949, selling 2 million copies that year.

    Autry didn't want anything to do with this song. It was his wife who talked him into recording it, and it went on to become the 2nd biggest-selling Christmas song of all time, next to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas".

    The show opens with the popular song, of course, sung by Burl Ives. He narrates as the snowman. He also brings us two other popular Christmas tunes, "Silver and Gold", and "(Have A) Holly Jolly Christmas". It used to be a big deal for us kids to watch the Christmas specials in prime time and in color. We would plan the evening around it. We now own the DVD so that we can watch it any time we wish. The DVD has a special feature that is similar to closed captioning, but puts the words right beside the character’s mouths instead of below the screen. It is not as easy to read, as standard close captioning because of the font and positioning. Also, the copywriter messed up some words, like “abominable” for “bumbles”, “dear” for “deer” and “Dancer” for “Dasher”.

    I have always maintained that the abominable snowman was the basis for the Hoth Snow creature that abducts Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back.

    This is a movie to keep in your collection, and if your children scoff, you can always watch it by yourself. Someday, they will come around again {BB}

    Information about Rudolph: The Song
    His origination

    Added: December 6th 2004
    Reviewer: BB
    29 Point Scale Score: 23    [23]

    Related Link (IMDB): IMDB
    Hits: 2681
    Language: english


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