The Story of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

The Story of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Austin Gilmore, Staff Writer

“You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?”

In 1939, Robert L. May and Montgomery Ward wrote and published a booklet about a reindeer with a shiny red nose, and his name was Rudolph. In the first year of publication, the story sold over 2.5 million copies. Rudolph saved Christmas by lighting the way and helping Santa deliver all the presents to children around the world, and he was never made fun of again.

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In 1948, the first theatrical cartoon short of Rudolph aired, and it was produced by Jam Handy corporation, receiving 2.5 million views. One year later, Rudolph’s theme song was created by Robert May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, who helped sell 25 million copies of the song. It was the second best selling song of all time until the 1980’s.

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1964 really brought Rudolph to life. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV Special” was produced by Rankin/Bass productions. Today, the special airs annually on CBS and has become a trilogy. The first sequel, “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” was produced on December 10, 1976, the film taking place after the end of the previous film. The second sequel, “Christmas in July”, debuted in 1979, ending the trilogy after Rudolph was integrated into the Rankin/Bass adaption of Frosty The Snowman.

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Then Rudolph was made into animated feature-length films. The first was made in 1998, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie. This film is different from the 1964 special because it features new events, new characters, and a new storyline. This movie was produced by GoodTimes Entertainment and it some say it is more derivative than the original, but still a great film for Christmas time.

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In 2001, GoodTimes Entertainment produced a CGI Film based on the 1964 special known as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Island of Misfit Toys”. But shortly thereafter, GoodTimes learned that Rankin/Bass made a copyright mistake for using characters from a different production to make their own.

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For nearly 78 years, Rudolph has become a hero, a legend, a famous reindeer, and an icon that stands and shines for Christmas. He used to be bullied and no one believed in him because he had a shiny nose. But one foggy Christmas Eve night, Santa asked Rudolph to light the way around the world so he could deliver presents to all the good boys and girls. And so because Rudolph lighted the way on that foggy Christmas Eve night, he received one of the greatest gifts anyone can get on Christmas, and that gift is that,

          “He went down in history,

            Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, had a very shiny nose,

            And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.

            All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names,

            They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.

            Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say,

            Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?!

            Then how the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee,

            Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you’ll go down in history.

           Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say,

            Rudolph, with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?!

            Then how the reindeer loved him, as they shouted out with glee,

            Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, You’ll go down in history.

            You’ll go down in history!”