Have you seen this movie lately?
Please tell me all you need is a picture to know I'm talking about a classic. A staple of the holidays. The original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, in all its clay-animated glory.
Well, I've watched it three times in the last two days. Uno. Dos. Tres. In dos dias, people. And let me go ahead and tell you, I've been slightly disturbed.
I happen to adore these films. Santa Claus is Coming to Town is my absolute favorite. These gems were a staple of my childhood, which is why I bought the complete collection last year after the holidays. I scored them at Costco for an unbelievable deal, and Chad practically wept when I brought them home. He can't stand them. After a few viewings of the movie starring a red-nosed fawn, I'm wondering if he wasn't right. Let's just say the plot and character development don't quite align with my warm-fuzzy childhood memories.
Case in point: Ruldoph's dad, Donner? Crummy dad. Not quite a dead beat, but what a jerk. What kind of dad is so ashamed of his kid's nose that he makes him cover it up? As if that's not bad enough, he's also a chauvinistic pig dog. Seriously. Chad's actually the one who pointed that out. When Rudolph disappears, his mom wants to go help find him; Donner throws out some huffy line about it being "man's work," and runs off and leaves her to wallow at home in misery.
As if a macho-overbearing daddy deer isn't bad enough, you should see the portrayal of Santa Claus. Santa Claus! The jolly old man with the big belly? Red suit? Ho ho ho laugh? He is the ultimate douche bag. He's the one who tells Donner that Rudolph will never make the sleigh team with a nose that glows. That's right! Freaking SANTA CLAUS is crushing the hopes and dreams of his own reindeer, while simultaneously mocking their offspring. Later in the film, after the elves try to delight him with an upbeat musical number, Santa doesn't compliment their hard work and stellar performance--no, no, no Mrs. Claus has to do that--Santa just mutters, "It needs work," and grumpily storms from the room. Who IS this bearded impostor, I ask you?!
I'll tell you one thing: I want to do a rewrite for the ending of this movie. It wouldn't include Rudolph coming to the rescue with his glowing nose, that's for sure. After his unjust treatment, the poor kid should have stuck it to the man. "What's that, Santa? NOW you decide the nose is great? Well, if you think I'm going to guide your sleigh tonight, with this nose so bright, you can JUST FORGET IT!" Yes, I think a passionate speech from Rudolph is much more in order. That or a Quentin Tarantino blood bath. Just kidding . . . kind of.