We're All Misfits

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rebecca with her favorite
Rudolph character

Last night was the annual showing of the beloved Rankin and Bass produced "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" on NBC. This is a big event in our house. Rebecca remembered it from last year, although she did make a running jump onto the couch to hide behind me when the abominable snowman first showed up. Gregory fell asleep mid Christmas special last year, so this was his first real experience with the celebration in claynation. He was very taken with the monster (you could almost say obsessed) and throughout any scene that didn't roar, he was pondering the whereabouts of the furry beast. He did have trouble distinguishing between Yukon and Santa Claus. Even though I explained several times that Yukon has the red beard, and Santa has the white beard, he was still commenting this morning that "Santa pulled out Bumblebee's teeth and pushed him over".

I'm a little embarrassed to say this is one of my favorite Christmas specials (probably something to do with the fact that it is only shown once a year, and I refuse to buy a copy for the house - it would definitely lose something if the kids watched it over and over). I enjoyed catching some of the puns from an era when the adult jokes in kid's movies were more subtle. Here's a few I liked:

  • Hey, what do you say we both be independent together, huh? - Hermey

  • How do you like that? Even among misfits you're a misfit. - Yukon

  • Well for the first year the Donner's did a pretty good job of hiding Rudolphs - non conformity. - Burl Ives Snowman

If that's not enough red nosed goodness for you, here's some trivia I found after extensive Internet research (I went to IMDB->Rudolph->trivia):

  • Why is Dolly for Sue, who is apparently a perfectly ordinary doll, living on the Island of Misfit Toys? Greg and I have actually discussed this on numerous occasions! This gripping debate raged on for decades, until official word from Rankin-Bass recently decided the issue: Dolly for Sue is a "misfit" because she has psychological problems - she feels unloved.

  • But Who's Counting Dept.: When Santa's sleigh finally takes off into the storm near the end of the film, it's being pulled by SIX reindeer instead of eight, with Rudolph leading the way.

  • Yukon Cornelius' stalwart sled dogs include a Cocker Spaniel, a Poodle, a Saint Bernard, a Collie, and a Dachshund.

  • At the conclusion of "Holly Jolly Christmas", Hermie the elf can be seen dancing (and flirting) with an equally attentive girl elf, suggesting a budding romance.

The fruits of our labor - impromptu cave
and a boat load of Rudolph characters
Can you guess which one was Gregory's favorite?

After last night, I figured today would be the perfect day to pull out our misfit toy collection. Back in 1998, way before our push to live more sustainably, CVS sold stuffed versions of all the Rudolph characters. Greg and I bought every single one, and hung them around our old apartment for a few years. Then the toys spent a few years in storage, until Rebecca was about 4. We've pulled them out on a limited basis, but this year I decided to go all out. Rebecca and I wanted to surprise Gregory, so before he got home from daycare today we cleaned off the kid's coloring table and made an impromptu mountain ice cave out of some pillows, a box, and a sheet. We set out every single stuffed Rudolph character and waited. When he finally got home, he was beside himself. Guess which character he went for first? The two kids spent the last hour before bed playing Rudolph. Now I just have to figure out how to make Santa's castle ...

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