Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Despite the completely effed up messages this special conveys, the music is awesome, packed to the antlers with as many timeless classic Christmas songs (all written by Jewish songwriter Johnny Marks) as there are cringeworthy moments. So hide your deformed child from society and let’s have a listen!
“Jingle Jingle Jingle”
Santa explains how important he is and how is reindeer have to be perfect, sung because he is aghast at Rudolph’s nose. Donner tries to say he’ll grow out of it, and Santa says, “Let’s hope so if he wants to make the sleigh team someday!” God what an a-hole.
“We are Santa’s Elves”
This song really isn’t that great, but I’m amazed at how big of a complete and total jerk Santa is at the end. “Well, it needs work.” UP YOURS!
“We’re a Couple of Misfits” and “Fame and Fortune”
These two songs have swapped back and forth over the years in different versions of the special, for reasons not really clear. I remember always watching the Couple of Misfits version. Again, Hermey is a misfit just because he wants to take a different career path.
“Silver and Gold”
This song doesn’t seem to have much purpose. Its message appears to be “Make sure you decorate your Christmas tree.” Well no kidding. I’m not leaving a bare tree in my living room.
“The Most Wonderful Day of the Year”
God this song starts out so creepy. As I pointed out in my scathing manifesto two years ago (please read, it’s probably my favorite thing I’ve ever written), there is nothing wrong with these toys, and those with actual defects (train with square wheels) can easily be fixed. There are a few toys I didn’t mention in that article:
- Nesting doll — Defect: That there’s a wind-up mouse inside instead of the smallest doll. Sooooooooooo, let the mouse go, and put the doll in there. What’s the problem here? Mouse, just leave, do your own thing, be an independent wind-up mouse toy. It’s like he’s in three layers of prison. What kind of sick elf did that?
- Bear with wings — Defect: Bear with wings. So? Stuffed animals can’t have fun little different things about them? Oh, I forgot, not in Christmastown. Everything has to be perfect and conform to their perceived normalcy with no deviation, lest they be outcast.
- Toy soldiers, car, fire truck, bike, etc. — Defect: They all seem fine. Maybe they all carry smallpox.
“Holly Jolly Christmas”
Probably the most fun song in the special and the best one in which to substitute dirty lyrics. “Hey, ho, my name is Joe, I’m hung as you can see.”
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Kind of a weird change in tone during the special but I dig it.