Rudolph's Shiny New Year

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Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Poster of the movie Rudolph's Shiny New Year.jpg
Cover of the 1999 VHS release
Developed by Rankin Bass
Starring Billie Mae Richards
Red Skelton
Morey Amsterdam
Frank Gorshin
Paul Frees
Don Messick
Harold Peary
Narrated by Red Skelton
Country of origin United States United States
Japan Japan
Original language(s) English
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) Rankin/Bass Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television
Original network 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.[1]


A year after delivering Christmas presents, Santa Claus receives a letter from his friend Father Time asking for help to find Happy the Baby New Year before midnight on New Year's Eve or else, it will be December 31 forever. Santa sends Rudolph out to find him. 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. 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 Happy a happy new year and Rudolph proclaims to the viewers that it may be shiny, too.

Archipelago of Last Years[edit]

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.
  • 1776: Represented as a Colonial American island that celebrates American Independence Day on a daily basis. 1776 (AKA "Sev") lives here.
  • 1965: Rudolph stated that island was "too noisy" to search for Happy.



  • Have a Happy New Year
  • The Moving Finger Writes
  • Turn Back The Years
  • It's Raining Sunshine
  • What A Wonderful World We Live In
  • Fourth Of July Parade
  • Have A Little Faith In Me
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


© 1976 Rankin/Bass Productions, Inc.

DVD details[edit]

Released with The Year Without a Santa Claus


  1. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (2004). A Critical History of Television's The Red Skelton Show, 1951-1971. 

External links[edit]