Tuesday, December 09, 2008


MAD DOCTOR'S NOTE: Our winsome witch Punkin returns with the second part of her three-part review on Rankin-Bass's Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer films. Today she presents her review of 1976's Rudolph's Shiny New Year. --M.D.

Howdy! This here is Petronella Nightshade, and most everbody calls me Punkin. For our MonsterGrrls' 25 Days Of Christmas, I am doin up reviews of three movin
pictures what's all about Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, and today I am talkin about Rudolph's Shiny New Year. This movin picture was made back in 1976, and it is natural a sequel to the first one, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

This one starts out right after Santa Claus gets back home from makin all his Christmas deliveries, and he got a letter waitin for him what's from Father Time. It says that Happy, what is a baby who is also the new New Year, has done run off and got to be found before midnight on December 31st, or else there won't be no New Year and it'll just keep on bein December 31st forever. Santa sends out Rudolph to see what's the trouble, as Rudolph is the only one who can see his way through the winter storm cause of his lightin-up nose. Rudolph meets up with a feller who works for Father Time called General Ticker, who is a soldier with a clock in his belly, and then they come to a desert that they got to cross to get to Father Time's house, called the Sands Of Time. (Look, I didn't write em, I'm just writin about em. Leastways they weren't up in an hourglass or some such.)

A camel called Quarter-Past Time what's got a clock in his hump comes round to ferry em across, and that's when they run into Eon. Eon is a nasty old buzzard what's tryin to stop folks from findin Happy, cause if Happy becomes the new New Year, Eon's time will be up and he will turn to ice and snow and won't be Eon no more. You can see how one would be unhappy about that sort of thing.

Well, they escape from Eon and manage to get to Father Time's house, and Father Time tells Rudolph what's goin on. Seems that Happy has uncommon big ears, and ever time he takes his hat off, his ears spring out and somebody laughs at him cause he's awful cute and they can't help theirself. Since he's a baby he don't know no better, and so poor little old Happy has run off cause he thinks everbody's makin fun of him. Well, if Rudolph with the big red light-up nose don't know about bein laughed at then don't nobody know, so he allows he'll go find Happy.

Father Time thinks that Happy might be hidin out in a place called the Archipelago Of Last Years, which was dreamed up by the movin picture makers not just to show how much imagination they got but also so it would teach younguns a big word. This Archipelago Of Last Years is a bunch of little islands where old Years have gone to live when their time's up, and each one's got his own island and it stays just like that year all the time. So Rudolph heads out there lookin for Happy and Eon takes off after him, and were it not for a big old whale with a clock in his tail named Big Ben, there wouldn't be much more movin picture. Most likely you have figured out by now that all these folks what lives round Father Time's house got a clock in them somewhere, so I won't mention it no more.

Big Ben ferries Rudolph around them islands while he's huntin for Happy, and along the way we get to meet O.M., who is the Year One Million B.C. and looks like a caveman and jokes around a lot, and the Year Sir 1023, who looks like a knight in armor and was the year that all the fairy tales was happenin, and Sev, who is the Year 1776 and looks like Benjamin Franklin. They all come with Rudolph and Big Ben to help find Happy cause they all feel bad about hurtin his feelins, and the rest of the picture is about them runnin around chasin Happy and tryin to keep old Eon from makin off with Happy. There is also some things in this picture about how there ain't nothin wrong with bein different, specially if you're a reindeer whose nose lights up bright red or a little baby with big old ears who's supposed to be one of them anthropomorphic personifications, in this case bein the New Year. But of course that is just a real extreme kind of different. In any case, the movin picture is tryin to say that it's a good thing bein and doin somethin different, which is a good lesson for all kind of folks to learn.

Some of the characters in this movin picture got famous folks doin their voices. Father Time is played by Red Skelton, and he is a famous comedian who also plays the voice of Baby Bear, who is one of the Three Bears that Happy runs into for awhile when he's on Fairy Tale Year Island. O.M., the caveman Year feller, is played by another famous comedian named Morey Amsterdam, which does a lot to explain why he's jokin round all the time, and the knight feller Sir 1023 is played by Frank Gorshin, who got famous for playin the Riddler on a old TV picture about Batman. There is also a feller named Paul Frees who plays about four voices on this picture, includin Santa Claus and the old buzzard Eon. This picture has got a lot of imaginative whatnot goin on in the story, and it made the place Rudolph lives in seem a whole lot bigger. I liked it cause of that.

So that there is Rudolph's Shiny New Year. Tomorrow I am writin the last of these postins about Rudolph, so y'all come back then for The MonsterGrrls' 25 Days Of Christmas. Blessed be to all of you!

Sincerely, Petronella Nightshade