Most children today have grown up watching the classic Christmas special ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer‘ that was filmed using stop-motion animation. In fact, I make it a point to watch my favorite Christmas memory every year. I can remember on Christmas Eve, the excitement of watching this wonderful TV show knowing that Santa would be making a stop on the top of our roof later that evening. Wonderful memories!
So, as the winter Christmas season fast approaches and you settle down to watch ‘Rudolph’ on television, check out these 8 interesting facts that you didn’t know about one of the most famous Christmas specials of all time:
- Character Names Were Inspired By Real People:
According to Ken Muller, brother of ‘Rudolph’ screenwriter Romeo Muller, the original name for Hermey the Elf was supposed to be “Herbie” in honor of a childhood friend. Meanwhile, Clarice (Rudolph’s girlfriend) was named after the future bride of another friend.
- Rudolph and Friends Were Created in Japan:
Japan has long been known for its love of animation. But did you know that ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ was actually filmed in Japan? Surprise! In fact, many of the Rankin/Bass stop-motion “Animagic” specials were produced in Japan.
- A Pack of Hounds:
Yukon Cornelius has an interesting sled dog team. Instead of Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes, his rag-tag team of pooches include a Poodle, a Cocker Spaniel, a Saint Bernard, a Dachshund and a Collie.
- Elven Romance:
At the end of the movie, eagle-eyed fans will notice that the elf Hermey can be seen flirting and dancing with a pretty young female elf, with the implication that romance is in the air.
- Sam’s Inspiration:
The songs were sung by Burl Ives, who was the voice actor for the character of Sam the Snowman. The animators also created Sam to look like the burly Ives.
6. General Electric Made A Killing on the Merchandise:
The company General Electric sponsored ‘Rudolph’ for the first three broadcasts, and they had quite the innovative marketing scheme at the time: They put out print ads featuring the characters from ’64 to ’66, and when you purchased any General Electric product, they gave out copies of the soundtrack album as a premium.
- He Is the Chosen One:
In the original script, Rudolph was supposed to be delivered to Donner and his wife via a stork, but after General Electric chose Burl Ives to be the narrator, they scrapped the scene so that in the film, Rudolph is born normally like any other reindeer.
- Even the Misfits Were Ignored…again:
In the original script, while Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon Cornelius promise to visit the Island of Misfit Toys and bring them back, they never do so. After the special aired, Rankin-Bass were inundated with angry letters from kids demanding that the Misfit Toys be helped. To console the children, they produced a short scene where Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the reindeer arrive on the Island and deliver the Misfits to new homes. This scene has shown on TV since 1965. Power to the little ones!
That’s another wrap of interesting Christmas trivia. I wanted to share my favorite Christmas memory and TV show with you this holiday season. It brings love, sharing, happiness, and belief to me, and hopefully you can share the same feelings as well.
So, join the discussion and let us know your favorite Christmas memory.
As always, I am…the Ho!Ho!Ho! Boomer Explorer.