Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV special)
|Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer|
Promotional advertisement for the original NBC airing.
|Based on||"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"|
by Johnny Marks
|Written by||Romeo Muller|
|Narrated by||Burl Ives|
|Country of origin|
|Running time||55 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Videocraft International|
|Original network||NBC (1964–1971)
CBS (1972–present)Freeform (2019–present)
|Followed by||Rudolph's Shiny New Year|
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 1964 Christmas stop motion animated television special produced by Videocraft International, Ltd. (later known as Rankin/Bass Productions) and currently distributed by Universal Television. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electric under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The special was based on the Johnny Marks song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" which was itself based on the poem of the same name written in 1939 by Marks' brother-in-law, Robert L. May. Since 1972, the special has aired on CBS; the network unveiled a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program in 2005.
As with A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph no longer airs just once annually, but several times during the Christmas and holiday season. It has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest continuously running Christmas TV special. 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the television special and a series of postage stamps featuring Rudolph were issued by the United States Postal Service on November 6, 2014.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Musical numbers
- 5 Different versions
- 6 Home media
- 7 Soundtrack
- 8 Merchandise
- 9 Reception
- 10 Sequels
- 11 In popular culture
- 12 Copyright issues
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Sam the Snowman welcomes the viewers to Christmastown at the North Pole and introduces Santa and Mrs. Claus who live in a castle located left of the Christmas Tree Forest. Later on, Sam recalls the year Christmas was almost cancelled due to a big snowstorm and how a very special reindeer saved the day.
Donner, Santa's lead reindeer, and his wife have given birth to a new fawn named Rudolph. Upon admiring him, they are surprised to see that he has been born with a glowing red nose. When Santa arrives, he warns Donner that Rudolph will not make the sleigh team because of his nose. So, Donner decides to hide it by covering it with mud so Rudolph will fit in with the other reindeer.
A year later, Rudolph goes out to the reindeer games, where the new fawns will be inspected by Santa to pull the sleigh when they grow up. During flight practice, Rudolph meets a beautiful doe named Clarice, who tells him he is cute, making Rudolph fly. However, while celebrating with the other bucks, Rudolph's fake nose pops off, causing the other reindeer to mock him and Coach Comet to expel him. He then meets Hermey, an elf who ran away from Santa's workshop because he wanted to be a dentist instead of making toys, so they run away together. They then meet a prospector named Yukon Cornelius, who has searched his whole life long to find silver and gold, but never does. After escaping the Abominable Snow Monster of the North, they crash land on the Island of Misfit Toys where unloved or unwanted toys live with their ruler, a winged lion named King Moonracer who brings the toys to the island until he can find homes and children who will love them. The king allows them to stay one night on the island until they can tell Santa to find homes for them by Christmas when they get home. However, Rudolph leaves the island on his own, still worried that his nose will endanger his friends.
Time passes and Rudolph grows into a young stag, still enduring mockery from others. He returns home to find that his parents and Clarice have been looking for him for months. He sets out once again to locate them and finds them all cornered in a cave by the snow monster. Rudolph tries to save Clarice, but the monster hits him in the head with a stalactite. A few minutes later, Hermey and Yukon return and try to save Rudolph. Hermey, oinking like a pig, lures the monster out of the cave and pulls out all his teeth after Yukon knocks him out. Yukon then drives the toothless monster back, only to fall over the cliff.
Mourning Yukon's presumed death, Rudolph, Hermey, Clarice, and the Donners return home where everyone apologizes to them. After hearing their story, Santa promises Rudolph that he will find homes for the Misfit Toys, the Head Elf tells Hermey that he can open his own dentist's office a week after Christmas, and Donner apologizes for being hard on Rudolph. Yukon returns with a tamed snow monster, now trained to trim a Christmas tree. Christmas Eve comes and while everybody is celebrating, Santa reluctantly announces that the weather has forced him to cancel Christmas, but is soon inspired by Rudolph's red nose. He asks Rudolph to lead the sleigh. Rudolph accepts and they fly off to the island where the Misfit Toys, sad about being left alone and unloved, are suddenly cheered up when Santa arrives to pick them up.
Santa wishes everyone a merry Christmas as he and Rudolph fly off into the night.
- Burl Ives voices Sam the Snowman, the narrator.
- Larry Mann voices Yukon Cornelius, the "greatest prospector of the North" who joins Rudolph and Hermey on their journey but never finds the silver and gold he seeks.
- Billie Richards voices Rudolph, a reindeer of formidable acumen (he learns to speak shortly after birth) and physical strength who is ridiculed for his nonconforming red nose, but later saves Christmas.
- Paul Soles voices Hermey, an elf who dreams of pursuing a career in dentistry and "feels different" from the other elves. He eventually is forced out and runs off with Rudolph.
- Stan Francis voices:
- Santa Claus, portrayed in the special as a moody, nervous and "skinny Santa" whose fears are allayed only when he conjures the idea of using Rudolph's nose to lead the sleigh.
- King Moonracer, a winged lion who rules the entire Island of Misfit Toys. King Moonracer's voice uses a reverb effect to distinguish it from Santa Claus.
- Alfie Scopp voices:
- Fireball, who introduces Rudolph to the opposite sex, but later snubs Rudolph when his red nose is revealed.
- Charlie-In-The-Box, the island's sentry.
- Janis Orenstein voices Clarice, a female reindeer who is the only one of Rudolph's age to not reject him. She later joins Rudolph's parents in the search party.
- Paul Kligman voices:
- Donner, Rudolph's father and Santa's most prized reindeer. While he loves and accepts Rudolph, he shows great concern that society will reject him for his nose and tries to protect him by creating a nose cover.
- Comet, head coach of the Reindeer Games.
- Clarice's unnamed father, who warns Clarice not to associate with a red-nosed reindeer.
- Carl Banas voices:
- The Head Elf. For the Head Elf's voice, Banas uses a meek Bill Thompson-like voice when speaking in front of Santa Claus, but turns into a ruthless boss with a voice similar to Mel Blanc's Yosemite Sam or Cosmo Spacely when Santa is not around.
- Various Misfit Toys, including a Spotted Elephant, King Moonracer's footman; a bird that swims, a cowboy who rides an ostrich, a train with square wheels on his caboose, two teddy bears (one on a bicycle and one with wings), a boat that doesn't float, a set of clown nesting dolls with a wind-up mouse as the last one, a water pistol that shoots jelly, an airplane that can't fly, a toy car that drives only in reverse, and a scooter with two wheels in front and one in back.
- Corinne Conley voices Dolly, a seemingly normal girl rag doll on the Island of Misfit Toys. Her misfit problem is never explained on the special; many decades later, on NPR's Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me! news quiz show (broadcast December 8, 2007), Rudolph's producer, Arthur Rankin Jr., noted that Dolly's problem was psychological, caused by being abandoned by her owner (named as Sue in the special) and suffering depression from feeling uncared for.
- Peg Dixon voices:
- Mrs. Claus (in one of the character's earliest screen portrayals), who spends most of her screen time prodding her husband to eat.
- Mrs. Donner, a loving and nurturing wife.
The TV special, with the teleplay by Romeo Muller, introduced several new characters inspired by the song's lyrics. Muller told an interviewer shortly before his death that he would have preferred to base the teleplay on May's original book, but could not find a copy. Other than Burl Ives, all characters were portrayed by Canadian actors recorded at RCA studios in Toronto under the supervision of Bernard Cowan.
After the script, concept designs and storyboards for Rudolph were done by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and his staff of artists at Rankin/Bass in New York City. The company's trademark stop motion animation process, known as "Animagic", was filmed at MOM Productions in Tokyo with supervision by Tadahito Mochinaga and associate direction by Kizo Nagashima. Besides Rudolph, Mochinaga and the rest of the Japanese puppet animation staff are also known for their partnership with Rankin/Bass on their other Animagic productions almost throughout the 1960s, from The New Adventures of Pinocchio, to Willy McBean and his Magic Machine, to The Daydreamer and Mad Monster Party?
Since those involved with the production had no idea of the future value of the stop-motion puppet figures used in the production, many were not preserved. Rankin claimed in 2007 to be in possession of an original Rudolph figure. Nine other puppets—including Santa and young Rudolph—were given to a secretary, who gave them to family members. Eventually seven were discarded. In 2005, the remaining two puppets of Rudolph and Santa were appraised on Antiques Roadshow; the episode aired in 2006 on PBS. At that time, their appraised value was between $8,000 and $10,000. The puppets had been damaged through years of rough handling by children and storage in an attic. Toy aficionado Kevin Kriess bought Santa and Rudolph in 2005; in 2007, he had both puppets restored by Screen Novelties, a Los Angeles-based collective of film directors specializing in stop motion animation with puppet fabricator Robin Walsh leading the project. The figures have been shown at conventions since then.
- Directed by Larry Roemer
- Produced by Arthur Rankin, Jr.
- Co-Producer: Jules Bass
- Written by Romeo Muller
- Adapted from the Story by Robert L. May
- Adapted from the Song by Johnny Marks
- Music and Lyrics by Johnny Marks
- Music Conducted and Arranged by Maury Laws
- Associate Director: Kizo Nagashima
- Recording Engineers: Bill Giles, Alan Mirchin, Ralph Friedman
- Sound Effects: Walter Gustafson
- Recording Supervisor: Bernard Cowan
- "Animagic" Supervisor: Tadahito Mochinaga (aka Tad Mochinaga)
- Continuity Design: Anthony Peters
- "Jingle, Jingle, Jingle" - Santa Claus
- "We Are Santa's Elves" - Elves
- "There's Always Tomorrow" - Clarice
- "We're a Couple of Misfits" - Rudolph and Hermey
- "Silver and Gold" - Sam the Snowman
- "The Most Wonderful Day of the Year" - Misfit Toys
- "A Holly Jolly Christmas" - Sam the Snowman
- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" - Sam the Snowman
This section may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience.December 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)(
Original 1964 NBC broadcast edit
This version has the NBC "living color" peacock at the introduction. It includes the original end credits, where an elf drops presents that list all the technical credits. It also includes commercials that were exclusively for GE small appliances with some of the same animated elves from the main program introducing each of the products, and closing NBC network bumpers, including promos for the following week's episodes of GE College Bowl and Meet the Press, which were presumably pre-empted that Sunday for the inaugural 5:30 PM (EST) telecast. The College Bowl quiz show was also sponsored by GE. The original does not include Santa traveling to the Island of Misfit Toys, but does include a scene near the end of the special in which Yukon Cornelius discovers a peppermint mine near Santa's workshop. He can be seen throughout the special tossing his pickax into the air, sniffing, then licking the end that contacts the snow or ice. Deletion of the peppermint segment in 1965, to make room for Santa traveling to the Island of Misfit Toys, leaves the audience to assume that Cornelius was attempting to find either silver or gold by taste alone.
The 1965 broadcast also included a new duet between Rudolph and Hermey called "Fame and Fortune", which replaced a scene in which the same characters sang "We're a Couple of Misfits". Viewers of the 1964 special complained that Santa was not shown fulfilling his promise to the Misfit Toys (to include them in his annual toy delivery). In reaction, a new scene for subsequent rebroadcasts was produced with Santa making his first stop at the Island to pick up the toys. This is the ending that has been shown on all telecasts and video releases ever since. Until sometime in the 1970s the special aired without additional cuts, but eventually more commercial time was required by the network. In 1978, several sequences were deleted to make room for more advertising: the instrumental bridge from "We Are Santa's Elves" featuring the elf orchestra, additional dialogue by Burl Ives, and the "Peppermint Mine" scene resolving the fate of Yukon Cornelius. The special's 1993 restoration saw "Misfits" returned to its original film context, and the 2004 DVD release showcases "Fame and Fortune" as a separate musical number.
1998–2004 CBS telecasts
Most of the 1965 deletions were restored in 1998, and "Fame and Fortune" was replaced with the original "We're a Couple of Misfits" reprise. A short slide reading "Rankin/Bass Presents" was inserted at the beginning of the special to reflect the company's name change. The "Peppermint Mine" scene was not restored; until 2019, it had not been shown on television since the initial broadcast in 1964.
Starting in 2005, CBS began using the footage of the "Fame and Fortune" scene with the soundtrack replaced by a rather hastily edited version of "We're a Couple of Misfits". The special has been edited to make more time for commercial advertising by shortening some musical numbers. Certain home video releases of the special like the 2010 Vivendi Entertainment Blu-Ray use the same version seen on CBS.
In May 2019, it was announced that Freeform will air the special as part of their annual 25 Days of Christmas line-up for the first time, alongside Frosty the Snowman. The agreement was later revealed not to be an exclusive rights agreement, as CBS retained their broadcast right to air the special twice under a separate license with Classic Media/Universal. Unlike CBS' print, Freeform's print reinstates much of the material deleted or changed from CBS' broadcasts, such as the original version of "We're a Couple of Misfits" as well as the "Peppermint Mine" scene, making it the first time that the latter scene has been seen on television since the original broadcast. Freeform's print of the special also has the 2012 Universal Pictures logo preceding the film, due to their purchase of DreamWorks Animation in 2016.
When Rudolph was first issued on VHS, Betamax, and LaserDisc by Family Home Entertainment and Broadway Video from 1989 to 1997 under the Christmas Classics Series label, the 1965 rebroadcast print described above was used. All current video prints of Rudolph by Classic Media are a compendium of the two previous telecast versions of the special. All the footage in the current versions follow the original 1964 NBC broadcast (without the original GE commercials) up until the "Peppermint Mine" scene, followed by the final act of the 1965 edit (with the Island of Misfit Toys finale and the 1965 alternate credits in place of the original end credit sequence).
In 1998, the special was released by Sony Wonder on VHS. In 2000, it was released on DVD, and on Blu-ray Disc in 2010 (although the Blu-ray does not contain the bonus features from the previous DVD release.) This edit has been made available in original color form by former rights holders Classic Media, (which in 2012 became the DreamWorks Classics division of DreamWorks Animation, and finally in 2016, part of Universal Pictures) As previously mentioned, this is also the version that had previously aired on CBS, albeit in edited form to accommodate more commercial time. In November 2014, Classic Media released a 50th anniversary edition of the special on Blu-ray. Walmart released an exclusive 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition with a storybook. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released another DVD and Blu-Ray of the movie in 2018.
The songs and incidental music were both written by Johnny Marks, with Maury Laws supervising. In addition to the songs previously mentioned, the score also includes the film's love theme "There's Always Tomorrow", sung by Clarice after Rudolph is kicked out of the reindeer games. Marks' "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", which became a holiday standard after its initial release in 1958, appears as instrumental background music when Rudolph first arrives at the Reindeer Games. Also included in the soundtrack is an instrumental version of Marks' setting of the Christmas hymn "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."
In 1964, an LP record of the soundtrack was released on Decca Records. It contained different mixes of the original songs performed as they are in the special, with the exception of Burl Ives' material, which has been re-recorded. MCA Special Products released the soundtrack on CD in June 1995. It is an exact duplication of the original LP released in 1964. Tracks 1-9 are the remixed soundtrack selections while tracks 10-19 are the same songs performed by the Decca Concert Orchestra. The song "Fame and Fortune" is not contained on either release. On November 30, 2004 the soundtrack was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over 500,000 copies.
Books and other items related to the show have in some cases misspelled "Hermey" as "Herbie". Rick Goldschmidt, who wrote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Making of the Rankin/Bass Holiday Classic, says the scripts by Romeo Muller show the spelling to be "Hermey".
A Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer video game was released on November 9, 2010. The adaptation was published by Red Wagon Games for the Wii and Nintendo DS, and was developed by High Voltage Software and Glyphic Entertainment respectively. The Wii version was received poorly, and garnered extremely negative reviews from sites such as IGN giving it a 1.5/10.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer received an approval rating of 95% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on thirteen reviews, with an average rating of 9.37/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a yule-tide gem that bursts with eye-popping iconography, a spirited soundtrack, and a heart-warming celebration of difference." In December 2018, a Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll which surveyed 2,200 adults from Nov. 15–18, 2018, named Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the most beloved holiday film, with 83 percent of respondents having a generally favorable response to the title.
The Rankin/Bass special inspired numerous television sequels made by the same studio:
- Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976), a special that first aired on ABC and is still aired annually on both ABC and Freeform.
- Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979), a feature-length special that paired Rudolph with the song-inspired character Frosty the Snowman.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys (2001), a direct-to-video computer-animated film. Released by a team that produced an unrelated Rudolph movie in 1998, neither Rankin/Bass or its descendant companies had any involvement in its production.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - 4D Attraction (2016), A faithful, 10-minute stop motion story adaptation in the form of a 4D film for SimEx-Iwerks; produced by Bent Image Lab and directed by Chel White.
- T.E.A.M. Rudolph and the Reindeer Games (2018), a short film adaptation of the book of the same name was featured on the original film's 2018 Blu-ray release.
In popular culture
The television special's familiarity to American audiences through its annual rebroadcasts, along with its primitive stop-motion animation that is easy to recreate with modern technology and the special's ambiguous copyright status, has lent itself to numerous parodies and homages over the years.
Films by Corky Quakenbush
Animator Corky Quakenbush has produced parodies of Rudolph for several American television shows:
- In its December 16, 1995 episode, the Fox Network's comedy series MADtv aired "Raging Rudolph", which also parodied Martin Scorsese's films. In it, Sam The Snowman narrates in a Joe Pesci-like voice how Rudolph and Hermey got violent Mafia-style revenge on their tormentors. This was followed by two sequels: "The Reinfather", spoofing The Godfather trilogy and "A Pack of Gifts Now", spoofing Apocalypse Now.
- A 2001 episode of That '70s Show, titled "An Eric Forman Christmas", featured a subplot where Kelso was taunted by his friends for still watching "kiddie shows" like Rudolph even though he was in high school. A dream sequence produced and directed by Quakenbush, Kelso himself appears in stop-motion form with Rudolph and Santa who encourage him to continue watching their show.
- In December 2005, the George Lopez Show featured an animated segment in which Lopez sees a stop-motion version of himself on television in a Rudolph-style special mirroring the theme of the holiday episode.
- In the stop-motion animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Jack looks through a book version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to find a logical answer to explain Christmas to the other citizens of Halloween Town. Later, Zero, the ghost dog, has a magnificently glowing pumpkin nose, which is bright enough to break through the fog that Sally has conjured up. Jack lets Zero go to the head of his skeleton reindeer team and light the way for him.
- Chel White, of Bent Image Lab, directed two parodies that played on Saturday Night Live', on Robert Smigel's TV Funhouse:
- In a 2001 TV Funhouse episode, Sam the Snowman refuses to narrate the story because of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He then takes two children to Ground Zero at New York City, but Santa Claus convinces him to narrate the story, because people need comforting stories like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Sam decided to narrate the tale, but was immediately interrupted by a special news report.
- In 2004, TV Funhouse referenced the Red state-blue state divide. In the segment, Santa hangs out with liberal celebrities Natalie Merchant, Margaret Cho, Al Franken, and Moby while skipping over the Red states ("screw the red states, voting for that dumbass president just because of that moral values crap. I don't want any part of them!"). Rudolph's red nose turns blue.
- In 2004, for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer's 40th anniversary, CBS produced stop motion promos for their programming line-up, done in the style of Rankin/Bass animation. Appearing as elves in the CBS promos were puppet versions of CBS stars Jeff Probst from Survivor, Ray Romano and Doris Roberts from Everybody Loves Raymond, William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger from CSI, Charlie Sheen from Two and a Half Men, Phil Simms and Greg Gumbel from The NFL on CBS, and late-night talk show host David Letterman. A new stop-motion animation featuring Rudolph and Santa meeting even more CBS network stars was also aired in 2005.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 made numerous references to the special in their movie hecklings, such as Rudolph's line "I'm cute!! I'm cuute!! She said I'm cuuuuuutte!!!!". In episode 321, which screened Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, the MST3K cast had their own ideas for potential residents on the Island of Misfit Toys including Toaster Dolls, Patrick Swayze's Roadhouse board game, the EZ Bake Foundry, and Mr. Mashed Potato Head.
Uses in advertising
- In 1964, Rankin & Bass produced several commercials for the General Electric-sponsored broadcast.
- In November 2007, the Aflac insurance company released a commercial that featured Rudolph, who has a cold but does not want to miss work. All his friends say he will be unable to pay for his expenses. Santa then tells them about Aflac. Charlie wonders what will happen if Rudolph is not better by Christmas, but Rudolph thinks the Aflac duck can do the work. Rudolph gets better in a week, but Blitzen is sick, so the Aflac duck fills in for him.
- In 2009, Verizon began showing a commercial of the Misfit Toys with an AT&T phone. The characters wonder why it is there with all of its features but soon discover why, when the phone shows a map of where it has 3G coverage. (Verizon's ad campaign touts its much wider 3G coverage compared to AT&T's.) The toy airplane replies: "You're gonna fit right in here!" and falls on the ground laughing.
- Starting in 2011, there have been several Bing.com commercials, filmed to look like the same stop-motion style as the special, which feature several characters including Rudolph, Yukon Cornelius, Hermey, the Bumble, and the Misfit Toys.
- A 2012 commercial for Windows phone features Bumble the Abominable Snowman (with his full set of teeth), speed-dating and getting advice from friends through Live Tiles. A follow-up features Bumble at Santa's North Pole pool party, and Santa using Live Tiles on his new Windows Phone to help him give his elves the holiday-season toy production directives.
- A 2013 commercial for Nissan shows a woman in a dealership briefly entering a fantasy, wherein Santa's Elves, including Boss Elf and Hermey, have expanded their manufacturing line to include Nissan cars. Furthermore, the Bumble makes an appearance test driving one to his obvious approval.
- CBS celebrated the special's 50th anniversary in 2014 with Rudolph and Sam the Snowman celebrating with cast members from The Big Bang Theory and NCIS while passing by their studio lots.
- In 2014, the United States Postal Service used four characters (Rudolph, Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, and Bumble) for the year's "Contemporary Christmas" stamp issue.
- In 2015, the Rudolph characters began appearing in commercials for AT&T with a stop-motion version of spokes-character Lily Adams.
- In the sci-fi/comedy series The Orville, during the episode "About a Girl", the character of Bortus is shown Rudolph by other crew members to make him reconsider his plans to arrange gender reassignment surgery for his newborn daughter. (Bortus's species, the Moclans, are a single-gender species who statistically produce only one female every seventy-five years, with females having no place in their society) Rudolph demonstrates to Bortus how unconventional people can accomplish great things, although Bortus humorously misinterprets part of the film's story as suggesting that Rudolph's father may have considered euthanizing his child as an anomaly.
- In 2010, the comedy website CollegeHumor made a short parody video called "Rudolph The Regular Reindeer", depicting what the special would've been like if Rudolph had a normal nose. 
This section possibly contains original research. (December 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The copyright of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special lies in an area of uncertainty in regard to American federal copyright law. When the recording was originally published, the date of copyright (published in Roman numerals) was accidentally listed as 1164 (MCLXIV), omitting an M that should have been present (1964 in Roman numerals is MCMLXIV); this mistake was not corrected with subsequent edits and remains on televised prints to this day. The songs were validly and separately copyrighted, and the original character on which the special was based also remains under copyright and trademark protection, extending some indirect copyright protection to the special as a derivative work. (A number of films, such as It's a Wonderful Life and His Girl Friday, fall under similar circumstances: a public domain film loosely based on a copyrighted work.)
Assuming the error in the copyright is considered substantial enough to invalidate it (U.S. copyright law before 1988 required works to have a valid date on a copyright notice, while providing some leeway in regard to non-substantial errors), the error puts large portions of the special not directly tied to the songs or original story into the public domain. (Some of the characters, particularly Santa Claus and the adult reindeer, relied on material that was already public domain anyway; all of the characters except Rudolph, most of the images, and large portions of the spoken soundtrack would thus be public domain in this interpretation.) Because of the indirect copyright protections and uncertainty over their extent, permission is still required to show the program as a whole. The extensive derivative works seen in popular culture are likely a byproduct of this uncertain copyright status.
- List of animated feature films
- List of Christmas television specials
- List of stop-motion films
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (video game)
- Measimer, Josh (February 27, 2019). "Rankin/Bass Retrospective - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". ReelRundown.com. Hub Pages Inc. Archived from the original on December 13, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer celebrates 50th anniversary". CBS News. December 9, 2014. Archived from the original on December 10, 2014.
- "Rudolph all red-nosed over stamp of approval". United States Postal Service. November 6, 2014. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the nation’s longest-running and highest-rated Christmas television special 'went down in history' to receive its stamp of approval today. The set of four Limited Edition Forever stamps depicting Rudolph, Hermey, Santa and Bumble were created from still television frames from the special which premiered 50 years ago in 1964.
- Young, John (September 14, 2010). "Billie Mae Richards, voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, dies at 88". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012.
- Ford, Don (November 19, 2010). "'Rudolph' remembered". My View. Halton, Ontario: InsideHalton.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- "Not My Job". Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!. NPR. December 8, 2007.
- 7 Facts About Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (YouTube). ChannelFrederator. December 19, 2017. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
- Braithwaite, Dennis, "Canadian voices", The Globe and Mail, December 8, 1964, p. 31.
- Togneri, Chris (December 12, 2007). "Zelienople man saves Santa, Rudolph". triblive.com. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- "Rudolph & Santa Characters from 'Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer'". Antiques Roadshow. PBS. May 15, 2006. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
- Goodman, Brenda (December 23, 2006). "Rudolph and Santa, as Good as New". The New York Times.
- Welch, Chris (December 23, 2015). "'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' figurines' new life". CNN. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Original Rankin/Bass Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer GE Commercials (1964) (YouTube). MiserBrosPress. August 9, 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Bennett, Anita (May 14, 2019). "Freeform Expands '31 Nights of Halloween' Programming With 'Ghostbusters' And Other Classics". Deadline.
- Lowin, Rebekah (May 17, 2019). "Freeform Revealed Major Details About '25 Days of Christmas' for 2019". Country Living.
- "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer: Behind The Scenes". Tvparty.com. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Lieberman, David (July 23, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation Agrees To Pay $155M For Classic Media". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. August 19, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Torreano, Bradley. "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives". AllMusic. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Ask SAM: 'It's a Wonderful Life' pre-empted by 'Sound of Music Live'". Winston-Salem Journal. December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
- Steimer, Kristine (December 15, 2010). "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- Galuppo, Mia (December 4, 2018). "'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' Most Beloved Holiday Movie, Poll Finds". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D Attraction". IMDb.com. November 25, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- "SimEx-Iwerks - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer coming in 4-D". Simex-iwerks.com. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Raging Rudolph (YouTube). November 30, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- The Reinfather. May 7, 2007. Archived from the original (YouTube) on December 17, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
- A Pack of Gifts Now (YouTube). December 24, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- Aflac - Rudolph (YouTube). November 11, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". United States Postal Service. November 6, 2014. Archived from the original on December 4, 2014.
Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps. The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps.
- . December 14, 2010 http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6366134/rudolph-the-regular-reindeer. Missing or empty
- Heldenfels, Rich (December 19, 2013). "Mailbag: 'Rudolph' numerals wrong in opening credits". Akron Beacon-Journal.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV special)|