Monday, December 08, 2008


MAD DOCTOR'S NOTE: Punkin Nightshade has undertaken a three-part review of Rankin-Bass's trilogy of stop-motion films about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. She kicks it off for today's post with her review of the original 1964 special. --M.D.

Hey, y'all! This here is Petronella Nightshade, but most everbody calls me Punkin. Today I am doin the first part of a three-part review of some movin pictures about Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. This here Rudolph is a mighty popular feller for a reindeer, cause he got his own song and everythin. His song was writ by a musician named Johnny Marks, and the first recordin of it was done by the cowboy feller and movin picture star Gene Autry. But the one what originally created Rudolph was a feller named Robert L. May, who was employed with the Montgomery Ward stores round 1939. Today it is still a popular song round Christmastime, and in 1964, the Rankin-Bass company produced the first of three TV pictures about Rudolph. Gorry if this ain't somethin, that a reindeer can do all this!

This here picture was made usin the stop-motion animation technique, which I have done reviewed about already cause that Tim Burton feller does pictures with it. It tells about Rudolph bein born up at the North Pole with his nose lightin up and such, and how his folks try to hide it at first. Now, can't nobody help bein born different, but Rudolph goes along with it for awhile. But it turns out that Rudolph ain't the only one at the North Pole what's different, cause there is a little elf feller in Santa Claus's workshop name of Hermey, who wants to be a dentist instead of makin toys, and of course the elf what heads the shop is givin him the very devil for it. Now to my mind, havin their own dentist up at the North Pole would be a right practical thing, but some folks got to find out common-sense doins on their own.

So after Rudolph and Hermey get introduced to everbody watchin the picture, Rudolph is out at the Reindeer Games, what is used to help Santa see if the new reindeer younguns are fit to pull the sleigh and also to make that part of the song about not lettin Rudolph play in reindeer games make sense, which all has to do with the plot. Rudolph got mud all over his nose so it won't shine, and he looks just like any other reindeer what has a real big nose. He meets another little reindeer called Fireball, and a little girl reindeer called Clarice who tells him he's cute, which natural makes him jump higher than anybody else. Then the mud falls off his nose and everbody sees it, and Fireball and them all start laughin at him and send him off. Clarice goes after him, but her father don't want her bein squired around by a red-nosed reindeer, so after that poor little old Rudolph just runs off and durn if I wouldn't have done the same thing.

Well, soon after that he meets up with Hermey and they sing a song about goin off to seek their fortune, but pretty
soon after that they run into a prospectin type of feller named Yukon Cornelius, and then they run into a big old Abominable Snowman what ain't too smart and really don't like Rudolph's nose. Most of the rest of the picture is about them runnin around tryin to escape the Abominable Snowman and endin up on an island called the Island Of Misfit Toys, which is headed over by a big old flyin lion called King Moonracer who wants Santa to come and find homes for all them misfit toys. Everythin turns out all right in the end, cause it sure wouldn't be much of a Christmas show if it didn't, but I won't spoil the endin. Let's just say that bein different comes in uncommon handy for Rudolph and Hermey.

This picture was narrated by Burl Ives as Sam The Snowman, who is a folksingin type of feller and sings some songs in this picture when they need to get some more of the plot goin. In fact it is a musical, and there are some right nice tunes in it, cause of course it wouldn't do to have them just singin Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer all the way through, even if the picture is all about him. Turns out that Johnny Marks feller wrote all the other songs and music for this picture too, and that is good cause it ties everythin all together a right smart. Folks what come up with somethin good to start with ought to have a hand in the rest of it, I say.

So I am done here, and blessins be on you all. I shall be back tomorrow to write up the second part of my review, and I am hopin that you shall be back for our MonsterGrrls' 25 Days Of Christmas. Blessed be to you all this here holiday season!

Petronella Nightshade

MAD DOCTOR'S POST-MORTEM: We sadly report the death of sci-fi's perennial high elder, Forrest J. Ackerman, without whom the Grrls might never have happened. Click here for the story.