Just completed my annual ritual of watching the 1964 claymation tv special, which Wikipedia tells me is one of only four 1960s Christmas specials still being broadcast (I’m also a fan of the first two listed). The producers really turn it into a beautiful story.

It’s a fascinating historical artifact because the shame and ostracism visited on Rudolph and his entire family (in the show, Donner is his dad) is quite cruel by modern standards. Santa Claus literally tells Donner that he should be ashamed of himself for birthing a son with a red nose. Then the father of a female deer tells Rudolph that no daughter of his will be seen with a red-nosed reindeer. Rudolph is treated like the nigger* of the North Pole, which takes on more meaning when you think about the fact that the movie was copyrighted in the same year as the Civil Rights Act. There’s also some interesting sexism at work.

Anyway, for those of you who missed tonight’s 8pm NBC airing, I recommend a search on the internet, where you might hypothetically find the entire show available for download. With modern HD you can see every grain and piece of fabric on the characters. It’s really cool.


*A friend noted my usage of the word. I’ll direct you here.

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