Rudolph's Shiny New Year
|Rudolph's Shiny New Year|
Cover of the 1999 VHS release
|Developed by||Rankin Bass|
|Starring||Billie Mae Richards
|Narrated by||Red Skelton|
|Country of origin|| United States
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Rankin/Bass Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original channel||ABC (1976-present) ABC Family (present)|
|Original release||December 10, 1976|
|Preceded by||Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)|
|Followed by||Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)|
Rudolph's Shiny New Year is the 1976 stop-motion animated sequel to the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, produced by Rankin/Bass. The special premiered on ABC on Dec. 10, 1976.
Rudolph has just come back from delivering Christmas presents with Santa Claus. Upon Rudolph's return, Santa Claus receives a letter from his friend Father Time asking for help to find Happy the missing Baby New Year before midnight on New Year's Eve. Unless Happy is returned before December 31 to take his position as the new year, the current year will not end and the date will be December 31 forever. An evil vulture called Aeon the Terrible is supposed to live for exactly one aeon after which he will turn into ice and snow and disintegrate. As his particular aeon will end January 1 of the New Year, he plans to kidnap Happy to keep the year from ending and stop time, thus preventing his predestined death.
Father Time speculates that Happy, who ran away due to his big ears being laughed at, is hiding out in the "Archipelago of Last Years", where the Old Years retire and rule over an island styled to resemble the year over which they ruled. Sent to assist in this journey are some agents of Father Time including General Ticker (a military clock), The Great Quarter-Past-Five (a camel with a clock in his hump), and Big Ben (a whale with a clock attached to his tail).
Upon arrival in the Archipelagos, Rudolph first travels to the island belonging to a caveman named One Million B.C. ("O.M." for short). O.M. inhabits an island anachronistically inhabited with friendly dinosaurs and other prehistoric and long-extinct creatures. As Rudolph and his friends search for Happy, they repeatedly encounter Aeon.
After other off-screen visits to the islands of 4000 B.C., 1492, 1893, and 1965 have been completed without success, Rudolph and O.M. head for the island of 1023 (pronounced ten-two-three), belonging to a knight named Sir 1023, whose island is filled with medieval trappings along with several fairy tale and Mother Goose characters.
The group then travels to the island of 1776, which reflects Colonial America and is ruled over by "Sev" (AKA 1776) who resembles Benjamin Franklin. Following Happy's seeming rejection on the Island of 1776, Aeon kidnaps him and takes him to his lair on the Island of No-Name which is said to be located "due north of the North Pole".
The group now leaves the Archipelego in pursuit. Catching up to Aeon, they attempt to rescue the baby. However, Aeon thwarts them by sending an avalanche down on the group and trapping them inside giant snowballs. Managing to melt his way free using his nose, Rudolph climbs up to Aeon's nest where he finds Happy who refuses to leave. Rudolph shows Happy his nose and tells him his own story of being shunned because of his nonconformity before asking Happy to let him see his ears (after that scene, the Rudolph song could be heard and a cartoon version of Rudolph's storyline could be seen). Happy does so, and Rudolph, like everyone else before him, laughs at the sight. Rudolph explains that the sight of Happy's ears had made him feel so wonderful that he had to laugh out loud, just like it had done with everyone else. As Happy shouts out with joy at this declaration, Aeon awakes. Rudolph quickly tells Happy to take off his hat and leave it off for good. At the sight of Happy's large ears, Aeon bursts into uncontrollable laughter which sends him tumbling down the side of the mountain and into the snowball, freeing Sev, O.M. and 1023. Rudolph realizes that Aeon is now so full of warmth and happiness that it would be impossible for him to turn to ice and snow.
With Santa's help, they return to Father Time's castle with Happy just in time for the beginning of the new year, which is designated "Nineteen-Wonderful". After the celebration, everyone wishes the viewers a happy new year and Rudolph adds "And may it be shiny, too!"
Archipelago of Last Years
Among the islands of the Archipelago of Last Years are:
- 1,000,000 BC: Represented as a prehistoric, anachronistic island that consists of dinosaurs, other prehistoric creatures, and cavepeople living together. O.M. lives here.
- 4000 BC: Rudolph mentions that all its inhabitants wanted to do was build pyramids.
- 1023: Represented as a medieval island filled with fairytale characters. The year 1023 is said to be when all the well-known fairy tales and nursery rhymes actually happened. Sir 1023 lives here.
- 1492: Rudolph mentions that the people on that island were too busy discovering things to help them.
- 1776: Represented as a Colonial American island that celebrates American Independence Day on a daily basis. 1776 (AKA "Sev") lives here.
- 1893: Rudolph mentions that the inhabitants have never heard of Happy.
- 1965: Rudolph stated that island was "too noisy" to search for Happy.
- Red Skelton – Father Time (Narrator), Baby Bear
- Billie Mae Richards – Rudolph
- Morey Amsterdam – One Million BC
- Frank Gorshin – Sir 1023, Quarter Past Five
- Paul Frees – 1776, Santa Claus, General Ticker, Aeon the Terrible, Humpty Dumpty
- Don Messick – Papa Bear, Rumpelstiltskin
- Harold Peary – Big Ben the Whale
Released with The Year Without a Santa Claus
- Release date: October 31, 2000
- Full Screen
- Region: 1
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Audio tracks: English
- Second extra: Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
- Hyatt, Wesley (2004). A Critical History of Television's The Red Skelton Show, 1951-1971.
- Rudolph's Shiny New Year at the Internet Movie Database
- ABC Feature Page for Rudolph's Shiny New Year
- Archived ABC Feature Page for Rudolph's Shiny New Year
- Rudolph's Shiny New Year review from Red-Skelton.info