Don't you just love the stop-motion Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? I know you've seen it dozens of times. Originally aired in 1964, it's the longest running TV special with regard to consecutive years. That's pretty impressive.
I always get a kick out of breaking down the plot of this much-loved special. Let's give it a try.
Rudolph, a young reindeer who simply wants to belong, finds himself with a physical trait that makes him different from the others. This shames his father, Donner, who insists Rudolph try to hide his shiny nose. (I liken this to a father insisting his little-person child wear heightening shoes. He should be flogged with a giant candy cane.) After Rudolph's disguise comes apart in public, and despite his impressive, passion-inspired virgin flight, all of the other reindeer (with the exception of the sweet Clarice) give him hell and make him feel worse than his his no-good, sell-out father made him feel. Then, perhaps the biggest villain of the movie, Santa the Bigot, a man whose entire business is built upon the apparently bogus idea of rewarding the just, lays into Donner, declaring, "You should be ashamed of yourself!" And he means because his boy has a shiny nose, folks, not because of the atrocious way he reacted to that discovery.
Now let's think about Santa's slaves for a bit, the elves. (Note that the word elves is a mere a away from being a perfect anagram of slaves.) They all seem happy with their lots in life. All of them, that is, with the exception of Hermey the Misfit Elf. See, this poor chap wants to be a dentist. Is there any encouragement for his uncommon drive? Of course not. Even his offers of free dental care are rewarded with ridicule, and he's driven away.
So it's natural that the two societal rejects meet up and form a bond that causes them to go in search of "fame and fortune." What they're really looking for is acceptance and opportunity, of course, but their sheltered naivety is unsure how to define their drive. Along the way they meet up with severely inclement weather, a seemingly greedy but helpful prospector named Yukon Cornelius, and a misunderstood yeti that man has tagged as "abominable," imposing a role upon him that manifests in exactly that type of behavior. The three new friends stick close to each other as they battle beast and nature in pursuit of their dreams.
Let's hop over quickly to the Island of Misfit toys, an internment camp where unwanted toys are sent as victims of a consumer society growing out of control. What a brilliant concept to include in a Christmas special, and in 1964 it was downright prophetic.
Meanwhile, back at the North Pole, ol' Santa the Bigot is starting to realize that he's gotten himself into a bit of a pickle. He sets up shop in the most rugged tundra the earth has to offer and finds himself surprised to encounter -- gasp! -- a bad snowstorm on Christmas Eve! What a shock. What's he going to do?
You all know how the story ends. The yeti gets knocked out, Hermey converts him to the good side by extracting his teeth (the Wikipedia entry makes it seem like this somehow tamed him, perhaps through submission, but I always thought he had toothaches that were making him particularly grumpy and, like the lion with the thorn in his paw, he repaid a good deed with proper gratitude), we find out that Cornelius was really just prospecting for peppermint and not gold or silver(at least in the original version), the whole crew makes it back to the North Pole, and when Santa the Bigot realizes that Rudolph actually has something to offer him, well then it's all just freaking dandy! Rudolph is the best! We all love Rudolph! Attaboy Rudolph!
But Santa at least saved the Misfit Toys, you say? Sure he did. In the revised version that was created after consumer complaint.
Hypocrites, the lot of them!
... Then how the reindeer loved himHow would a kid who has an "abnormal" feature or condition feel about this show? Hopefully they'd feel redemption at the end, as the "misfits" clearly rise above the rest in this cautionary tale, but if I was an albino child, or if I had a particularly large nose, or a visible birthmark on my face, or anything else that's sure to keep me off the cover of Mademoiselle or GQ, I think I'd tell my mom that I don't want that red-suited bastard and his army of demon deer to come anywhere near my house. I'd be lighting a fire under the chimney and booby-trapping the hell out of my Christmas tree. Of course all of this work would be done in vain, because I'd know Santa isn't coming anyway. The bastard doesn't give a crap about how nice I've been all year when I'm running a cowlick this.
as they shouted out with glee
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
They're full of hypocrisy