Taking on a holiday tradition
I've hated this cartoon for as long as I can remember. But because for years I haven't been able to remember why, I decided to watch the 1964 made-for-TV classic "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" last night on CBS.
While I'm pleased to report that my intense dislike of Hermey, Yukon Cornelius and the rest of the gang eased a bit, I will offer a handful of observations on why this cartoon rubbed me the wrong way as a kid.
Dentistry. Right off the bat, we learn that Hermey wants to be a dentist. I'm scared of dentists, so there you go.
The portrayal of Santa. He spends the first 45 minutes thin and whiny. Where's the bowl full of jelly, bud?
Production values. I think this cartoon may have been the forerunner of Japanimation, "Crapanimation." What's more, as if the constant breaking-out-into-song isn't bad enough ("Silver and Gold" comes to mind), the songs sound like they're being played on a hand-cranked phonograph.
Story arc. Even as a youngster, I could see plot holes a mile away. How can Santa gain so much weight in just one scene? Why does a Griffin rule the Isle of Misfit Toys? How does the abominable snow creature suddenly become a good guy at the end? Wasn't it fog, not a snowstorm, that led Santa to ask Rudolph to lead his sleigh?
So there you go. A reasoned defense of why this cartoon sucks. I challenge anyone to defend it.