Santa Was A Bit Of A Bastard, Wasn’t He?

They’re airing Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer tonight.

Tonight being, as I write this, November 30th.

It doesn’t seem quite right to be watching it before we’ve even reached December, but I have it on nonetheless.

As a child in the ’70s, it seemed as though there was some animated Christmas special on more nights than not during the weeks leading up to that day.

Those specials were the most certain sign that Christmas was close and Rudolph’s saga – narrated in a tour de force performance by Burl Ives – was one of the linchpins of the holiday line-up.

Watching Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer probably thirty-five years after my first viewing of it, Santa’s behavior is a bit distracting to me.

Not ten minutes into the show and Santa is threatening Donner that Rudolph’s future on the sleigh team could be jeopardized because of his peculiar proboscis.

(and, if reindeer could fly, would such animals in the wild dream of being captive and groomed to chauffeur around a fat man?)

It’s the way that Santa makes the threat that is especially disconcerting. It’s offhand and casual. It’s delivered in the manner of someone who is accustomed to making and making good on threats.

Not that Donner offered much support as he quickly heeded the advice of the fat man.

And, seriously, Donner condemned the fruit of his reindeer loins to childhood ridicule the moment he named the tyke Rudolph.

It is pretty hilarious, though, to hear Donner bellow, “No! This is man’s work!” when, stricken with guilt, he heads out to search for runaway Rudolph and the missus wants to join him.

(such a declaration was probably more acceptable in reindeer culture in the ’60s when the program first aired)

But the show is a classic and the stop-motion animation fascinates me as much as it ever did, so…

But, it is December now, so what the hell. Here are four random Christmas songs…

Everything But The Girl – 25th Of December
from Amplified Heart

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night
from Christmas Eve And Other Stories

Kate Bush – Home For Christmas

Shane MacGowan & The Popes – Christmas Lullaby
from Christmas Party

4 Responses to Santa Was A Bit Of A Bastard, Wasn’t He?

  1. Perplexio says:

    I watched it with my 17 month old daughter and I noticed the same things you did. But, for the stop-motion Christmas classics I’ve always preferred Santa Claus is Coming to Town over Rudolph.

    It’s been so long since I’ve seen the latter that I can’t recall whether or not it has any similar bits that would be considered quite politically incorrect today.

    • barelyawakeinfrogpajamas says:

      While I usually seem to stumble across Rudolph, I can’t remember the last time I saw Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

  2. […] Mellowmas has begun again, and may the gods have mercy on us all. Barely Awake in Frog Pajamas watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the other night and ponders 60s reindeer culture, with seasonally appropriate tunes. And here, you […]

  3. My hmphs says:

    That has always bugged me – Santa is at best insensitive, at worst a racist. What a jerk!

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