Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Their Plot VS. What I See

Their Plot:

Sam the Snowman welcomes the viewers to Christmastown at the North Pole and introduces Santa and Mrs. Claus who live in a castle located left of the Christmas Tree Forest. Later on, Sam recalls the year Christmas was almost canceled due to a big snowstorm and how a very special reindeer saved the day.

Donner, Santa’s lead reindeer, and his wife have given birth to a new fawn named Rudolph. Upon admiring him, they are surprised to see that he’s been born with a glowing red nose. When Santa arrives, he warns Donner that Rudolph will not make the sleigh team because of his nose. So, Donner decides to hide it by covering it with mud so Rudolph will fit in with the other reindeer.

One year later, Rudolph goes out to the reindeer games, where the new fawns will be inspected by Santa to pull the sleigh when they grow up. During flight practice, Rudolph meets a beautiful doe named Clarice, who tells him he’s cute, making Rudolph fly. However, while celebrating with the other bucks, Rudolph’s fake nose pops off, causing the other reindeer to mock him and Coach Comet to expel him.

He then meets Hermey, an elf who ran away from Santa’s workshop because he wanted to be a dentist instead of making toys, so they run away together. They then meet a prospector named Yukon Cornelius, who has searched his whole life long to find silver and gold but never does. After escaping the Abominable Snow Monster of the North, they crash land on the Island of Misfit Toys where unloved or unwanted toys live with their ruler, a winged lion named King Moonracer who brings the toys to the island until he can find homes and children who will love them. The king allows them to stay one night on the island until they can tell Santa to find homes for them by Christmas when they get home. However, Rudolph leaves the island on his own, still worried that his nose will endanger his friends.

Time passes and Rudolph grows into a young stag, still enduring mockery from others. He returns home to find that his parents and Clarice have been looking for him for months. He sets out once again to locate them and finds them all cornered in a cave by the snow monster. Rudolph tries to save Clarice, but the monster hits him in the head with a stalactite. A few minutes later, Hermey and Yukon return and try to save Rudolph. Hermey, oinking like a pig, lures the monster out of the cave and pulls out all his teeth after Yukon knocks him out. Yukon then drives the toothless monster back, only to fall over the cliff.

Mourning Yukon’s presumed death, Rudolph, Hermey, Clarice, and the Donners return home where everyone apologizes to them.

Christmas Eve comes and while everybody is celebrating, Santa reluctantly announces that the big snowstorm won’t subside in time, and has forced him to cancel Christmas, but is soon inspired by Rudolph’s red nose. He asks Rudolph to lead the sleigh. Rudolph accepts and they fly off to the island where the Misfit Toys, sad about being left alone and unloved, are suddenly cheered up when Santa arrives to pick them up.

Santa wishes everyone a Merry Christmas as he and Rudolph fly off into the night.

How I See It:

Sam the Snowman welcomes the viewers to Christmastown at the North Pole and introduces Santa and Mrs. Claus who live in a castle located left of the Christmas Tree Forest. Burl Ives does a great job as the voice and persona of this charming old snowman. He’s like the friendly grandpa of the show. I love this guy as an actor and a singer. As kids, we had a whole album of his work called the Lollipop Tree. I loved listening to the album as a boy and looking at the cover because it was an artistic rendering of a tree made out of exotic looking lollipops. I always wondered where suckers like that were sold so I could try them. What kid doesn’t like looking at pictures of candy?

Anyway, later on, Sam recalls the year Christmas was almost canceled due to a big snowstorm and how a very special reindeer saved the day.

The story opens with a miserable Santa Claus. He’s skinny and his wife who’s a nice lady is trying to get him to eat. He’s just being a cranky dick to her, but maybe it’s just because he hates his life. Think of his job. You basically do nothing all year and one night a year you have to circle the globe delivering toys to a bunch of strangers. Can you imagine how horrible his life is? Think about it guys. Why doesn’t Santa have any kids? Because he only comes once a year! OH!

Anyway…

Donner, Santa’s lead reindeer, and his wife have given birth to a new fawn named Rudolph. Upon admiring him, they are surprised to see that he has been born with a glowing red nose. His father sees it and doesn’t like it. His mother says, “Maybe we can just overlook it.” Donner responds with, “Well hopefully he grows out of it before he gets to an age where he can work for Santa pulling his sleigh around the world one night a year.”

When Santa arrives, Rudolph actually looks up at him as a tiny infant and says, “Santa?” His little nose lights up in joy at the appearance of the legendary, jolly old elf. But when Santa sees his nose light up, he’s freaked out like Donner about this ‘abnormality’. He warns Donner that Rudolph will not make the sleigh team because of his nose. Then with unmitigated audacity, Santa uses this opportunity to sing a dumb song about how he’s the king of jingle lee or whatever. Shameful. So, Donner decides to hide it by covering it with mud so Rudolph will fit in with the other reindeer. So the message here is, if you’re born with some extraordinary nearly supernatural gift, you’ll never be able to join the ranks of society. You should cover it up and hide it so that you can fit in with all the other mediocre normies.

Meanwhile, at Santa’s workshop, the elves are toiling away making toys for all of the good little boys and girls. They all sort of look the same except one, who resembles a little boy, with more human-like features and a swatch of blonde hair. His name is Hermey. He’s falling down on his toy-making duties. He’s not into it. Sadly, he was born into this life of slavery without an origin story. He wants to be a dentist. Yes, Hermey aspires to be something more than his present condition. He doesn’t want to spend his entire life working in a sweatshop making toys for some fat guy. He wants to be a dentist, maybe have his own practice in Manhattan someday.

But no… once the middle management asshole elf finds out, he drills Hermey for wanting to become more in life than a toy slave. On top of all of this humiliation, the elves are forced to learn songs and perform like chimps for Santa. Kringle seems disinterested and tells them their song needs work. Asshole middle management elf pig yells at them because that’s the only skill he has. Rage and admonishment. When the other elves go on break, he makes Hermey stay behind to continue slaving on the toys. Once he’s gone, Hermey says, “fuck this”, and dips out the window in search of a better life. He doesn’t know where he’s going. No one’s ever escaped the North Pole. But he sets out on his own, knowing that the unknown is better than the present nightmare hell he’s in.

Later, Rudolph goes out to the reindeer games, where the new fawns will be inspected by Santa to pull the sleigh when they grow up. During flight practice, Rudolph meets a beautiful doe named Clarice, who tells him he’s cute, making Rudolph fly. The charge Rudolph gets from the affection of the fairer sex gives him not only the dopamine drop and electric joy of romance, but it actually gives him the sudden power to not only fly but soar. A perfectly normal response to the attention of an attractive young lady.

Let’s continue…

Santa is blown away and so is everyone else at his sudden aerial prowess. Fireball, who is one of the other kids is really proud of Rudolph and they start to playfully wrestle.

However, while celebrating with the other bucks, Rudolph’s fake nose pops off, causing the other reindeer to mock him and Coach Comet to expel him. (Coach Comet? Toxic masculinity) Even though it’s clear that Rudolph possesses great power in regard to the one thing that reindeer need to be good at the north pole, he’s immediately labeled a freak. Rudolph is so embarrassed and humiliated he flees the scene.

Later Clarice catches up to him and asks what happened, and how he promised to walk her home. He assumes she’s come to make fun of him too. But she tells him it’s a handsome nose. “It’s terrible. It’s different than everybody else.” Rudolph says. “But that’s what makes it so grand. Any doe would consider herself lucky to be with you.” Clarisse replies. (Clarisse is clearly a rare, winning babe among does.) On top of being an amazing chick, Clarice launches into a beautiful heartbreaking song about how there’s always tomorrow to be great someday. It’s one of the most touching moments in the show. Even the cute woodland creatures join in on the chorus. Bunnies and raccoons sing backup on this solid number. Of course, the whole touching scene is C-blocked by her father showing up and telling her to get home and away from this monstrosity of a reindeer. Her dad is an absolute bigoted, hate-filled prick. One of several in this story.

Rudolph then meets Hermey, an elf who ran away from Santa’s workshop because he wanted to be a dentist instead of making toys, so they run away together. Ostracized by their friends and families, they realize that at least they have each other. These two misfits go out into the world isolated from everything they know in search of a better life. They actually break into a celebratory song about how they’re different and the message is basically, “fuck the haters.”

They then meet a prospector named Yukon Cornelius, who has searched his whole life long to find silver and gold but never does. He’s a singular dude, that has one goal in mind. Find riches, but up to this point, it’s proven elusive. But he keeps on, believing only in himself.

There’s an abominable snowman in this story as well. He’s a terrifying figure that back in 1964 when this came out, I felt genuinely terrified by this creature. A real monster that lives off devouring small animals and anything else he can get his claws on and sink his teeth into.

Obviously, this beast comes after them and they end up on an ice flow drifting away from the mainland to escape being eaten by this monster.

After escaping the Abominable Snow Monster of the North, they crash land on the Island of Misfit Toys where unloved or unwanted toys live with their ruler, a winged lion named King Moonracer who brings the toys to the island until he can find homes and children who will love them.

This is an island of defective toys. Charlie in the Box, a train with square wheels, a bird that swims instead of flies, and inexplicably a cute little doll that I’m assuming was discarded for some unknown reason. It’s a sad place of misfits and toys that don’t fit the traditional models of toys corporate America assumes children want. But even though they’ve been saved by King Moonracer, and dropped off at this homeless shelter, at least they have each other. But there’s still some segregation going on here. Moonracer with his own code and brand of racism says the island is only for toys, not living things. So, he’s kind of a dick too.

The king allows them to stay one night on the island until they can tell Santa to find homes for them by Christmas when they get home. However, Rudolph leaves the island on his own, still worried that his nose will endanger his friends.

If this Moonracer could not only talk but fly, couldn’t he have brokered a deal with Santa years ago? Just set a meeting and fly up to the pole and get a sit down with the big man. It’s ridiculous.

Time passes and Rudolph grows into a young stag, still enduring mockery from others. He returns home to find that his parents and Clarice have been looking for him for months. He sets out once again to locate them and finds them all cornered in a cave by the snow monster. Rudolph tries to save Clarice, but the monster hits him in the head with a stalactite. A few minutes later, Hermey and Yukon return and try to save Rudolph. Hermey, oinking like a pig, lures the monster out of the cave and pulls out all his teeth after Yukon knocks him out. Yukon then drives the toothless monster back, only to fall over the cliff.

Yukon sacrifices himself to save his friends, a noble act to save them all from being devoured.

Mourning Yukon’s presumed death, Rudolph, Hermey, Clarice, and the Donners return home where everyone apologizes to them.

Finally! So it takes running away, and near-death, and the loss of a friend to a monster to get people to wake up.

After hearing their story, Santa promises Rudolph that he will find homes for the Misfit Toys, the Head Elf tells Hermey that he can open his own dentist’s office a week after Christmas, and Donner apologizes for being hard on Rudolph. (Too little, too late, assholes!)

Yukon returns with a tamed snow monster, now trained to trim a Christmas tree, explaining that the snow monster’s bouncing ability spared their lives.

This is also sort of despicable behavior. You fall off a cliff and your life is spared by bouncing off the belly of the beast. So instead of simply escaping, you take a wounded animal and rip out all of his teeth. The only thing he has to live the life he’s been dealt with. Is this Hermey’s idea of dentistry? Ripping out the beast’s teeth? How is he supposed to eat and defend himself now? He’s been reduced to a pathetic idiot that’s only good for reaching up and getting stuff in high places. Like placing a star on the tree. You’ve broken this animal and reduced him to a buffoon. So sad.

Christmas Eve comes and while everybody is celebrating, Santa reluctantly announces that the big snowstorm won’t subside in time, and has forced him to cancel Christmas, but is soon inspired by Rudolph’s red nose. He asks Rudolph to lead the sleigh. Rudolph accepts and they fly off to the island where the Misfit Toys, sad about being left alone and unloved, are suddenly cheered up when Santa arrives to pick them up. In a final act of hypocrisy Rudolph’s own father says, “I always knew that nose would be good for something.” Yea, make it all about yourself you asshole. You shunned him and treated him like a freak like everybody else. You’re still a narcist piece of shit.

Santa wishes everyone a Merry Christmas as he and Rudolph fly off into the night.

So the lesson here is: If you’re different, you will be humiliated, taunted, and isolated from your friends and family. You will be labeled a freak. But… if later you have something they need, then you’ll be accepted and ‘loved.’

Pathetic.

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2 thoughts on “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Their Plot VS. What I See”

  1. The story, born out of the conformist culture of the mid 20th century, made perfect sense at the time. It was 1939, fitting in was a must around the world, think Adolph! Or Internment camps.

    Great insight.

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