So Anjie is really enjoying this really old TV special this year from 1964 – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. I remember watching it, and loving it as a kid too. I find it really interesting that something can be so old (ancient, as a matter of fact…), yet still hold so much appeal for her. The animation is basic, the music is classic instrumental with old-fashioned lyrics, and the voicing has a cheesy overacting tone to it, especially Rudolph’s Dad, Donner. Yet, it still stands up as a good story with a good message – accept people even if they’re different.
Now, the message is not as smooth as we’d probably deliver it today, I mean even Santa shames Rudolph for his shiny nose at first. I would personally hold Santa to a higher standard when it comes to acceptance. Most of the North-Polers are pretty ignorant of differences, they’re pretty mean to Rudolph and they aren’t even very apologetic after they decide he is useful. One exception is Rudolph’s friend Clarice. She’s a pretty cool doe until her Dad comes along and basically says she can’t hang with a shiny-nosed freak like Rudolph. (The adult deer seem to be especially harsh).
Rudolph’s Dad’s character is pretty hilarious, looking at things from a modern perspective. There is one part where his wife wants to help him look for Rudolph and he yells at her: “This is man’s work!” I was half appalled and half laughing hysterically. (I’m pretty sure this is going to be our household inside joke this year). The young does also did not seem to be allowed to train for pulling Santa’s sleigh. They just stand around giggling while the male deer try out their flying skills. Also, Mrs. Clause’s purpose seems to be cooking, sewing clothes and waiting on Santa. Her biggest concern is that Santa won’t be fat enough by Christmas Eve. I get it, in 1964 obesity was not as much of an issue and you were probably considered a failure as a wife if your husband wasn’t fat from your homecooked meals.
My fiance also pointed out the disturbing part where Herbie the Elf, who wants to be a dentist, pulls out all the Abominable Snow Monster’s teeth with pliers, and they all rejoice because he can’t do anyone harm any more. I guess it’s okay, but I feel like in a remake of this he’d instead realize the errors of his ways and that he was only lashing out because he wanted to be accepted, then they would all bond over their differences. I mean technically, he is a misfit too right? But I guess if you eat people, you don’t get special considerations.
Well, I guess I better hang up my modern perspectives, put on my kid-goggles and start enjoying it. We’ll probably be watching it everyday until Christmas!
What Holiday movies do your kids drive you nuts with watching?