Sam the snowman tells us the story of a young red-nosed reindeer who, after being ousted from the reindeer games because of his beaming honker, teams up with Hermey, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and Yukon Cornelius, the prospector. They run into the Abominable Snowman and find a whole island of misfit toys. Rudolph vows to see if he can get Santa to help the toys, and he goes back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. But Santa's sleigh is fogged in. But when Santa looks over Rudolph, he gets a very bright idea...Written by
Yukon Cornelius' stalwart sled dogs include a cocker spaniel, a poodle, a Saint Bernard, a collie, and a dachshund. See more »
According to Sam the Snowman's narration, it was the day before Christmas Eve when Santa Claus initially decided to cancel Christmas due to the bad weather. That same day, however, Santa asks Rudolph to guide his sleigh "tonight" (that is, Christmas Eve). See more »
Sam the Snowman:
If I live to be 100, I'll never forget that big snow storm a couple of years ago. The weather closed in and... well you might not believe it, but the world *almost* missed Christmas. Oh, excuse me, call me Sam. What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a talking snowman before?
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During the closing credits, we see the elves drop off the Misfit toys at their new homes by giving each one an umbrella, and after the credits are over, Santa Claus says "Merry Christmas" and flies away. See more »
The 1998 restored version contains a longer version of "We Are Santa's Elves", a duet reprise of "We're A Couple Of Misfits", plus additional narration by Burl Ives and two short scenes towards the end resolving Yukon Cornelius' quest for gold (he discovers that all he was really searching for was a peppermint mine) and Santa's lead reindeer Donner looking up at Rudolph in the air and proclaiming "That's my buck". The version that originally premiered on NBC in 1964 had these sequences minus the Island Of Misfit Toys ending (where Santa and company return to the Island to rescue the toys that had been left behind earlier in the story) -- that was animated, filmed, and used for the 1965 re-broadcast (and all subsequent telecasts and video releases through 1997) after viewer protests demanded a resolution of that storyline. The original version also had a different main title that does not mention "Rankin/Bass present" (as it had already been established it was originally a General Electric presentation -- GE had been the show's original sponsor), and an end credits sequence where the elves show the technical credits on gift boxes before dumping them on the ground to their destinations. The 1965-1997 re-edit has the "Rankin/Bass present" subtitle at the beginning, and an alternate end credits sequence with the elves putting their gifts under flying umbrellas to take them to their destinations (as the technical credits are superimposed on the screen), while omitting the instrumental bridge to "We Are Santa's Elves" and the "Peppermint Mine" & "That's my buck" dialog sequences, and finally replacing the "...Misfits" reprise with the song "Fame And Fortune" (which appears on the current DVD release as a separate supplement). The Island Of Misfit Toys ending was later incorporated into the 1998 restored version, which (as of 12/2002) continues to air annually on CBS. See more »
Directors: Kizo Nagashima, Larry Roemer; Story: Robert May; Script: Romeo Muller; Producers: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin
Rudolph is more then a Christmas special, it is a holiday tradition. I always look forward to the special time during the Christmas season when I can watch this. This beloved special is one of the few things that brings back my childhood. Most children today enjoy watching this as much as their parents did when they were little. On the DVD's introduction, producer Arthur Rankin states that Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer has been reportedly viewed by over a billion people worldwide. It is perhaps second only to The Wizzard of Oz as being the most viewed programme of all time.
Rudolph is the first of a line of Christmas specials that were produced by Rankin and Bass and written by Romeo Muller. Some of the others are: The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Frosty the Snowman (1969),and Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970) as well as Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971) and Puff, The Magic Dragon (1978). It is hard to imagine all these classic specials being the creation of one man. Mr. Muller is Mr. Christmas!
The origins of Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer stem from the song written by Johnny Marks back in the 1930's or 1940's. A Max Fleischer cartoon short was made in 1948 with Robert May creating its story. However, the Rankin and Bass Christmas special is based on the Johnny Marks song but other than that, it is all the creation of Romeo Muller. Hermey the elf, Sam the snowman, Yukon Cornelius, Claurice, the head elf are all Muller's creations. Even Rudolph's personality is created by Muller. In the 1948 cartoon Rudolph does not talk.
I have always liked Burl Ives as both a singer and an actor. His part as Sam the Snowman is my favourite by him. All the people behind the scenes doing the voices were all talented. They used stop motion animation with moving puppets just like they did with King Kong. Rudolph is a timeless classic that bring me back to the simpler time of childhood every time I watch it. I hope my small children will enjoy it to.
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