Wednesday, December 2, 2009
One of my all time favorite Christmas t.v. shows is on tonight! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer from 1964 is a true classic! Here are some facts about it. Make sure to tune in tonight!
--During the original network TV airing, commercials for General Electric featured Santa's elves from the show.
--Although Yukon Cornelius says he needs "gunpowder" and he has a revolver tucked in his belt, the politically correct toys released in 1999 in America have a knife instead of a revolver.
--Hermie is the only elf without pointed ears. He's also the only male elf with hair on top of his head.
--Why is Dolly for Sue, who is apparently a perfectly ordinary doll, living on the Island of Misfit Toys? This gripping debate raged on for decades, until official word from Rankin-Bass recently decided the issue: Dolly for Sue is a "misfit" because she has psychological problems - she feels unloved.
--Although the animations were filmed in Japan, the entire soundtrack for "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was recorded in a studio near Yonge Street in Toronto, Ontario; most of the singing and speaking cast were Canadian.
--The song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was a seasonal standard long before it was used in the film.
--But Who's Counting Dept.: When Santa's sleigh finally takes off into the storm near the end of the film, it's being pulled by SIX reindeer instead of eight, with Rudolph leading the way.
--Also seen in "Holly Jolly Christmas": As Rudolph tests his nose pre-flight by firing it up at full power, the elf standing closest to him is wearing protective sunglasses!
--Although the Rudolph puppet - which still exists - appears to be about three feet tall when viewed on screen, it's only an illusion: in reality, "Rudolph" is palm-sized - approximately the same size as a very small kitten.
--Rudolph was to have been delivered to Donner and his wife by stork, but when General Electric brought in Burl Ives as the narrator, the scene was scrapped and never filmed, so that it now appears that Rudolph was born naturally.
--The Santa puppet is 8" tall. Young Rudolph is only 4" tall. Rudolph's nose really lights. The puppets are made from wood, wire and fabric and are quite fragile. The Japanese company that handled animation made several copies of each puppet, since they didn't last long under the constant handling of stop-motion posing. None of these copies are known to exist.
--Copies of both the Santa and Rudolph puppets were recently found in storage in the attic of a woman that used to work for Rankin-Bass. The puppets were in remarkably good condition, considering it was estimated they were in storage since the late 1960s, with only a little yellowing of Santa's hair, beard, and white trim on his coat. The pair now travel the country to various trade shows and conventions.