RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER is a legendary reindeer, created by Robert Lewis May , usually depicted as a young fawn who barely has antlers, with a glowing red nose, popularly known as "Santa\'s ninth reindeer ." When depicted, he is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve . The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through inclement winter weather .
The story is owned by The Rudolph Company, LP and has been adapted in
numerous forms including a popular song , the iconic television
special and sequels, and a feature film and sequel. Character Arts,
LLC manages the licensing for the Rudolph Company, LP. In many
countries, Rudolph has become a figure of
* 1 Publication history * 2 The story
* 3 In media
* 3.1 Theatrical cartoon short (1948) * 3.2 Song (1949) * 3.3 Comic books (beginning in 1950) * 3.4 Children\'s book (1958) * 3.5 Stop-motion animation television special (1964) and sequels (1976–79) * 3.6 Animated feature-length films * 3.7 Other
* 4 Homages in media
* 4.1 Film * 4.2 Games * 4.3 Music * 4.4 Television and webisodes
* 5 Relatives in different adaptations
* 5.1 Parents * 5.2 Offspring * 5.3 Siblings * 5.4 Aunts, uncles, and cousins
* 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links
Robert L. May created Rudolph in 1939, as an assignment for Chicago
Montgomery Ward . The retailer had been buying and giving away
coloring books for
The catchy tune was first played in Chicago's Drake Hotel by
well-loved house pianist Joe "Opie" Gunther, a refugee from Nazi
Germany . The song's first public broadcast came in 1949, when crooner
Harry Brannon performed it on
New York City
Of note is the change in the cultural significance of a red nose. In popular culture, a bright red nose was then closely associated with chronic alcoholism and drunkards, and so the story idea was initially rejected. May asked his illustrator friend at Montgomery Ward, Denver Gillen, to draw "cute reindeer," using zoo deer as models. The alert, bouncy character Gillen developed convinced management to support the idea.
Maxton Books published the first mass-market edition of _Rudolph_in
1947 and a sequel, _
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The story chronicles the experiences of Rudolph, a youthful reindeer buck (male) who possesses an unusual luminous red nose. Mocked and excluded by his peers because of this trait, Rudolph manages to prove himself one Christmas Eve after Santa Claus catches sight of Rudolph's nose and asks Rudolph to lead his sleigh for the evening. Rudolph agrees, and is finally treated better by his fellow reindeer for his heroism and accomplishment.
THEATRICAL CARTOON SHORT (1948)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph made his first screen appearance in 1948, in a cartoon short produced by Max Fleischer for the Jam Handy Corporation that was more faithful to May's original story than Marks' song, which had not yet been written. It was reissued in 1951 with the song added.
Original 1948 Rudolph The Red-Nosed
Main article: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (song)
Johnny Marks , adapted the story of Rudolph
into a song.
Gene Autry 's recording of the song hit No. 1 on the
COMIC BOOKS (BEGINNING IN 1950)
DC Comics , then known as National Periodical Publications, published a series of 13 annuals titled _Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer_ from 1950 to 1962. Rube Grossman drew most of the 1950s stories.
In 1972, DC Comics published a 14th edition in an extra-large format. Subsequently, they published six more in that format: _Limited Collectors\' Edition _ C-24, C-33, C-42, C-50 and _All-New Collectors' Edition_ C-53, C-60.
Additionally, one digest format edition was published as _The Best of DC_ #4 (March–April 1980). The 1970s Rudolph stories were written and drawn by Sheldon Mayer .
CHILDREN\'S BOOK (1958)
Little Golden Books
STOP-MOTION ANIMATION TELEVISION SPECIAL (1964) AND SEQUELS (1976–79)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Perhaps the most well-known version of all the Rudolph adaptations is
Rankin/Bass Productions version of 1964. Filmed in Japan, with all
sound recordings done in Toronto, Canada, the show premièred on
In the 1964 stop-motion movie, Rudolph is born to Donner the Reindeer
and Donner's wife. He is discovered by Santa to have a shiny, glowing
red nose. Donner, regardless of Rudolph's defect, trains him to be a
normal reindeer with skills such as gathering food and hiding from the
"Abominable Snow Monster", a giant, furry white beast. To hide
Rudolph's nose, Donner puts dirt on it to cover it with a black
coating. This causes Rudolph to talk in a funny accent, as told by the
Rudolph's peers. A short time later, Rudolph joins his peers at the
Rudolph soon runs into Hermey, an elf who was forced out of his job at the North Pole's toy factory; Hermey showed a total lack of interest in the toymaking and singing aspects of being an elf and instead wanted to pursue dentistry. They come to the conclusion that they're both misfits and decide to run away together. On their aimless journey, they run into Yukon Cornelius, the self-described "greatest prospector of the North" who nevertheless seems to never find any silver or gold, and attempt to stay away from the Bumble, a huge, abominable snow monster . Their journey leads them to the Island of Misfit Toys, where sentient but unorthodox toys go when they are abandoned by their owners. King Moonracer, the winged lion that lords over the Island, refuses to let them stay there permanently, instead telling the trio to return home and tell Santa Claus of the toys' plight, in exchange for one night's stay on the island. Rudolph refuses the offer and, fearing for his friends' life, runs off alone.
A now older Rudolph, still unable to find a place in the world, returns home to the North Pole, only to find that his family and Clarice had left to look for him and are now about to be eaten by the Bumble. With the help of Hermey and Yukon (who arrived separately), they lure the Bumble away and pacify him by knocking him unconscious and allowing Hermey (with dental skills he has acquired by reading books) to remove his sharp teeth. Everyone eventually returns to Santa's workshop, where a dismayed Santa Claus breaks the bad news that the weather is too bad to take the sleigh out and that Christmas would be canceled. Santa changes his mind when he notices Rudolph's red nose and asks Rudolph to lead the sleigh team, which he happily accepts.
After the story's initial broadcast, its closing credits were revised. Images of wrapped presents being dropped from Santa's sleigh were replaced by a scene in which Santa stops to pick up the Misfit Toys and delivers them to the homes of children below, where they were found by children who loved them. The changes were prompted by viewer feedback pleading for a happy ending for each toy. The special now airs annually on CBS, rather than NBC, and is hailed as a classic by many. The special's original assortment of characters have acquired iconic status, and an uncertainty surrounding an error in the special's copyright has allowed the special to be widely parodied and imitated in the decades since its original airing.
The sequel _Rudolph\'s Shiny New Year _ (premier air date December
10, 1976) continued the reindeer's journeys, and the series was made
into a trilogy with the 1979 feature-length film _
ANIMATED FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS
Main article: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie
_Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie _ (1998) is an animated
feature film. It received only a limited theatrical release before
debuting on home video . Its inclusion of a villain , a love interest,
a sidekick, and a strong protector are more derivative of the
Rankin/Bass adaptation of the story than the original tale and song
(the characters of Stormella, Zoey, Arrow, Slyly, and Leonard parallel
the Rankin/Bass characters of the Bumble, Clarice, Fireball, Hermey,
and Yukon, respectively). The movie amplifies the early backstory of
Rudolph's harassment by his schoolmates (primarily his cousin Arrow)
during his formative years. Main article: Rudolph the Red-Nosed
GoodTimes Entertainment , the producers of _Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer: The Movie_, brought back most of the same production team
CGI animated sequel, _
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
A live-action version of Rudolph (complete with glowing nose) along
with Donner and Blitzen appears in the _
Doctor Who _ Christmas
Nathaniel Dominy, an anthropology professor at Dartmouth College (Robert L. May's alma mater), published a scholarly paper on Rudolph's red nose in the open access online journal _Frontiers for Young Minds _ in 2015. In the paper, Dominy noted that reindeer eyes can perceive shorter wavelengths of light than humans, allowing them to see ultraviolet light; ultraviolet light, however, is much more easily scattered in fog, which would blind reindeer. Thus, Rudolph's red nose, emitting longer-wavelength red light, would penetrate the fog more easily. A summary of Dominy's findings was released in an _Associated Press_ article on December 22.
HOMAGES IN MEDIA
* In the film remake of Dr. Seuss\' _How the Grinch Stole Christmas_
The Grinch disguises his dog, Max, as Rudolph for his plan to
disguise himself as
Santa Claus and steal everything in each house in
Whoville , to stop
* Rudolph is mentioned in the video game _ Army of Two _ (2008) during a tutorial video about the use of the game's Aggro feature. * In _ Guild Wars Nightfall _ (2006), player characters are accompanied by a reindeer named Rudy whose nose begins to glow red when coming into range of presents that the player is tasked to find in a holiday themed quest.
* Rudolph is mentioned in the Beach Boys ' song "
Little Saint Nick "
(1963) in the following lyric: "Now haulin' through the snow at a
frightening speed with a half a dozen deer with Rudy to lead."
Run Rudolph Run " (1958) is a
TELEVISION AND WEBISODES
* In the _
Doctor Who _ promotional mini-webisode, "Songtaran Carols
" (2012), the
Sontaran warrior-nurse-detective, Strax, stated:
"Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose. It proved to
be a tactical disadvantage, because it enabled me to punch him in the
* Rudolph along with Donner and Blitzen appear in the _Doctor Who_
RELATIVES IN DIFFERENT ADAPTATIONS
Main article: Santa Claus\'s reindeer § Additional reindeer
* Robert L. May's original book does not name Rudolph's parents.
* The animated specials produced by both Rankin/Bass and GoodTimes Entertainment have given Rudolph different sets of parents:
* In Rankin/Bass's holiday special, he is Donner 's son, and his mother is a tan doe who is called Mrs. Donner. * In GoodTimes' retelling, Rudolph's father is Blitzen , and his mother is named Mitzi.
Rudolph is also given a brother, Rusty Reindeer, in the American
special, _Holidaze: The
Michael Fry and T. Lewis have given Rudolph another brother in a series of _ Over the Hedge _ comic strips : an overweight, emotionally damaged reindeer named Ralph, the Infra-Red nosed Reindeer. Ralph's red nose is good for defrosting Santa's sleigh and warming up toast and waffles; he enviously complains about his brother Rudolph's publicity and his own anonymity.
AUNTS, UNCLES, AND COUSINS
* Rudolph has a cousin, Leroy, in
Joe Diffie 's 1995 song, "Leroy
* _ Holidays portal
* Santa Claus * Santa Claus\'s reindeer * Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer_ video game
* ^ Mikkelson, Barbara; Mikkelson, David P. (December 19, 2010).
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". _Urban Legends Reference Pages_.
Snopes.com . Archived from the original on December 2, 2011. Retrieved
December 2, 2011.
* ^ Ramer, Holly; Talbot, Toby (photo) (December 23, 2011).
"Scrapbook tells how Rudolph went down in history". Hanover, NH:
Associated Press . Retrieved December 23, 2011.
* ^ Kim, Wook (December 17, 2012). "
Yule Cry: 10 Things
You Didn’t Know About Beloved Holiday Songs". _Time_ . Archived from
the original on December 21, 2014.
* ^ Parrella, Andrew (December 18, 2014). "From The Archives:
Rudolph Turns 75".
New Hampshire Public Radio . Archived from the
original on December 24, 2014.
* ^ "_Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer_ celebrates 50th anniversary".
CBS News _. December 9, 2014. Archived from the original on December
* ^ "Rudolph all red-nosed over stamp of approval". United States
Postal Service . November 6, 2014. Archived from the original on
December 24, 2014. _Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,_ the nation’s
longest-running and highest-rated