Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer returns to TV beginning Tuesday, December 1, for its 51st season according to Oregon Live. Rudolph is a beloved family stop-motion film based on the song made popular by Burl Ives. Ives is featured in the show as a singing snowman named Sam who tells the story of Rudolph and the “Island of Misfit Toys.” The reason the show is so well loved still today is because many adults grew up watching the annual featured television show and want to experience the same feeling they had with their children and grandchildren. The story centers around Rudolph, who is made fun of by the other reindeer, and one of Santa’s misunderstood elves, Hermey, who just wants to be a dentist. Rudolph and Hermey live in Christmas Town, where Santa lives.
Rudolph appeals to the whole family as it unfolds the story of the “Island of Misfit Toys,” where unwanted toys end up. The show is complete with musical numbers including the song “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” The song, which almost everyone knows, is about a reindeer who was made fun of by his reindeer peers because of his large glowing nose, is still a popular holiday song, especially for children. Then Santa needs help guiding his sleigh on a “foggy Christmas night” and calls on Rudolph, who helps Santa and saves the day, and then “all the reindeer loved him.” Everyone knows and loves the song, but everyone may not know about the origins of the song.
WHIO posted an article that gives some facts about the show, a couple of facts you might not know are that the story of Rudolph was originally a poem written in 1939 by Robert L. May and sold by retailer Montgomery Ward. May was an ad man for MW and was contracted to write a children’s story for the holiday. May’s poem was printed as a 32 page booklet and was a hit – over two million copies were sold across the country by Montgomery Ward that year. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was officially born.
The musical version of the Rudolph poem was written by May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks. Several famous singers were asked to record the song but all turned it down. Finally, the “singing cowboy,” Gene Autry, recorded the song in 1949 and it was a huge success, it outsold every other Christmas song except “White Christmas.” In 1964 the classic story based on the song “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” graced the television sets of families for the first time. Since then, it has been an annual staple of television holiday shows such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town, The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and A Christmas Story.
After both Rudolph and Hermey run away they meet up and decide to join together. They soon meet Yukon Cornelius, a prospector who gives the two misfits a ride on his sled. The trio escape the Abominable Snowman and end up on the Island of Misfit Toys and learn of the abandoned toys’ plight. They go to the king of the island and ask to live there but are denied because only toys may live on the island. The king instead asks the trio to help the toys find homes. The king is certain that Santa will be able to find all of the toys a home and asks Rudolph and Hermey to let Santa know of the toys without homes.
“A toy is never truly happy until it is loved by a child.”
Will Rudolph and the group help the Misfit Toys find homes? You will have to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to find out, if you haven’t already seen it! If you have seen the show then you already know what happens. Be sure to add Rudolph to your family’s holiday show list.
[Image Courtesy of DreamWorks Classics]