There may not be a more endearing depiction of the holiday season than the holiday ultra-classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, first released in 1964. Its various spinoffs over the years are heartwarming, but it’s undeniable that the original animation of the 60’s is the most endearing. In 2020, the original puppets were sold at auction for over $300k and put on permanent loan to a puppet museum in Georgia. The magic of Rudolph and his friends is something to enjoy year after year. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the film was groundbreaking because of its use of stop motion puppets for the time. The article states that GE spent roughly $4.5 million at the time to put the puppet film into production, so this was no small task. The intention was to use Rudolph as part of an advertisement for an electric toaster, electric can opener, and electric blanket… Well, how much more Rudolph has stood for since 1964!
The year that I received stuffed Rudolph puppets for Christmas when I was a kid, I was positively over the moon. I thought it was one of the best Christmases ever… Rudolph as a character has such endearing qualities and it’s lovely to teach children. Rudolph is brave in the face of adversity, despite knowing he has very real challenges to overcome (including the social embarrassment that his glowing red nose causes him!). The ability to overcome challenges with a hopeful heart, and a commitment to a cause outside of oneself, in Rudolph’s case, it’s leading Santa’s sleigh through a snow storm with his bright nose is a story that should and will endure.
The cultural impact this film has had is also clear. Recently, ColourPop Cosmetics released a Rudolph themed cosmetics set. The bottom line is that we should always embrace our authentic selves, which means not shying away from “kitsch” if it speaks to you! “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, you’ll go down in history!” is sung in the song for a reason.
❄️️ Enjoy Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ❄️️