Tuesday, November 20, 2012

holiday movies — rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

We are still in holiday movie mode, and no holiday movie viewing would be complete without pulling out the classic stop-motion animated Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. This is a fond childhood memory for me, so it's a treat to share it with my kid. We had the soundtrack album when I was  growing up, too. The kid loves Rudolph, of course, and especially his glamorous lady friend Clarice. I have always had a soft spot for the Abominable Snow Monster and all the denizens of The Island of Misfit Toys, but everyone has their favorite, like dentist elf Hermey or the irascible Yukon Cornelius.

Original animation model for Rudolph, from TV Party! which also has some excellent background information on the making of the television special

I've always had an affection for stop-motion animation. I guess because I've always loved dolls. Rudolph is probably the most famous of the Rankin/Bass holiday specials, but they have also made some other great animated films, including Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town, Jack Frost, The Year Without a Santa Claus, with the incomparable Heat Miser and Snow Miser, and the delightful feature film Mad Monster Party. What probably puts Rudolph ahead of the rest is the music — not just the title song, but many of the others sung by Burl Ives, which have become holiday staples, like "Silver And Gold" and "A Holly Jolly Christmas." The longest-running television Christmas special, Rudolph's nose continues to shine brightly.

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