Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer</strong> (1964)

(On DVD, February 2019) Christmas classics don’t always age as well once you remove the nostalgia factor. While I think that The Charlie Brown Christmas Special remains a timeless classic, I was quite disappointed by How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Fortunately, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is closer to the first than the second—it has aged better than many other classic Christmas TV specials. Much of it has to do with its chosen stop-motion style: it has a wonderfully tactile feel, and the felt creatures are too cute for words. Burl Ives narrating also adds a lot. Plus there’s the thematic underpinning, digging into discrimination and coming out of it with a positive message. (Yes, I’m aware of the controversy in conflating a happy ending with “being useful for something”. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.) The songs a good, headlined with the omnipresent title number. Oddly charming and sympathetic today, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer still deserves its regular rotation in the holiday schedule.

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