Sam the snowman tells us the story of a young red-nosed reindeer who, after being ousted from the reindeer games because of his beaming honker, teams up with Hermey, an elf who wants to be a dentist, and Yukon Cornelius, the prospector. They run into the Abominable Snowman and find a whole island of misfit toys. Rudolph vows to see if he can get Santa to help the toys, and he goes back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. But Santa's sleigh is fogged in. But when Santa looks over Rudolph, he gets a very bright idea... Written by
Copies of both the Santa and Rudolph puppets were recently found in storage in the attic of a woman that used to work for Rankin-Bass. The puppets were in remarkably good condition, considering it was estimated they were in storage since the late 1960s, with only a little yellowing of Santa's hair, beard, and white trim on his coat. The pair now travel the country to various trade shows and conventions. See more »
Although the film was copyrighted and released in 1964, the Roman numerals copyright date in the main titles is shown as "MCLXIV", which would be the year 1164, eight centuries earlier. 1964 is MCMLXIV, in Roman numerals. See more »
Sam the Snowman:
If I live to be 100, I'll never forget that big snow storm a couple of years ago. The weather closed in and, well you might not believe it, but the world almost missed Christmas. Oh, excuse me, call me Sam. What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a talking snowman before?
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If you pay close attention to the opening credits, below the credit of "Burl Ives sings", you'll see a small house fly buzzing around on the fake snow! See more »
Directors: Kizo Nagashima, Larry Roemer; Story: Robert May; Script: Romeo Muller; Producers: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin
Rudolph is more then a Christmas special, it is a holiday tradition. I always look forward to the special time during the Christmas season when I can watch this. This beloved special is one of the few things that brings back my childhood. Most children today enjoy watching this as much as their parents did when they were little. On the DVD's introduction, producer Arthur Rankin states that Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer has been reportedly viewed by over a billion people worldwide. It is perhaps second only to The Wizzard of Oz as being the most viewed programme of all time.
Rudolph is the first of a line of Christmas specials that were produced by Rankin and Bass and written by Romeo Muller. Some of the others are: The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Frosty the Snowman (1969),and Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970) as well as Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971) and Puff, The Magic Dragon (1978). It is hard to imagine all these classic specials being the creation of one man. Mr. Muller is Mr. Christmas!
The origins of Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer stem from the song written by Johnny Marks back in the 1930's or 1940's. A Max Fleischer cartoon short was made in 1948 with Robert May creating its story. However, the Rankin and Bass Christmas special is based on the Johnny Marks song but other than that, it is all the creation of Romeo Muller. Hermey the elf, Sam the snowman, Yukon Cornelius, Claurice, the head elf are all Muller's creations. Even Rudolph's personality is created by Muller. In the 1948 cartoon Rudolph does not talk.
I have always liked Burl Ives as both a singer and an actor. His part as Sam the Snowman is my favourite by him. All the people behind the scenes doing the voices were all talented. They used stop motion animation with moving puppets just like they did with King Kong. Rudolph is a timeless classic that bring me back to the simpler time of childhood every time I watch it. I hope my small children will enjoy it to.
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